Our final test piece, a 15 x 10cm photo, finished in an impressive 10 seconds at standard 600dpi resolution and 12 seconds when we used the enhanced FastRes 1200 output. Six photos per minute is a good speed for a personal printer like this.
Photos themselves are very detailed, at either resolution, though the higher one, even if only an enhanced 600dpi, does give a smoother result. Graduated tints are clean and there’s no sign of any banding, which is unusual in any laser. Tints are a little light and may need to be adjusted down for natural results.
Business graphics are also well reproduced, with a good range of greyscales representing the different colours. Text is sharp and well-formed – good enough for external documents, as well as those used within your home or office. Overall, print quality is as good as from any laser printer in this price bracket, and is better than many, while the combined photoconductor and toner cartridge means you get a new print engine every time you change it.
There’s just one consumable in the LaserJet P1006; a cartridge good for 1,500 ISO pages, which costs around £28 at Internet prices. This gives a cost per page of 3.06p, placing it in the middle of the field of the sub-£100 lasers we’ve tested. The Brother HL-2140, for example, costs 4.47p per page, nearly 50 per cent more, but the OKI B2200 manages just 2.41p, around 22 per cent less.
If you’re in the market for a personal laser printer, the HP LaserJet P1006 is a good, simple machine that’s easy to set up and use, doesn’t cost too much to run and produces very good prints. It has a couple of inconveniences, such as having to open the printer and load it with paper before printing – unless you fancy leaving the paper to gather dust between sessions – but for all that, the main thing people look for in a mono printer is print quality and HP has hit it right on the nail with this machine. Easy maintenance and a quick print response for its class, with minimal warm up, complete the picture and add up to a very good personal printing device.