HP's $800 Color Laser
At a Glance
Hewlett-Packard's lowest-priced color laser printer ever, the
I compared the 1500L's output with prints from some of our top-rated color lasers, and with prints from Minolta-QMS's $699
In additional tests, the LaserJet 1500L printed text at 10.9 pages per minute and color graphics at 2.2 ppm--comparable to the speeds of other budget color laser printers.
Notwithstanding its numerous printing strengths, the 1500L has some notable weaknesses. Like most low-priced lasers, the unit ships with a weaker processor and less on-board memory than high-end units do, relying on the computer to process and render pages (fortunately, most of today's PCs have plenty of power to spare). Also, you get no ethernet port (only USB 2.0), so sharing requires Windows networking or a print server.
Most frustrating, however, is the unit's wimpy fold-out paper tray, which projects a full 10 inches into your desk space while holding only a scant 125 sheets. Unfortunately, to upgrade to the 250-sheet drawer you must pay another $300, wiping out the attractive price.
For HP loyalists who don't object to refilling the paper tray repeatedly, the 1500L represents a decent value. But I'd recommend the Minolta-QMS Magicolor 2300W for everyone else; it combines slightly better output and a 200-sheet paper tray at a lower price.