At a Glance
- Fast; stellar design and ease of use
- Highly expandable
- Expensive; graphics output is subpar
- Graphics output is subpar
Buy this printer for powerhouse text printing on the cheap; its graphics quality is barely decent.
The HP LaserJet P4014n monochrome laser printer is tough and expandable enough to handle the needs of a high-volume office. But it’s also expensive ($899 as of May 25, 2009) and demands premium prices for additional components. And on top of that, its graphics quality is pretty dismal. (We have similar complaints about the like-priced Lexmark T652n.)
Performance is mostly strong. In our tests, the LaserJet P4014n topped out at 34.9 pages per minute for plain text pages (HP rates the printer at 45 ppm), which is above average. Graphics speeds were ahead of the pack, too, but with inferior results. Images looked washed-out, lacked detail, and had a rough-looking texture.
The control panel’s clean, elegant design guides you through a sophisticated set of menus and options. The LCD displays up to four lines of blue type, and the control buttons are identified by intuitive icons or labels. Menu options start with a ‘show me how’ category that includes guidance on such typical operations as clearing paper jams and loading trays. The LCD is set into the curved top-front profile, so the printer has to be positioned at eye level or lower in order for users to be able to see it.
Though the LaserJet P4104n is built to push paper, an automatic duplexer is a $275 option. (HP sells the LaserJet 4014dn with standard duplexing for $1179.) The unit does have a sturdy, 100-sheet multipurpose tray and 500-sheet input and output trays. Like the printer itself, the main input tray is built like a tank, with virtually no flex. All of the paper guides are color-coded and easy to adjust. The unit can accommodate four more input trays ($249 each) for a maximum capacity of 3600 pages. HP also offers a 500-sheet, five-bin mailbox with a sorter for $399.
Consumables costs are reasonable. HP ships a 10,000-page toner cartridge with the printer and sells same-size replacements for $173, which works out to about 1.7 cents per page–average for a high-yield cartridge. Still, other high-end lasers, like the Oki Printing Solutions B6500N, offer extra-high-yield cartridges for as little as 1.1 cents per page– a significant cost savings over the lifetime of a high-volume printer. You’ll eventually need to replace the LaserJet P4104n’s fuser and transfer roller ($300 kit), but not until the printer logs 225,000 pages.
In our most recent survey of vendor Reliability and Service, our readers had a higher-than-average proportion of complaints about HP printers.
The HP LaserJet P4104n is a formidable text printer that’s tough enough to withstand years of wear and tear–and upgradable enough to grow along with your business. Unfortunately it’s a bit expensive for what you get.