ProRes 1200 is a true 1,200dpi mode. It takes twice as much memory and so slows printing – though in our tests, not by much – and provides very high quality print for graphics.
Connection via the internal network adapter is also straightforward and shouldn’t cause problems to anybody with a bit of network savvy and a DHCP server in a router or switch. A simple browser connection to the printer offers configuration options and this can be password protected to restrict changes to those with administrator privileges.
With a rated print speed of 52ppm, we decided to add a 20 page test piece to our test regime, as well as the standard five page text document. This larger print job completed in just 34 seconds, giving a measured page rate of around 35ppm.
HP uses an ‘instant on’ fuser and claims a “first page out” in eight seconds, which is what we measured. The text and business graphics test page printed in just eight seconds and the 5 x 3in photo print, using the printer’s ProRes 1200dpi output took only a second longer.
Despite the printer’s impressive speed, you don’t sacrifice text print quality. Text print is very clean with no noticeable spatter and a good spread of weight from bold text to fine lines. Areas of greyscale tone in the business graphics print were a little blotchy, though, with some micro-banding, but nothing to get too worried about.
Fine detail in the FastRes 1200 photographic print wasn’t well reproduced and areas of varied tinting across the sky were noticeably noisy. This improved when we repeated the print using ProRes 1200 at its 141lines per inch equivalent, but was marginally worse when we took it up to ProRes 1200 at its top 180lpi setting.
This is a very cheap printer to run, with its integral toner and drum cartridge the only consumable. There are two capacities available, 10,000 and 20,000 pages at five per cent cover. As usual, we used the higher yield cartridge to determine page costs and produced a figure of 1.14p, way down on most of the competition.
Even with its fast print speed and multiple expansion paths, the HP LaserJet 4350n looks pricey at over £1,100. For comparison, the 45ppm networked Lexmark T634n, with very similar expansion options, costs over £200 less.