The main requirements of a mono laser printer in a larger office are high speed, low running costs and flexibility. HP's P3015X has the specs to meet all of these, but as any reader of these reviews knows, those specs are often rose-tinted. This printer won't be available in the UK until the first week in September 09, so pricing of both machine and consumables may end up lower than the figures we quote here.
Following HP's latest design trends, the P3015X is full of non-functional, but aesthetically pleasing, large-radius curves to the cream and black panels of its body. The 'X' version of the printer comes as standard with a second paper tray, which sits under the main printer and accentuates the curves. Both trays can take a full, 500-sheet ream of paper and there's a fold-down multi-purpose tray too, for up to 100 sheets of special media.
The top surface of the printer has a similarly large indent, to take the output of large documents and there's a neat, well-designed control panel on the right-hand side, in front of a 4-line by 16-character, back-lit LCD display. The self-diagnostics in the printer correctly spotted that we hadn't filled the bottom paper tray and when we induced a paper jam, it showed a diagram of how to clear it.
At the front of the control panel is a number pad, which works in collaboration with the front panel USB socket, designed so you can print PDF files, though disappointingly not jpg, tif or doc. The inclusion of walk-up print facilities can still prove very useful for quick, one-off prints, though.
Input sockets are USB and Gigabit Ethernet, so the printer is compatible with fast networks straight from the box. There's no legacy parallel connection, though.
This printer uses HP's traditional design of a combined drum and toner cartridge, which minimises maintenance costs, as it's the work of a couple of minutes to slide out one cartridge and insert another.
Software provided on CD consists of a PCL 6 driver, obviously not in emulation, since it's an HP printer, and PostScript Level 3, which is emulated. Drivers are supplied for Windows and OS X and are available for Novell NetWare and various Linux distributions.