Several manufacturers are introducing new colour laser printers for the small workgroup. HP's offering is the Color LaserJet CP2025n, designed to print at up to 20ppm and offering network connection as standard, though for internal duplex you need to pick the CP2025dn, costing roughly £150 more.
The printer is styled in cream and black and HP has decided to accentuate its various panels by deliberately designing in obvious gaps between them. The effect is to break up its lines, but it's not an unpleasant look and a bit more inspired than Canon's i-SENSYS LBP7200Cdn, which we looked at recently.
We mention this machine, as both Canon and HP use the same colour laser engine. Although the firmware and page description languages are specific to the two suppliers, most of the other features apply to both machines.
So, for example, the Color LaserJet has a 250-sheet paper tray at the bottom of its front panel with a fold down, multi-purpose tray opening up above that. A second, 250-sheet main tray is available as an option, if you need the extra volume or to work regularly with letterheads.
HP's control panel is a lot more useful than Canon's and includes a 2-line by 16-character LCD display, with a green backlight and five control buttons, to navigate menus and to start or cancel a print job. By default, the LCD display shows the level of toner in the four cartridges.
At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet, though there's no wireless support on this machine. Physical setup is very straightforward. The four, compact drum and toner cartridges are supplied fitted into a slide-out carrier, though each needs to be removed to pull off the sealing strip on its toner hopper. This is the work of a couple of minutes and the machine is then ready to go.
Software installation is just as simple and is all handled by the setup routine on the supplied CD. You get a genuine PCL 6 driver, as you'd expect from HP, and Postscript Level 3 in emulation. There's also a monitoring applet covering consumable usage.
Drivers are provided for Windows from 2000 on, including 64-bit XP and Vista, and for Mac OSX 10.2.8 and newer. Although there's no Linux driver mentioned in the spec sheet, there is one available for download from the HP site.