The home office printer you won’t want to break
Say goodbye to your boring printer and say hello to Huawei’s excellent PixLab X1 wireless laser printer. Perfect for the home office, the device offers incredibly simple setup, excellent performance and, when released, will also support remote printing, so you don’t even have to be at home. home if a family member wants to print something.
- Mark: Huawei
- Type: Laser
- Color printing: No, monochrome
- To scan: Yes
- Pages per minute: 28
- Incredibly easy to use
- Works inside and outside the Huawei Super Device ecosystem
- Long life toner drum (15,000 pages)
- Wireless connectivity is excellent
- Low power always on mode
Huawei PixLab X1 Wireless Laser Printer
Huawei’s PixLab X1 laser printer is a great device for the home office. Why? Because it actually offers hassle-free printing; a concept seemingly lost to literally every other printer manufacturer on the planet. If you feel like this review will be partly gushing about the quality of this printer and partly moaning about how awful other printers are, then your Spidey senses are correct.
Anyway, the PixLab X1 printer isn’t available yet, but its MWC 2022 launch we’ve been told will have an RRP of €349 (about $375), so if you’re thinking of replacing your stupid HP Deskjet or any other device is currently the bane of your printing life, then the PixLab X1 is the perfect candidate. You’d like to know why ?
As this is a pre-release device, it does not currently have all the features available in the UK, where the reviewer is based. As such, he was unable to review the remote print element of the PixLab X1, as remote connectivity with the AI Life app is not yet available.
What’s in the box?
The Huawei PixLab X1 comes in a fairly large box. Here’s what you’ll find there:
- A Huawei X1 printer
- Power cable
- A starter monochrome toner cartridge
- Device Documentation
And that, home or office print lover, is your lot. You don’t need anything else, and you’re about to throw your old printer against the wall in an act of malicious defiance.
Pretty, as printers go
Although I’m not one to be in love with a printer, the PixLab X1 has a pleasing aesthetic quality to what is essentially a plastic box full of circuit boards and printing mechanisms. The X1 is available in white and its dimensions are 14.5 x 12.6 x 11.4 inches. It weighs just under 21 pounds, so it’s not a particularly heavy device either.
The top of the PixLab X1 carries the scanner/copier. This is the usual flatbed variety with a hinged lid to hold your document in position. On the lid is a sticker with a QR code to download the AI Life app. This whole section seems to float above the rest of the Pixlab, making it a nice design feature and giving the printer a sleeker appearance.
The front top also features the capacitive control panel, which is really nice and also very simple. On the left of the panel is the Huawei Share sensor (more on that later). Further to the right you have the warning lights for Paper Out, Toner Low and Paper Jam. In the center is the Network symbol, which lights up when you have successfully connected the printer to your Wi-Fi network.
To the right of the Network symbol are the capacitive options for Card Copy (when you want to copy a driver’s license, for example) and Duplex Copy (for photocopying both sides of a document). The rightmost point of the control panel has the Cancel and Start commands.
Beneath this top section is the paper output tray, with the usual extension to keep your 188-page document from falling into a disorganized heap all over your desk. There’s also a button here that you press to access the print stream in the event of a jam.
The front of the device features a hinged panel that opens downwards, revealing the toner drum, and below is the paper input tray.
On the back and on the left are the power socket and the power button. There is also a USB-A port and an Ethernet port. There is also another hatch to clear potential paper jams that might occur on the back of the PixLab X1.
Aside from the non-slip rubber feet underneath, this completes our tour around the printer.
Setting up the Huawei PixLab X1 printer
The Huawei PixLab X1 is incredibly easy to set up, a feature found in the larger Super Device ecosystem that Huawei is continually adding to.
You can also find the printer directly from a Huawei laptop and connect it to the network using this method. Just bring your Huawei laptop within range of the printer (one meter) and you will get a pairing popup.
If you’re using a Huawei device (I’ve tested with both Huawei and non-Huawei smartphones), just bring your EMUI 12 or later phone within 30cm of the printer and you’ll get a pop-up prompting you to log in. at PixLab X1. Easy, right? It’s called HarmonyOS for a reason, you know. Here is how I set up the printer and connected it to my home network.
Other than that, however, and other than turning the device on in the first place, you don’t have to do much else. It is very easy to set up and operate. Once connected to your network, any device can print from it. It’s just a matter of selecting To print on the document and device in question, then your source device will find the PixLab X1 and off you go, happily printing documents. Additionally, if you have a Huawei smartphone, you can print from anywhere via a number of methods.
A dream to use
By now you’ve probably figured out (get it?) that home printing is one of those things that really bothers me. I have lost count of the number of hours wasted trying in vain to print a postage label for my spouse, when the printers I have owned before all refused flatly for 45 minutes. I’m happy to say that the Pixlab X1 is the complete opposite of that.
Printing with the X1 is a breeze no matter how you print. I print a lot of my documents from my smartphone (currently a non-Huawei model) and it works perfectly. I simply locate the document I want to print, select To print in the document options, select the Huawei PixLab X1 from the long list of printers and presto, my document prints.
You’re probably sitting there thinking “Wow, a printer that prints. How new.” Well, yes, this is new to a lot of people who also don’t own a PixLab X1 and are also very familiar with the difficulty of home printing. I refer you to my previous Vinted label example.
I no longer have to reset the printer ad nauseam while trying to diagnose some mysterious non-issue. Instead, I send my document to be printed, then I go and retrieve it from the printer.
What I mean is that the X1 does its job very well, thanks in large part to its simplicity and ease of connectivity. In the month that I tested the device, I did not encounter any errors. Not one. Which is impressive considering my previous record with things.
Not once did I encounter a paper jam or a document not printing. I didn’t notice any network connection loss and all the documents I printed came out perfect. Note that this was from my laptop or smartphone – both gave perfect results every time.
What if you have a Huawei smartphone to pair with the printer? Well, I tested it as part of the Super Device ecosystem, and therefore also with a Huawei P50 Pro smartphone, and everything was even easier!
How was it easier? Thanks to the Huawei Share option. If I’m next to the printer, I can just open the file I want to print, press the P50 against the Huawei Share icon on the printer’s control panel, and I get a prompt on the P50 to to print.
Printing through a Huawei laptop is no more difficult than with any other printer and follows the same process as other Windows devices.
One feature I couldn’t access, probably because it’s a pre-release device, remote printing. It works through the AI Life app, but I couldn’t open the printer controls through the app or through the printer icon in the system tray of my Huawei P50. This is because the device is not yet commercially available, and Huawei assures me that it will be there once the device starts shipping.
Thus, the PixLab X1 laser printer is a leader in ease of use.
Impeccable printing performance
In terms of actual prints, the quality is excellent. This is a laser printer, so you can expect the print quality to be better than your standard inkjet (or even a bells and whistles inkjet). Note, however, that the Huawei PixLab X1 only does monochrome prints, so you won’t get color images from the device. This is something I’d like to see Huawei try next, given that the PixLab X1 is an excellent monochrome printer.
With that in mind, don’t expect to print all your holiday snaps on the PixLab X1 unless you want them all in different shades of gray. This is a home office printer, and as such is best suited for printing work documents, or anything else as text with minimal images (or with images/graphs/tables, etc. that do not necessarily require color).
Huawei advertises print speeds of 28ppm (pages per minute) and I can confirm this to be true. The X1 adapts to this speed when copying a document. Huawei says you’ll get 15,000 prints from one drum cartridge, which is great for reducing waste. Note that the X1 uses a proprietary cartridge form factor, so you won’t be able to replace them with an alternate brand.
Scanning is excellent and the device produces faithful, crystal-clear scans with the ability to scan in color as opposed to printing. Copying is also excellent, although again you can only print monochrome copies.
Does the job, then.
Get your old printer out of the office
If someone came to me and asked “please can you recommend a hassle-free printer for my home office?”, then my response would be “Yes. The Huawei Pixlab X1”, provided that only needs to print in monochrome. The device performs all its tasks without a hitch, producing high quality prints, copies and scans. A great home office printer that makes your printing job easier.