HP's latest 2605dtn colour laser printer is slightly tall, which means you don't need a very deep desk to accommodate it, but definitely a sturdy one, and you still need to make accommodations for the power cable that protrudes from the rear.
- Easy to install toner cartridges, decent quality.
- Prints slowly.
The 2605dtn prints a little slowly, but the quality is excellent and we like its features. It's also very easy to maintain, so if you're looking for a decent colour laser for the office, this one is well worth checking out.
Price$ 1,099.00 (AUD)
Its toner cartridges are easy to install in their vertical arrangement and are accessible from the front of the unit. Each colour toner cartridge costs $140.95, while the black one costs $129.95. The page yield is stated as being 2000 pages at 5 per cent coverage for each colour toner, and 2500 for the black toner. A colour print job will cost just over 26 cents per page at this coverage, but realistically, the cost per page of a typical colour print job may be higher. The 2605dtn does not have any other consumables to worry about apart from the toners and it has a duty cycle of up to 35,000 pages per month, which should be more enough for a medium sized office's workload.
Document processing is taken care of by the printer's PCL and PostScript Level 3 languages and it has 64MB of memory in which to store data for printing. In our tests the printer produced sharp, dark, black text that was very easy on the eyes. Its red, blue and green colour output was neutral and looked good on our test documents. Its photo output was very nice for a laser printer and it managed to complete full-page prints in less than 40 seconds. While the 600dpi resolution doesn't fare well against a decent inkjet printer, the quality of its photo prints was acceptable and actually sharper than we expected. Colour tones, as mentioned previously, were neutral and not overly rich. We printed our photos on plain paper, but the 2605dtn will accept thicker media types, too.
The speed at which it printed a typical four-page text document was 42 seconds, while it took 53 seconds to print four pages of text littered with different fonts, sizes, formatting and colour highlights. These speeds are slow, but the overall quality is worth the wait.
One feature that will save you time, however, is the automatic duplex unit. This will allow you to print on both sides of the paper without having to wait around and re-feed paper back into the printer in order to print on the other side. Using the same four-page documents mentioned previously, the printer took 57 seconds and 1min 03sec, respectively.
Connectivity can be either to a single PC via the printer's USB port, or you can use the included print server and 10/100 Ethernet port to hook it up to a network. For a medium-sized office, the paper handling capacity is ample: it can store up to 500 sheets in its two input cassettes, which sit at the base of the unit, and up to 125 sheets can be left in the output tray before it starts to overflow.
This is also one of the few colour laser printers on the market to have a memory card reader built into it, which facilitates direct printing from xD, SD, CompactFlash and MemoryStick cards. As the printer only has a two-line LED display and a three-button control panel, you must print an index page first and then select the number of the photo that you want to print. A two-page photo index took the unit well over 90 seconds to process and print, but subsequent full-page photos printed out in between 30 and 60 seconds. It's quite a simple menu system that allows you to select the specifics for your job, such as the photo size, page size and paper type. We like this feature and think it will be handy in situations where photos need to be printed quickly and conveniently without having to load them up on a computer.
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