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HP LaserJet Pro CP1025 Color Review

Verdict

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Pros

  • Good quality colour graphics
  • Small desktop footprint
  • Low purchase price

Cons

  • Horrendous running costs
  • Low colour print speed
  • No paper tray cover

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £124.68
  • Good text and graphics for price
  • Clean and attractive lines
  • Wide range of supported platforms
  • Very compact print engine
  • Novel toner selection system

Colour laser printers continue to get smaller and the strapline ‘smallest in the world’ is currently flipping between manufacturers. Judging by the LaserJet Pro CP1025 Color (yes, it’s the American spelling), we think Dell still deserves it for its 1250c, but that and the Xerox Phaser 6000V/B are based on LED engines, while this machine appears to still be a laser printer.


The machine is cased in textured black and high-gloss white and has a fixed paper tray projecting from the front of the machine, which increases its front to back depth. The paper tray, which can take up to 150 sheets, feeds to an indent in the top cover, which has a flip-forward support, so pages don’t slide off the front.


Controls are simple, with four illuminated pushbuttons for the different toners, two for paper feed and job cancel and a couple of extra lights for power and error conditions.


When you press the toner buttons, the printer rotates its carousel so that the corresponding toner cartridge is positioned at the top, where you can replace it. You gain access by flipping up the top cover, but you can also open the front cover to get at the single photoconductor drum.


At the back of the printer is a single USB socket, though there’s a version of the printer – the LaserJet Pro CP1025nw – which has both cabled and wireless network connections and appears to cost very little more, at Internet prices.


Software supplied with the printer comprises little more than a driver, though this is available under Windows and OS X, as usual. In addition, HP supports Debian, Fedora, Linpus, Red Hat, SuSE and Ubuntu flavours of Linux, and Solaris.

Despite its compact dimensions, the LaserJet Pro CP1025 Color is, as mentioned, a carousel-based printer. This is an older design and has the disadvantage of printing colour pages at roughly a quarter of the speed it can handle black text. This is because it builds up an image of the page by rotating a carousel of toner cartridges and laying colours onto a transfer belt, one after the other.


HP claims 16ppm for black print and 4ppm for colour and we saw a maximum speed of 13.0ppm printing black, which is not that far off the headline figure. That was on our 20-page text print, though, and the more typical, 5-page print gave 8.8ppm, little more than half the spec.


The five-page black text and colour graphics document returned a speed of 3.3ppm, which is again not that far off the claim, but it’s pretty slow overall. Compare it with speeds for the Dell 1250c or the Xerox Phaser 6000, both of which managed 6.7ppm, and you can see it’s pretty slow. However, a 15 x 10cm photo on A4 paper took 12s, which is nippy by most standards.


The printed output, with the default resolution of 600dpi, is sharp and clean, belying the low asking price of the machine. Colour graphics are also clear and bright, with a good range of captivating colours and excellent registration of black text on a colour background. Our colour photo print is not so good, showing a slight colour cast away from red and losing detail in darker areas of the image.


Running costs come in two parts, the toner cartridges and the single photoconductor drum. Toner is only available at one yield level, which is fairly low, though not that untoward for an entry-level printer. Black should give 1,200 ISO pages, while each of the colours are rated at 1,000.


At the current level of consumable costs online, we calculate costs per page of 4.8p for black and 18.5p the colour. We marked the Dell and Xerox machines down for their stupidly high page costs, but these are higher, a full penny per page higher in the case of black print. At these rates, it would be cheaper to take your printing to a copy shop, even throwing in the power for your Segway.

Verdict


The LaserJet Pro CP1025 Color is another example of an entry-level colour page printer that has a lot going for it, but is ruined by a marketing decision to charge over the odds for consumables. These prices are just much too high, particularly when you compare them with costs for equivalent ink-jet printers, which have a lower asking price and still offer to print black pages for under 3p and colour for half the page rate this machine can manage.


Trusted Score

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Score in detail

  • Print Speed 7
  • Features 7
  • Value 4
  • Print Quality 9

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