Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price £763.42

HP Color LaserJet CP4005n

If colour laser printers were sold by the kilogram, HPs Color LaserJet CP4005n would be well worth its asking price. If you ignore its 48kg weight, though, which is a good two-person lift, you start to wonder why even a workgroup printer like this one needs to be quite so massive.

This machine is over half a metre in every dimension and one has to assume that the size is tied to the machine's duty cycle of 80,000 pages per month and its comparatively high print speeds of 25ppm in colour and 30ppm in black. Even so, it's not a desktop machine, unless you allocate it a desk to itself.

A single paper tray holds up to a full, 500-sheet ream of paper at a go and a pull-down, multi-purpose tray adds another 100 sheets to this capacity. Printed output arrives on the top surface of the printer, but HP has spring-loaded the paper receiver, so it drops gently, as the weight of paper from a long print jobs weighs it down.

A backlit, LCD panel shows up to four rows of 16 characters and therefore has room to give useful feedback of status and error conditions. At the back there are sockets for USB and fast Ethernet; as you would expect on a machine in this market, the CLJ CP4005n is fully network-ready.

The printer comes with all its consumables pre-installed and without the tapes and spacers you normally have to remove, before running. This is very convenient, but the machine is easy to maintain, anyway. Lift the top cover and you have immediate access to the fuser unit. Pull down the front cover and the image transfer belt swings away from the four vertically-mounted photoconductor and toner cartridges, which each slide out forwards.

Both PCL6 and PostScript level 3 emulation drivers are provided and the driver panel includes support for up to 16 pages per sheet, manual duplexing and watermarks. It also supports HP Digital Imaging, which provides contrast enhancement, ‘digital flash’ to fill in shadow detail, smoothing, sharpness and SmartFocus. There’s also network administration software to control the printer remotely, which works well.

Unusually, HP quotes speed figures for the Color LaserJet CP4005n using normal, rather than draft, settings. We expected, therefore, to see test prints at roughly these speeds, but were disappointed. The 30ppm claimed for black text print came down to 16ppm on our five-page text print, though the machine did manage just over 14ppm on the text and graphics, colour print, marginally closer to the 25ppm claimed. The printer produced our 15 x 10 centimetres photo in 14 seconds, giving a speed of 4.2ppm.

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