So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Hewlett-Packard Australia LaserJet 3030
- Slow printing, bad print quality, slow scanning
Faster, better-quality monochrome laser MFPs than the LaserJet 3030 are available.
Price$ 864.00 (AUD)
The HP LaserJet 3030 is a sleek-looking monochrome laser MFP with HP's signature black-and-grey colour scheme. It's fairly lightweight (12kg), and compact enough to fit neatly onto a desk. The well-designed front panel has discrete sections for faxing, scanning and copying, as well as for controlling the LCD menu. Unfortunately the unit's performance leaves much to be desired.
The LaserJet 3030 printed text at a slow 11.4 pages per minute and greyscale graphics at 3.4ppm during testing. Its print quality was even more disappointing. Our test black-and-white photo was pixelated and had distinct moire patterns throughout; parts of the image showed excessive contrast, giving it a choppy texture. Text looked better, with dark and clean lettering.
Scanning with the LaserJet 3030--using either its software or front panel--is easy. Scanned images can be saved to a file, sent via email or opened in an application. Unlike many other HP printers and MFPs, the LaserJet 3030 comes without HP's Image Zone image organiser and editor. Since this is a monochrome laser printer, we understand why HP would leave off colour image-editing software; but it makes colour scans, so those extra features would have been useful. Instead, HP provides a viewer as part of the scan driver, enabling the user to make rudimentary changes to a prescanned image before saving it.
Though scanning images is easy, a user may not want to use this function: the LaserJet 3030 was very, very slow, taking 56.2 seconds--25 seconds longer than average--to scan our colour test document. The scanned image, both on-screen and printed, looked reddish and fuzzy, as though overlayed with a light film. A print of a page of scanned text looked better, exhibiting dark, sharp letters.
Pedestrian scanning abilities aside, the LaserJet 3030 is a serviceable copier. The unit permits one-touch black-and-white copying on the front panel, where the user can make copies lighter or darker, reduce or enlarge them, specify the number of copies, and change the output quality by choosing text, draft, photo or best photo. Copies were adequately dark and sharp, and a page of copied text emerged in 5 seconds--about average for a MFP.
The unit includes HP Toolbox, a Web-based configuration and navigational tool. The Web pages highlight each function of the MFP and allow configuration of such things as the fax number, fax call report and automatic log printing. Toolbox can also be used to configure the IP address or DNS address and to set up general copy and print settings.
The user can choose from various external print servers--including wireless print servers--but the LaserJet 3030's limited paper-handling capacity makes it most suitable for small workgroups. Its 150-sheet main paper tray is relatively small, and the unit has no paper tray expansion options.
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