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Monday, December 8, 2008

Review of the HP Colour Laserjet 2600n Printer

This printer has a really beautiful print quality, and is pretty quick to print too.

After about six months of use, there have been no problems.

Installing the printer is reasonably simple. It comes with a CD with all necessary drivers, but it does not come with a USB cable, so you have to supply your own, which is a bit stingy. You can also connect it with a bi-directional parallel cable, and this model also takes a RJ45 network plug, and can work as a network printer if so desired. (ie you can configure it with it's own IP address)

Four colour cartridges are supplied with the printer: a black cartridge and the 3 primary colours viz. cyan, red and yellow. They appear to be full size cartridges, not the half full "introductory" cartridges that you get when the manufacturer feels like ripping you off. According to the literature, these cartridges are good for 2500 pages at 5% coverage, which equates to text, so if you intend to print a lot of graphics (pictures) you would have to reduce that number by about 25% Cartridges are expensive, with all four together costing more than the printer itself, so one has to start saving immediately for the next lot of cartridges. Remember though that you have 4 cartridges, so it actually means that you can print 2500 x 4 = roughly 10,000 pages before you have to replace all four cartridges.

The paper tray is quite big and can take about 250 sheets at a time (about half of a normal pack of paper) and works with A4, letter size and smaller. Also does envelopes and so on, as is the norm. Stated printing speed is 8 pages per minute, and in practice the speed seems to be pretty close to this.

The printer is quite large, so it takes up quite a bit of space on your desk. Since the paper comes out the top, it would work better having it on the floor or on a low stool next to your desk. It's fairly heavy too, so don't put it on the top shelf of one of those flimsy computer desks: if it falls on you it could be nasty.

The printer has a smallish LCD display to show progress, and 2 LEDs that indicate power and problem! The printer goes into a fairly lengthy self calibration process by default, every time you switch it on, but this function can be switched off by going into the (supplied ) software called "HP color laserjet Toolbox" , which will only work, of course, if the printer is switched on and connected to the PC.

Overall, this is a very satisfying printer. The prints are perfect and very professional looking, the mechanics give no trouble, and the printing is fast, with a very short initial warm up time of just a few seconds. If you want quality, then this is a good printer to go for.

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