Review: Universal printer drivers from Xerox, HP aren't so universal

Xerox's Mobile Express and HP's Universal Printer Driver let you use one driver for many devices. Too bad they're not truly universal.

Instead of a list of IP addresses, UPD offers a list of model name and numbers.

Instead of a list of IP addresses, UPD offers a list of model name and numbers.

Xerox Mobile Express

I started by downloading Mobile Express to an IBM ThinkPad running Windows XP. The 9MB installation file downloaded quickly and took just a few minutes to set up.

Note: When running the install routine, don't be surprised if you see a Windows dialog warning that you are installing a nonapproved program. According to Richie Michelon, product marketing manager for Xerox's Mobile Express, this happens because of the nature of the universal driver. "Windows XP doesn't recognize any digital signature for a device driver that's not associated with a specific device. But we assigned a third-party [VeriSign] digital signature to make sure it's secure," he said.

Mobile Express begins by asking you to name your current location. You can have the driver import all printers in your Printers and Faxes control panel and/or have it discover available printers automatically and choose the ones you want to use.

Once the initial setup is complete, the Xerox Mobile Express Driver becomes your default printer driver. The first time you take your computer to a new location, Mobile Express recognizes that it's on a different subnet and asks you to give the location a name before moving on to discover available printers.

Unfortunately, the discovery tool displayed rather arcane model numbers, not the more intuitive printer names I was used to seeing in the Printers and Faxes control panel. At the office, I was forced to use the IP address to identify each discovered printer. On the other hand, once you've discovered a printer, Mobile Express lets you give each a name that better describes the device.

After the initial discovery process, you can choose one printer and print a test page to it. That printer is automatically added to your list of printers (My Printers) in Mobile Express. To add others, you bring up the Xerox Mobile Express Driver Properties dialog, click on Printing Preferences and select Change Printer. Up pops the Xerox Mobile Printing dialog. The three buttons on the top of the Mobile Printing dialog let you view My Printers or the listing of discovered printers; you can also search for printers by IP address. By selecting each discovered printer, you can add it to the My Printers view.

Thereafter, Mobile Express remembers which printers are available in that location and shows you only those printers when you're there (although you can merge in lists of printers from other locations if you prefer to do so). For example, at Computerworld's office, Mobile Express initially found five networked printers on my floor. At my home office, it excluded the main office printers from its list, showing only what was available for my home. Printers that were offline were grayed out.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags printer drivers

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert L. Mitchell

Show Comments


Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >


Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >


Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >


Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?