No matter what document you send to the LaserJet CP1515n, it takes around 25 seconds before feeding the first sheet to print. Whether this is warm-up, cleaning the drum or some other housekeeping, it slows the print process down. Even when it does get going, it's not what you'd call a fast printer. Our five-page text print took 52 seconds to complete, which equates to a print speed of 5.77ppm and increasing the job size to 20 pages still only raised the speed to 9.52ppm, some way short of the 12ppm in the spec sheet.
Printing in colour produced a speed of 4.55ppm for our five-page text and colour graphics test, against a rated speed of 8.0ppm. Finally, it took 24 seconds to print a 15 x 10cm photo print on a single A4 sheet.
This printer uses HP's ColorSphere toner designed to have particularly spherical particles and the pages we produced at the printer's standard resolution of 600dpi were extremely clean. There's virtually no sign of misplaced toner and even at small sizes, curves and diagonals are crisp and dark.
Colours are vivid and bright, perhaps a little too intense in places, though registration of black over colour is good for an entry-level colour laser, with very little haloing in evidence. Even the photo print, usually a source of ridicule for anybody who owns an inkjet, is reasonably reproduced with good shadow detail, no apparent banding and a reasonable colour gamut.
The only running cost on this machine is the toner cartridges and shopping around we found these at around £45 each. With a black page yield of 2,200 and 1,400 for colour, the costs per page come out at 2.92p for black and 12.1p for colour.
These are reasonable costs in comparison with other colour lasers in this marketplace, though if you add up the cost of four cartridges it comes to about £50 more than the cost of a new printer, which is never a good thing, eco-logically. To try and mitigate against this HP supplies ‘starter' cartridges with the printer, good for only 750 pages each. That's one way to get the purchase price down.
If you want good quality colour laser prints and only have £150 in your pocket, it's hard to go far wrong with the LaserJet CP1515n. It does the job well, though not that quickly and has a couple of small shortcomings, but it's primarily the print quality you buy for and you get that here.