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

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

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.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?