Color Lasers Get Affordable
HP Color LaserJet 3600n
The HP Color LaserJet 3600n printed color graphics faster than any other model and earned high marks for its paper handing. The 3600n has a vertical one-pass engine, which keeps its footprint small. The front of the machine folds down to expose the toner cartridges.
The main paper drawer holds up to 250 sheets of paper. Folding down the multipurpose tray at the front lets you stack another 100 sheets. For heavy-duty printing you can attach an optional 500-sheet bin for a reasonable $300. HP doesn't offer a duplexer for the 3600n; to get that feature you could buy the 3600dn instead.
While text pages in our tests printed at an about-average 13.0 ppm, color graphics arrived at a remarkably speedy 5.6 ppm.
The 3600n's crisp text would have been more readable if it had printed slightly heavier. Large fonts appeared blotchy. Despite accurate hues, our color graphics came out too dark, with unnatural-looking shadow areas. The same images also looked too dark when printed on glossy photo paper, and objects had fuzzy, colored fringes.
The estimated cost per color page is low--11.5 cents. Better yet, HP ships the printer with full-size cartridges that are rated to print 6000 black pages and 4000 color pages--a $501 value.