HP’s LaserJet P1566 has dimensions not much bigger than the largest page it can print – an A4 sheet. However, they’re the other way round, with a width of 387mm and a depth of only 243mm, so the paper still sticks out the front by a good third of its length. This means it needs a paper tray at the front, provided by the fold-down cover of the machine, and a clip-on ‘balcony’ at the top to support printed documents.
This isn’t the most elegant design, but at least the feed tray does have a lid, so you don’t have to put the paper away and close up the printer whenever you’re not printing. HP has also tried to reduce the apparent bulk of the machine by colouring it in two shades of light grey, which makes a change from the textured black finish used on so many of its printers.
Also unusual is that the control panel, such as it is, is positioned to the left of the output slot on the printer's top panel, rather than the right. There are just four LEDs to indicate low toner, paper jams and the like, and two buttons, for paper feed and to cancel a printing job. A single front-panel button turns the printer on and off.
There's nothing very sophisticated about connections on this machine, as the only socket available is USB. If you need it to network, you'll have to buy a wireless print server, though HP's offering costs more than twice as much as the printer itself.
Physical setup is straightforward, though you do have to remove packaging and the combined drum and toner cartridge, pull off a sealing tape and reinsert the cartridge before you can start to print.
Software installation is extremely simple, if you're running under Windows, as the printer has its own driver in ROM and will happily download it and install it through the USB connection when you first connect the printer to a PC. You can still use the supplied CD driver, if you prefer, and you have to take this route if you're connecting the machine to a Mac.
There's not much software other than the driver itself, though you can download a web print applet from the HP site. Support is provided for Windows, OS X and Linux, though the Linux driver is again a download.