Low price colour, at a cost? Color LaserJet 1500L

Hewlett-Packard’s lowest-priced colour laser printer ever, the Color LaserJet 1500L, offers high-quality output for small- and home-office users ready to make the leap from inkjet to laser printing. To reach that low price, however, HP had to cut some corners.

I compared the 1500L’s output with prints from some of our top-rated colour lasers. I found the 1500L’s monochrome text crisp and sharp, comparable to the text from more-expensive printers. In colour graphics it matched up well against higher-priced HP colour lasers. The 1500L produced photos that were slightly grainier than those from similar colour lasers, but photo edges were smooth and colour reproduction was excellent.

In additional tests, the LaserJet 1500L printed text at 10.9ppm and colour graphics at 2.2ppm — comparable to the speeds of other budget colour laser printers.

Notwithstanding its numerous printing strengths, the 1500L has some notable weaknesses. Like most low-priced lasers, the unit ships with a weaker processor and less on-board memory than high-end units do, relying on the computer to process and render pages (fortunately, most of today’s PCs have plenty of power to spare). Also, you get no Ethernet port (only USB 2.0), so sharing requires Windows networking or a print server.

Most frustrating, however, is the unit’s wimpy fold-out paper tray, which projects a full 25cm into your deskspace while holding only a scant 125 sheets. Unfortunately, to upgrade to the 250-sheet drawer you must pay another $600, wiping out the attractive price.

For HP loyalists who don’t object to refilling the paper tray repeatedly, the 1500L represents decent value. But I’d recommend the Minolta-QMS Magicolor 2300W for everyone else; it combines slightly better output and a 200-sheet paper tray.

In brief: HP Color LaserJet 1500L
Affordable price and good-quality prints, but a shoddy print tray.
Price: $1733
Vendor: Hewlett-Packard
Phone: 13 2347
URL: www.hp.com.au

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul McNamara

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?