Review Price £214.66
Colour laser printers used to be the exclusive province of business offices, but several companies are determined to move these machines into the home market, too. To do this, the initial purchase price has come down and £150 is the current sweet spot. HP's Color LaserJet CP1515n is a little bit over this at Internet prices, but offers PCL, Postscript and network support, while still scraping in under £170.
You'd be forgiven for mistaking this printer for the Color LaserJet CP1215, reviewed a few weeks back, as physically it's nearly identical. About the size of a workgroup mono laser, it's quite a big machine, but relatively narrow and low off the desk. A large radius curve at the front reduces its otherwise boxy appearance, as does the colour scheme, in three shades of grey.
The control panel is set into the front curve and includes two bright LED indicators, as well as five buttons and a 2-line by 16-character LCD display, which is difficult to read because of reflections from its curved, clear-plastic cover and its deep set position. A backlight would make a big difference.
The home or possibly SOHO market for this printer is emphasised by the 150-sheet paper tray at the bottom of its front panel. There are plenty of inkjet machines at this price with larger capacity trays and you're likely to be refilling this one regularly. There's a single-sheet multipurpose slot directly above the tray and HP's curious flip-up panel, intended to provide access to paper jams. At the rear are sockets for USB and Ethernet.
Installation is pretty straightforward, as the combined drum and toner cartridges are provided in situ, in a tray which slides out from the front of the machine, giving very easy access to the consumables. Protective tapes have to be pulled out from each cartridge before you start using the machine, but this is the work of moments.
Unlike the cheaper Color LaserJet CP1215, this machine doesn't use a host-based driver, so can be coupled up to a PC or a Mac and run as either a PCL or Postscript device, making it much more versatile. HP makes no specific mention of Linux drivers, though they are available for most of its machines.