HP rates the machine at 12ppm for black and 8ppm for colour print, but we couldn't match even these fairly modest speeds. Our five-page black text print took 49s, giving a speed of 6.1ppm and increasing the length of the document to 20 pages only increased the speed to 9.7ppm. Our five-page black text and colour graphics test took 1:01, a speed of 4.9ppm.
Given the asking price of this printer, which admittedly is the RRP, as it's not available for discount, yet, these speeds look low in comparison with likely rivals. It's perhaps a ‘trip to the water cooler’ machine, if not a ‘go and make a coffee’ one.
The print quality is good, with clean, dense black text, even at small point sizes. The only resolution of the machine is 600dpi, though it has resolution enhancement applied to that automatically.
Colour business graphics are also bright and rich, with no signs of dither patterns and no haloing of black text over colour. Results are very attention-grabbing and there's a slight gloss sheen to the print, which some people admire.
Our test photo print suffers a bit from the colours being geared towards general business use and are on the whole too vivid. Add to that the loss of detail in darker areas of images and it's not the best laser printer for photos.
Noise levels are good for a colour laser, perhaps related to its comparatively slow speed and even peak noise levels didn't reach 60dBA.
We currently don't have running costs on the machine, as HP supplied it to us early and costing is not yet finalised. LaserJets with similar colour laser engines, such as the Color LaserJet CP1515n run at around 3p for black and 14p for colour pages, so we would expect costs on this machine to be at the same sort of levels, which are fairly typical in the market.
HP has worked on the ease-of-use aspects of this machine and the ePrint facility may prove to be a bonus for some customers. We suspect, though, that most would value higher speed, duplex print and less need to re-stack the paper tray more highly than being able to e-mail it from the other side of town. Print quality is fine and from previous experience, we expect costs to sit in the middle of the field for this class of multifunction.