HP produces mono laser printers ranging from small personal devices up to huge departmental behemoths. The LaserJet 2420d sits some way above the personals and is a fast office or small workgroup device. This model isn't enabled for network use, though you can add various cable and wireless options as needed.
The price may appear high for a non-network printer, but is largely down to the machine’s claimed speed, which at up to 28ppm is very good for this class of device. The printer also has a duplexing unit as standard, so can print on both sides of the paper in a single job.
Most laser printers are basically rectangular boxes and this HP device is more boxy than most. Coloured in pale and dark grey and highlighted with orange and green buttons, it’ll fit in well with most office décor. Paper feeds from a 250-sheet tray that slides out from the front bottom of the printer and delivers printed pages to an indent in the top surface. A second, optional tray, holding 500 sheets, can be fitted under the printer.
Directly above the paper tray is a pull-down, telescopic multi-purpose tray and the whole of this mechanism folds forward for access to the all-in-one toner and drum cartridge. At the back are sockets for parallel and USB 2.0 connections, though Ethernet networking is only an option on this model.
The control panel, on the right-hand side of the output tray, includes seven buttons and a two-line, 16-character, backlit LCD display. The fairly complex menuing system is reasonably well structured, though with some of the menu options running to two lines, it's not always easy to see where you are in the hierarchy. Fortunately, you can print out a complete menu map. A blue Help button pops up hints and suggestions on the LCD display, should you hit problems while using the printer.
Physical installation is simple, as HP sticks to its tried and tested, integrated toner and drum cartridge. This is a bit more fiddly to insert than in most mono lasers, but with a claimed life of 6,000 pages, you won't have to do it too often.
Software setup is also pretty straightforward, as the supplied CD includes both the printer driver and HP's LaserJet Toolbox applet. As usual, you install software before making the USB 2 or parallel connection.