Pantum claims a healthy print speed of 20ppm for the P-2000. Our 5-page test gave 12.5ppm, as did the same test in toner save mode, which isn’t a true draft. On the longer, 20-page test, the measured speed increased to 17.1ppm, which is not far off the headline figure.
More to the point, these kinds of speeds are typical of mono lasers in the £60-£100 price range, so the P-2000 is a direct performance competitor for entry-level lasers from Canon, HP and Samsung.
The five page text and graphics test gave the same speed as the straight text test, at 12.5ppm, so there’s no overhead in printing graphics, even though we would expect the processing to take a little longer.
Finally, a 15 x 10cm photo on A4 took 13 seconds at the printer’s best resolution, 1,200 x 600dpi. That image looks good, for a printer at this price. Greyscales are well reproduced, with a wide range of shades and with reasonable levels of detail. There’s a little, fine striping to pale areas of sky, but few mono lasers can manage a completely smooth rendition of this kind of content.
Greyscales in business graphics are, if anything, a little smoother and there are enough shades to distinguish quite subtle differences in the colours of an original. Text print is clean and sharp, even at the printer’s normal resolution of 600dpi though, if needed, the printer can manage 1,200 x 600dpi.
There’s a toner-save mode, which is no quicker than normal print, though it does save consumables. Print quality in this mode is rather strange. It appears individual dots in each character are switched off, which makes characters with strong ascenders or descenders look darker than those mainly composed of curves. The overall effect is a bit scrappy; you’ll probably only want to use it for draft documents.
Noise levels are quite high, particularly when feeding paper, when we measured peaks of 65dBA, at half a metre. The rest of the print cycle is comparatively quiet, so for occasional printing, it isn’t too annoying.
The P-2000 uses a single-piece drum and toner cartridge, something Pantum has a lot of experience in producing. It’s available in two capacities: 1,500 and 2,300 pages. The higher capacity consumable gives a page cost of 3.2p, including 0.7p for paper. This puts it roughly in the middle of the costs for similar priced printers, so no real surprises.
Judging by the P-2000, Pantum’s first offering, the company is a forceful new player in the laser printer market. This machine is a good choice for a home or student, wanting quality text and graphics and occasional photo output. It prints reasonably fast and costs no more than its main competitors to run. It’s a little bulky compared with its smallest rivals, but comes in with a lower asking price.