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Hewlett Packard LaserJet 5P
Laser Printer
by Jim Bennett (January 1997)

This unit was introduced during 1995 as a high quality monochrome printer for smaller/ medium offices and personal use. It had a suggested $1,109 list price with a street price under $900. It offers razor sharp 600 dpi resolution with 6ppm printing. The unit's Resolution Enhancement Technology (RET) seems to increase the resolution beyond 600dpi in different printing tasks, except photographs.

Text, gray scale, graphs, line art and etc. are absolutely first class, but photographic reproduction is poor. A 250 sheet paper tray, along with a front tray for another 100 sheets or 20 envelopes has performed without any feeder problems. Also, the unit has 2MB of RAM standard and is upgradable to 18MB for quicker processing. I recommend this upgrade. It also has an IrDA complaint infrared port for easy wireless printing.

The compact 5P measures only 16x17.5x8 inches tall and weighs less than 25 pounds. Inside, the HP engine, with a 12,000 page monthly duty cycle and Motorola RISC processor, actually achieves 6ppm and seems robust enough to deliver long term trouble free operation. The sleep mode uses only 5 watts and is certified Energy Star compliant. Also, the EconoMode draft printing function is a toner saver and is handy.

Printer set up was truly Plug and Play as I had no problems during installation. It truly was designed with end users in mind. A visual set up and key features/benefit guide may help the very busy or technically challenged. Some smart design advancements include use of compression technology to achieve true 600dpi. High density, bi-directional parallel cables make printing seem faster. Usable Windows utilities and these cables have virtually eliminated the control panel and associated annoyances. A good design that is easy to use.

This a handsome, convenient, stable, trouble-free and reliable laser printer, for the typical smaller business consumer, needing only a few minor improvements for HP's consideration. These could include a front mounted on-off switch, perhaps sturdier fold out panels, though none have broken yet, faster printing speed and more competitive pricing since the market is becoming crowded. It would be a shame for users to miss such a fine product based on price alone. I highly recommend it for those wanting to go "first class".

Pros
High Quality text and line art graphics
Trouble free operation
Easy to Use

Cons
Expensive
Expensive toner cartridges
Requires RAM upgrade for serious work
Poor photographic reproduction

Copyright 1997 Jim Bennett All rights reserved.

   
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