Laser Printers Guide
The TopShot M275 has print speeds of 16 pages-per-minute (PPM) for black-and-white, and 4ppm for color. These turned out to be true according to our tests. On average, we got the first page printed in 16.6 seconds for B&W, and 29 seconds for color. The color printing speed is effectively four times as long as the mono printing speed as the the printer uses a four-pass method for color printing. Typically, multi-pass color laser printing is used in entry-level models to keep the cost down. Looking at the price of the TopShot M275, this somewhat came as a surprise to us.
The MFP does not come with an auto duplexing unit, so two-sided printing or copying has to be carried out manually. This usually involves removing the printed copy from the output tray, rotating it, and putting it back (with the printed side down) into the input tray.
Since the TopShot M275 doesn't possess an automatic document feeder (ADF), you'd need to manually place the next page of the document on the capture stage during a multi-page copy or scan job. True to HP's claims, we achieved duplication speeds of 16 copies-per-minute (CPM) for B&W, and 4cpm for color. On average, first-page-out timings were 31.3 seconds (B&W), and 49.7 seconds (color).
(*Note: Our PPM/CPM calculations are based on timings when the printer is printing at its full pace. In other words, we omit the time that it takes to print the first page.)
The implementation difference between HP's TopShot and Lexmark's Flash Scan also gives rise to different benefits that are unique to each machine. While the latter focuses on giving users a fast scanning speed (preview is near-instant too), the former seeks to address the problems of those who want to scan 3D objects. We found that the TopShot M275's scanning speed is in the ballpark of most CIS-based flatbed scanners, in which the scanning array has to move across the image. A non-color scan was typically completed in under 25 seconds, and a color scan in under 35 seconds.
In a nutshell, the TopShot M275 is a fast laser printer when it comes to B&W printing, but not so when it comes to color due to its multi-pass implementation. This is something to keep in mind if you print a lot in color. In the market, it's not difficult to find a comparably priced laser or LED printer that prints faster in color; two examples are the S$748 Brother DCP-9010CN (16ppm black and color), and the S$649 Fuji Xerox CM205fw (15ppm black/12ppm color). Of course, print speed is just part of the equation in determining the worth of an MFP. How's the print quality of the TopShot M275 then? Does the TopShot technology give us better quality scans? These are the questions we'll answer in the following pages.