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HP LaserJet Pro CM1415fn Review

Verdict

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Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £363.00

If you were to be asked to design a new colour laser multifunction printer, what areas would you want to improve? Would you go for lower consumable costs? Less maintenance? Faster speed? Duplex print? We wonder how many of you would say a large touchscreen for control or the ability to e-mail it, directly. Judging from the design of HP’s LaserJet Pro CM1415fn, the last two are its choices.


It’s a good-looking design in cream and dark grey, quite angular, but broken up by some smooth curves to the tray of the 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and the surround of the touchscreen. This is a full-colour, 89mm display with a series of fixed touch buttons down either side, to. It’s very responsive and makes it easy for HP to design individual controls for each of the printer’s four functions: print (including direct USB print and ePrint), copy, scan and fax.


The ePrint function is similar to that offered on the HP Photosmart Wireless B110 and is set to become a feature of most HP laser and inkjet printers. It means you can e-mail a document directly to the printer, assuming it’s linked via its network socket to an Internet-connected router.


You maintain a list of permitted users of the function on HP’s server, which should eliminate printer spam, but we’ve yet to be convinced how useful this feature will prove in practice.


I know we keep banging on about it, but the size of its paper input tray makes a lot of difference to the amount of attention a printer needs, and therefore the TCO. Supplying a business laser multifunction with a 150-sheet paper tray and no multi-purpose slot, as here, is daft. Somebody will have to load the printer every couple of days. In this case, it doesn’t even seem to be a ploy to sell extra paper trays, as there is none listed in the accessories available for the machine.


At the back are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet and HP will also market the LaserJet Pro CM1415fnw, a version with wireless network support. The printer comes with separate software CDs for Windows and OS X and drivers for many different versions of Linux are available to download.


The combined drum and toner cartridges slot into a rack, which pulls from the front of the machine, and are very easy to install and replace. They appear to be the only consumables required.

HP rates the machine at 12ppm for black and 8ppm for colour print, but we couldn’t match even these fairly modest speeds. Our five-page black text print took 49s, giving a speed of 6.1ppm and increasing the length of the document to 20 pages only increased the speed to 9.7ppm. Our five-page black text and colour graphics test took 1:01, a speed of 4.9ppm.


Given the asking price of this printer, which admittedly is the RRP, as it’s not available for discount, yet, these speeds look low in comparison with likely rivals. It’s perhaps a ‘trip to the water cooler’ machine, if not a ‘go and make a coffee’ one.


The print quality is good, with clean, dense black text, even at small point sizes. The only resolution of the machine is 600dpi, though it has resolution enhancement applied to that automatically.


Colour business graphics are also bright and rich, with no signs of dither patterns and no haloing of black text over colour. Results are very attention-grabbing and there’s a slight gloss sheen to the print, which some people admire.


Our test photo print suffers a bit from the colours being geared towards general business use and are on the whole too vivid. Add to that the loss of detail in darker areas of images and it’s not the best laser printer for photos.


Noise levels are good for a colour laser, perhaps related to its comparatively slow speed and even peak noise levels didn’t reach 60dBA.


We currently don’t have running costs on the machine, as HP supplied it to us early and costing is not yet finalised. LaserJets with similar colour laser engines, such as the Color LaserJet CP1515n run at around 3p for black and 14p for colour pages, so we would expect costs on this machine to be at the same sort of levels, which are fairly typical in the market.

Verdict


HP has worked on the ease-of-use aspects of this machine and the ePrint facility may prove to be a bonus for some customers. We suspect, though, that most would value higher speed, duplex print and less need to re-stack the paper tray more highly than being able to e-mail it from the other side of town. Print quality is fine and from previous experience, we expect costs to sit in the middle of the field for this class of multifunction.


Trusted Score

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Score in detail

  • Print Speed 7
  • Features 9
  • Value 6
  • Print Quality 8

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