HP has unveiled its smallest colour laser multifunction printer to date. The £249 LaserJet Pro 100 M175nw includes innovations such as instant on and auto off to help keep energy consumption to a minimum. 

HP’s latest LaserJet models measure just  441x42 x338mm and weighs around 16kg. It’s roughly a third smaller than the previous design of LaserJet printer but, says HP, sacrifices nothing in terms of performance.

The base model of the printer comes with a USB connection and costs £179, while the Wi-Fi and Ethernet model costs £199 ex VAT (£240 inc VAT). Unusually, the LaserJet Pro supports Wi-Fi Direct as well as Apple AirPrint and HP ePrint. The latter technology allows users to log in to the device via any convenient terminal and send documents to print. Apple AirPrint, meanwhile, can be used to send photos from any Apple iPhone or iPad for direct printing. Wi-Fi Direct is not included on the product from launch but will be included in a scheduled update to be delivered in September.

During our demonstration, we were able to select a photo taken on an iPhone 3GS, browse to the printer and print it out using a wireless connection. In order to use Apple AirPrint you need to turn on the Wi-Fi in the Settings menu on the handset, select the IP-addressable printer from a list of available network devices and then select the item to print to it. The whole setup took less than a minute, including the printing process.

HP says the 600x600-dpi printer can output monochrome pages at a rate of 16 per minute, while colour pages are produced at 4ppm. The LaserJet Pro 100 colour M175nw consumers 26 times less power in its auto-off state than most equivalent printers in standby mode. HP says that despite sitting in this lower-power state, the LaserJet is fact to react to a print job and there is “no effect on first page out” time. Another useful aspect of the new small business printer is the inclusion of Smart Install – the drivers needed for setup on a Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 PC are included in its internal memory. Mac users will, however, need to use the setup CD.

The HP LaserJet Pro 100 color M175nw went onsale in the UK this month. As well as printing in colour or mono, it can scan documents at up to 1200x1200dpi.