HP LaserJet Enterprise P3015d

HP's LaserJet Enterprise P3015d is a midpriced monochrome laser printer that doesn't realize its full potential. Though the company touts it as an enterprise model, it's expensive to operate and it has limited connectivity options.

The P3015d performed speedily in our tests. It managed a top pace of 36.5 pages per minute printing plain text, shy of HP's claim of 42 ppm, but still quite fast. Printing a one-page text document took about 10 seconds on average and printing a 10-page word document took about 23 seconds to complete. Its graphics speeds also largely exceeded the average. When the Macworld Lab printed out a four-page PDF file that included both pictures and text, the P3015d consistently took 1 minute and 20 seconds to finish the task and always paused for a few seconds after printing two pages in.

As with most monochrome lasers, however, print quality beyond text (which was sharp and clean) was disappointing: The P3015d's images showed grainy textures and visible banding.

Setting up the printer on a Mac was uneventful and led to no problems. After connecting the USB cable, installing the drive, and selecting the printer, printing a document came easy. If we had to be picky, our only complaint during the set up process is that the Mac reads the printer as "HP LaserJet P3010 series" which may cause some slight confusion, but not much. This printer also lacks an ethernet port, which limits the unit's connectivity. Around back, the printer does have an enhanced I/O slot in case you want to add an internal print server or parallel port. And on the face of the printer, next to the multipurpose tray, is an external host USB port for printing photos or PDF files directly from a flash drive.

At least the machine handles paper the way an enterprise laser should. The P3015d ships with a 100-sheet multipurpose tray and a 500-sheet main tray. You can increase the maximum paper capacity to 1600 by adding two optional paper trays for $150 each. Even better, the P3015d comes standard with an automatic duplexer. The P3015d's main paper tray is extremely sturdy and has well-designed, smooth-sliding paper guides. The multipurpose tray has extensions that telescope outward to support longer media. The extensions are sturdy and that's a good thing, because it's possible to slam the tray closed with the extensions still out.

The machine ships with a 6000-page black cartridge. A replacement cartridge costs $145, or 2.4 cents per page. Predictably, the 12,500-page high-yield cartridge is a better deal: It costs $224, or 1.8 cents per page. That's an average cost per page compared with monochrome lasers overall. The toner cartridge slides in and out of its slot easily enough, though if you're not careful you can easily grab the flimsy plastic fuser cover at the bottom of the cartridge rather than the much sturdier handle higher up. Illustrations inside the printer show you how to remove the cartridge, but the raised black images on a black background are hard to see.

Macworld's buying advice

Although the LaserJet Enterprise P3015d has speed and roomy paper capacity to its credit, it can't compete as well in print quality and the cost to print. It's a decent printer, but other monochrome laser models we've tested in its price range are a better deal overall.

[Susan Silvius is a freelance writer. Macworld Lab's Lynn La contributed to this review.]

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