Color Lasers Get Affordable
HP Color LaserJet 2550L
The HP Color LaserJet 2550L is so compact, you can hardly believe it's a color laser printer. The clever carousel design squeezes everything into a surprisingly small space.
At $499, this unit looks like a bargain. However, the printer sacrifices some common amenities, such as built-in networking; also, it has only USB and parallel ports.
The 2550L's simple fold-out paper tray holds just 125 sheets, as does the output bin. You can easily boost the capacity by adding a proper 250-sheet drawer, reasonably priced at $150. Alternatively, you can add a 500-sheet drawer for $300, upping paper capacity to 875 sheets.
However, if you plan to do high-volume printing, you likely will want a faster printer. In our tests the 2550L printed text at a leisurely 8.6 ppm and generated color pages at a miserable 1.1 ppm, the slowest of the batch.
Text quality was uninspiring. Most characters looked too heavy and larger letters appeared blotchy. Color images seemed a bit dark overall, but sharp.
Considering its slow speeds and subpar print quality, the only reason to buy the 2550L over the less expensive and network-ready 2600n is lower cost per page.