HP Color Laserjet 4500 9/10
most people think of laser printers, they think of Hewlett-Packard machines.
Why do they think of HP? Because HP has such a long history in producing
printers in general. Even though HP are one of the most popular makes
of computers, people still think of them as being printer manufacturers.
This HP Color Laserjet 4500 is a big machine. It dwarfs the HP Laserjet
4M Plus, and virtually all other A4 mono printers. Essentially it is four
printers in one. There are several different cartridges in the machine,
black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Whenever, you print a colour document,
each cartridge prints onto the paper separately. Consequently it takes
four times as long to print colour documents. If you are printing mono
documents, you should select the mono setting to ensure the printer does
not unnecessarily cycle through the other colours. The printer driver
has various other setting to tailor the output such as "Gloss Finish".
This adds a gloss finish to documents printed on ordinary paper. You can
also manually specify the paper type you are using (but the printer also
does have an auto setting to determine the paper type). The driver also
supports ColorSmart II technology for colour calibration to ensure the
colour you see on your scanner, screen and printer match. Four pages per
second are printed in colour and sixteen per minute in mono. It takes
a few minutes to warm up, but once it has warmed up, no matter how full
the page is the speed of the printing is constant, unlike inkjet printers.
There are two paper trays, one at the bottom of the printer for several
hundred sheets of paper and a lower volume tray at the middle of the printer.
quality of the output is excellent with text and colour photos. The native
600x600 dpi is not as high as the 1200x1200 available on other printers
but it does not make much difference. Even on ordinary plain paper, photos
look good. They look even better on the slightly more expensive HP Laserjet
paper. The printer is obviously more expensive than an A4 inkjet. However,
you must take into account the running costs are much less, with the paper
and cartridges being cheaper. The cartridge although more expensive than
an inkjet printers, last a lot (lot) longer. So if you regularly use a
colour printer, it makes sense to buy this Color Laserjet as opposed to
cheaper inkjet printers. The quality of the output is different to that
of an ordinary inkjet (since lasers use a dot pattern, rather than error
diffusion), but is still excellent and very precise. The type of output
looks similar to that in magazines.
can buy an "N" model which can be plugged directly into a 10/100
network and a "DN" model which also offers duplex printing by
slotting on another unit (which I suspect would make this machine too
large for most offices). This model prints through a parallel port like
virtually all other printers. A network interface can be bought at a later
date to turn it into an "N" model. There is also a USB interface
card, which should be quicker than the parallel interface (but slower
and less versatile than the network interface).
are cheaper colour laser printers around, it's essentially your choice
whether you'd like to pay that bit extra for the HP. If you do end up
buying this HP, you will not be disappointed, just make sure you're desk
won't collapse under this very heavy machine!