For the past eight years or so, I’ve lived my non-virtual, printed, life through a Canon InkJet printer.  The printer was slow.  The quality was so-so.  The replacement ink cartridges were incredibly expensive.  When Apple announced the availability of AirPrint for selected printers and iOS devices like the iPad and the iPhone, I knew then that I would soon be in the market for a new printer.  Yesterday, the HP LaserJet CM1415fnw was delivered to my front door, and I’ve been a printing maniac ever since!

In addition to wanting AirPrint compatibility on my new printer, I also wanted a color laser printer instead of an inkjet.  Fifteen years ago, I purchased a used — and massive and heavy HP laser printer — from my business manager.  That printer flickered the lights whenever it was turned on.  I spent most of my working days waiting for the printer to warm up after turning it off and on and off again all day long.

Yes, my new HP LaserJet CM1415fnw also flickers the lights a bit — but only when printing — and the juice the machine sucks is worth it for the product it delivers in the end.  The printed pages are rich and vibrant and elegant.  Once you “go color laser” you will never be able to go back to inkjet again — even though my 50-pound HP LaserJet outweighs my Canon by about 30 pounds.

The HP LaserJet CM1415fnw isn’t AirPrint compatible out of the box.  First, set up your printer following the included instructions.  I’m using an Ethernet cable, but you can do your setup entirely using WiFi.  You’ll need to be on a WiFi connection to print from your iPhone or iPad, and I have my LaserJet plugged into my Time Capsule, so I’m all networked up.

Install the software from the CD.

Then — go here — and download the Firmware update for the HP LaserJet CM1415fnw.  Follow the easy instructions — you can update via Ethernet or WiFi — and you’re done!  AirPrint works perfectly and your printer will have a whole new slew of available options.

Here’s what the old touch screen menu looked like:

Here’s what the new touch screen looks like after the Firmware update:

The “Apps” menu item isn’t Apple-related.  Touch on it and you’ll be taken to a screen with interesting services.  You can print out USA Today from the internet, right there from your touch screen.  Amazing stuff!

After clicking on the “USA Today” icon, you can pick which section of the paper you want to print.

I chose to print out four pages of Weather:

I paid around $330.00USD for my HP LaserJet CM1415fnw after an instant $100.00USD rebate offer.  Replacement color toner cartridges are around $66.00USD each — and you need four of them — but the duty cycle for the cartridges is between 2,000 and 1,300 pages each.  The printer comes with 750-page capacity cartridges included.  I will save a lot of money using a color laser printer compared to what I was spending on my inkjet.

Using AirPrint is simple.  You click on the interactive icon in Mail or Safari or Photos and choose “Print” — select your HP LaserJet CM1415fnw from the list — and, boom!, you’re printing from you iPad or iPhone.  Easy Peasy.  Third-party Apps are also slowly adding AirPrint support, so make sure you update your Apps on a regular basis.

If you’re away from your WiFi network, you can use HP’s keen ePrint service that allows you to remotely print from your iPhone or iPad to your HP LaserJet CM1415fnw.  Your printer lives on the internet and HP assigns your printer an IP address and a special email address you use to print when you’re on the go.  It’s neat and it works.  Printing email attachments sent to your printer is automatic, transparent, and seamless.

The only curious thing about my new HP LaserJet CM1415fnw is the “Scan to USB” option.  I guess if you want to scan something, you have to scan to a USB stick you plug directly into the printer.  I thought you could scan directly to your computer, but I don’t see that option available.  I don’t mind that USB-only limitation too much, because I have a faster stand-alone scanner, but that might be a deal breaker for you if you want to use an Ethernet connection for your printer instead of a USB cable.  The fax machine sends and receives just fine.

I’m crazy about my HP LaserJet CM1415fnw, and I urge you to consider this AirPrint machine if you’re in the market for printing beautiful images and super-crisp text.

UPDATE:
Okay, I found the scan settings — not an easy task.  I docked the HP Utility in my Mac.  Then, I clicked on the “Applications” icon.

“Applications” brings forth this tiny window where the “HP Scan 3” software is found.  Clicking on the icon starts the scan software from your computer to the printer.  You don’t need a USB cable to do this.

I also docked the scan software so I can find it faster in the future.

Here’s a scan I did with the software.

This is the scanned image that started out as a 2250×3505 pixel .TIFF file and ended up here, for you, as a 498×685 .JPG.

Looking at the Scan interface on the printer itself, there is no “Scan to Computer” option.  Only the “Scan to USB Drive” is offered.  Be sure to look for the “HP Scan 3” software on your computer if you want to control your HP LaserJet CM1415fnw from your computer.

22 Comments

    1. Hi Gordon!

      I know how it feels to live without a printer. We ran out of ink about two months ago and we didn’t want to invest one more dime in inkjet technology. We started searching for color laser printers, but couldn’t find anything we really liked. Then AirPrint arrived, and the new HP printers started becoming available, and we just feel in love with the look and the feel an the specs of the CM1415fnw. It does everything we need so fast and quietly and you can interact with it in a deep level from your web browser. We had no idea how awful our old Canon was until this new printer came into our lives.

      If you make the leap, let us know!

    1. No regrets at all. I wish it did double-sided printing, but I’m wanting something that was never a feature. SMILE!

      I just replaced the original black ink. The original Magenta and Cyan are low. I bought all replacement ink cartridges when I bought the printer, so I had high up front costs that I could have delayed a bit, but I had no idea how long the original ink would last.

      There were recent firmware and software updates I missed. Never received the email notifications from HP. My original ePrint account was deleted. I created a new ePrint account and the firmware updates now allow me to use the printer as a “Google Cloud Printer” and I like that a lot.

      Unfortunately, the software suite from HP has not yet been updated for Max OS 10.7 — the printer still works, it’s all the software bells and whistles that aren’t yet set up.

      Waiting.

  1. Really appreciate the feedback David. Hope that update comes through for you soon. I’m going to need to keep looking for one that auto-duplexes, with AirPrint.
    Thanks for the quick reply!

  2. Hey David,

    I just bought the same printer last weekend and I dig it. However, I am also a MAC user and the scanning feature is sort of on hold until they update the driver for 10.7. I am getting pages that are Squished to half size if I scan on black or white and text. Color seems to work though. The disk won’t let me install HP Scan 3 yet on Lion so I have to wait for the update. Unless you know of some other way to install it.

    [redacted]

    [Comment edited by David W. Boles]

    1. Yes, HP didn’t update their drivers for the printer yet, so some things are broken. I have no idea why they weren’t more proactive in getting their software updated for the Lion release.

      I removed the part of your comment concerning the replacement supplies. It read a bit Spammy.

  3. Hi,
    Very helpful review – thanks!

    I have one question about copying – mainly the contrast adjustments. How precisely can you adjust it? do you have only say 5 levels or more? I was using Xerox 6015N, and that option is very limited – only 5 levels which often was not enough to eliminate background from my pencil drawings.
    Could I please ask you to check this for me? Cant find this printer on display anywhere..

    Best,
    Mateusz

    1. Yes. You can choose to print in color or in black. There’s even a “low ink” mode for Black if you want to save on toner. Each color has its own toner cartridge, so you can print something as long as one of the cartridges has toner.

  4. Wow, it costs me more than what I read in your post. I ordered from Apple for $499+tax three months ago and just had time to break the box and installed it today. I ran into your post because I could not set up AirPrint to work in last 4 hours ago. Very upset! I had it connected to my network via cat5 cable and all computers can see it fine. However, my iOS devices, like iPhone 4s and iPad3 with latest iOS, are still having difficult to see it. I tried to have the printer connected via WiFi, then my iOS devices can see it. Anyhow, when printing from iPad and iPhone, it looks like the print jobs send to it successfully but nothing comes out from the printer. I thought it would be really simple and no brainer needed to set this up. I will give it a try when I have time next weekend. Is there anything that I forget to look at? I have already updated the latest firmware on the printer.

  5. No, I don’t have an Apple router.

    It is not 100% working. The issue is intermittently from one device to another iOS device. When select printing from browser on iPad3, sometimes it detects the printer, sometimes it doesn’t. I got No AirPrint Printer Found. Same thing happened on iPhone 4, 4s with latest firmware (5.1.1)

    I can ping the HP Printer’s ip address and access its admin page throu I.E from any computers on the network but still cannot print to it from iOS devices. (98% failure = nothing printing)

    Thanks for replying to my post.

    1. Did you set up WiFi on the printer itself and enable it and insert your WiFi network password via the touchscreen? If not, that’s your problem.

      You should also not have any ethernet cable connected to your printer at all if you’re trying to use it via WiFi.

      The cable will always take precedence over the WiFi signal and that’s what’s confusing your iOS devices, but not your computer. The devices “see” the printer via your router because of the cable connection, but they’re looking to print via Wifi, not the cable because they don’t have access to the cable in your current setup. “Cut the cord” and set up WiFi on your printer, and you should then be good to go. Make sure you reboot your computer and iOS devices after making the change to WiFi only and turn your printer on and off after setting up WiFi to reset it, too.

      Good luck!

  6. I don’t really understand one little thing: a network connection is a network connection. Whether it be Wired or WiFi should not matter, and doesn’t with regards to AirPrint as an Apple specification. So why does it (seem to) matter on this printer? My sister has bought this printer recently and connected it using a Wired connection. I got AirPrint to work straight out of the box, as the ‘new’ (AirPrint enabling) firmware was already on the device. However, I only got it to work that one time when I was there. All of the jobs were successfully printed. But when I came back to her house another day, it did not work any more. Moreover, it has never worked for my sister, even though we run the same iOS versions.
    The iOS devices are connected to the same router as the printer, with no additional hubs or switches in place, so the network connection is as direct as can possibly be. All normal computers in the house can see, communicate and print to the printer, and scanning also works. So I’m just amazed as to why printing seems to be such a helluva problem just when using AirPrint on this printer… I’ve been using it for AGES in combination with an Epson printer which doesn’t even have WiFi, but does have a Wired connection. Another factor that basically overrides your statement that ‘the printer should be connected using Wireless network to use AirPrint’. At least as far as Apple’s specification goes. AirPrint is just a Bonjour/Rendezvous/mDNS service that is advertised on the network, and doesn’t necessarily need WiFi to work, as opposed to AirDrop (file-sharing feature in Mountain Lion).

    Can anyone provide another suggestion as to how to keep AirPrint working? Only it’s a bit strange it worked at first, but doesn’t want to any more…