Small, compact and relatively cheap, HP’s new LaserJet P1102w mono laser printer is aimed at home users and small workgroups. It measures just 349 x 238 x 196mm and weighs only 5.3kg, making it perfect if space is of a premium. Decked out in an all-black chassis with a glossy front panel, it’s also rather attractive.
Setting up the printer is a relatively hassle-free process. The toner cartridge is accessed by opening the lid of the printer, and thanks to the step-by-step guide in the instruction manual we didn’t come across any problems.
Both USB and wireless connections are offered. If you opt for the latter, you’ll still need to temporarily connect the USB cable up so as to configure the wireless settings; impressively, HP includes a USB cable in the package. Given that many homes and businesses now use the wider-reaching 802.11n wireless standard, we were slightly disappointed to discover HP has only seen fit to furnish the LaserJet P1102w with 802.11b/g wireless. There’s also no wired Ethernet option, which is a shame.
Operating system support is good, with drivers available for Windows, Mac and even some Linux distributions.
Given the small size of the printer, it’s no surprise to find the 150-sheet input tray isn’t housed completely within the printer. Instead, whenever there’s paper in the input tray you need to have the small flap at the front open. This does end up making it look a little messy, although unlike on other models we’ve seen the flap is reasonably securely attached and should therefore withstand a few knocks from passers-by. The 100-sheet output tray sits at the top of the printer and features a similar fold-out flap.
HP has made an effort to keep power consumption down, and when in standby mode we measured a power draw of just 2W, which is pretty low. In this mode, the printer takes just seven seconds to churn out the first page. Start the printer from cold, though, and the wait increases dramatically to over 50 seconds; something that could prove to be a pain if you need to print in a rush.
Once the pages have started appearing the LaserJet P1102w gets very close to its quoted speed of 18ppm; we recorded 17.6 pages per minute.
In terms of print quality, it’s not quite up there with some of the more expensive lasers we’ve tested. On large text (60pt and above), jagged areas were noticeable on what should be smooth, curved edges. It’s not a huge concern, though, and smaller text looks clear, crisp, and just about readable down to 2pt in Times New Roman.
The only consumable you need to worry about with the LaserJet P1102w is toner, but with replacement cartridges costing £65 and lasting 1,600 pages, printing costs are on the expensive side at 4.1p per page. What’s more, HP ships the LaserJet P1102w with a starter cartridge that’s only good for 700 pages. All this highlights the fact that this printer is aimed at those who don’t print large volumes.
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