While these speeds are not up to the manufacturer’s claims, they’re reasonable for a workgroup printer. The first-page-out time of 10 seconds – assuming the machine is not in sleep mode – is good and matches HP’s spec.
Print quality is dependent on the type of page you’re printing. Text print is good; neither too dense nor too light and there’s no sign of toner spatter. Colour graphics are also bright and clear, partly due to HPs patented Color Sphere toner. Areas of colour fill are dense and there’s no sign of banding, though colours are, if anything, a little over-bright.
Photo reproduction, never a laser strong point, is no better than average, with colours looking over-vivid and colour gradations not particularly smooth. Although we always test printers with their default settings for colour, we did try out the Digital Imaging facilities within the HP driver. Far from seeing much improvement in our test image, both automatic and manual settings appeared to make the image look less natural. They will obviously need careful use.
Each photoconductor and toner cartridge is good for 7,500 pages at 5 per cent cover, so they won’t need changing that often, but the image transfer belt and fuser unit are also consumables, as they have service lives of 120,000 and 150,000 pages, respectively.
When you add up all the separate consumables, you get a black page cost of 1.87p, which sits pretty much in the middle of the range. You might expect it to be lower, given the asking price of the HP machine. The colour print cost, which comes out at 7.04p, matches that of the Kyocera Mita FS-C1015N – quite a feat, as Kyocera Mita uses a lifetime print engine.
The Color LaserJet 4005n does pretty much what you’d expect of a workgroup colour laser. It prints fast and with fair quality, particularly for business graphics. Its high duty cycle and good network support make it an ideal vehicle for heavy office use, but we still wonder why it itself has to be quite so big and heavy.
It’s worth noting that the price quoted here, from the PC World Business site, is around £150 lower than any other we could find. While there’s no indication this is a special offer, if you’re considering this machine it would probably be as well not to hang around.