HP LaserJet 1022n
At a Glance
HP LaserJet 1022n Laser Printer (19 PPM, 1200x1200 DPI, B&W, 8MB, PC/Mac)
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The 1022n would be ideal when easy networking and foldaway convenience are more important than speed and economy.
If you are extremely tight on space and are certain that you need easy networking, consider splashing out on the tiny, $299 (as of 1/13/2006) HP LaserJet 1022n. Once you've stashed the paper tray's dust cover and contents, the tray flips up to turn the printer into a neat box with a very compact footprint. Obviously, this will appeal more to those in a cramped home study or small office than workgroup users spread across an office LAN.
If you print rarely, you may not notice the relatively high cost of each page. A toner cartridge for the LaserJet 1022n costs $70, but HP rates it (using the industry-standard method of 5 percent coverage per page) to yield only 2000 pages of output. The upside is that the cartridge has the drum assembly built in, so there are only paper and electricity costs to add to the 3.5 cents per page you pay for toner.
Despite the printer's size, the main paper tray accommodates 250 sheets of plain paper, and the top of the dust cover doubles as a feeder for up to ten more pages. You have to feed envelopes one at a time from this upper tray, and because there's no rear exit to provide a flat paper path, they're more likely to crease at the edges. I also noticed that some parts of the 1022n could be sturdier, such as the tip of the paper support at the front of the 150-sheet output bin, which snaps off easily.
HP offers no expansion options for the 1022n. It comes with just 8MB of memory and it uses your PC's processing power to do the hard work. Windows' low-level Graphical Device Interface renders the pages, allowing the printer to concentrate on feeding the raw data to its engine. In our speed tests, text pages printed at 13.7 pages per minute, a slower rate than most small-office lasers achieved in our recent testing. Graphics printed closer to the average at 7.6 ppm.
The 1022n produced acceptable print quality in all our tests. Text had dense, heavy type and a slightly fuzzy bottom edge to characters. Some very thin banding was visible in our line art sample. Closely spaced blocks of parallel lines were darker around the edges and faded towards the center. Our challenging grayscale image would have looked better with less banding, but showed a nice balance in brightness and contrast. On close inspection, I noticed that all our test prints had a faint gray coating across the page, despite the test unit being brand new.
The HP LaserJet 1022n is the most compact network printer available; it produced good quality prints across the board, though text characters had a slight fuzziness.