By July 20, 2010

HP Color LaserJet CP1515n review

CP151 Not so long ago a colour laser printer was a luxury item even for larger businesses and you’d have to have been a seriously hardcore user to warrant one for home use. It wasn’t just the cost, my first colour laser was cost me around £4000 ten years ago, but the size of the older models was also quite prohibitive. I recall that the one I had was about the same size as a small refrigerator and took three of us to carry and move in to location.

Obviously things have changed a lot in the past few years and like everything else the price of colour laser printers has tumbled and new technology has enabled them to drastically reduce in size. This HP Colour LaserJet CP1515n that we are reviewing for it247.com is not much larger than an multi-function inkjet printer and would probably find a place on most peoples desks at both work or home.

The cost may also surprise you, £180.15 including VAT for a colour laser printer is quite incredible! Oh and don’t forget the £50 cashback!

So does the size and price lead to a quality compromise? Read on to find out.

 

The 10 second review

  • Product: HP Colour LaserJet CP1515n
  • Price: £150.15 (£180.15 and £50 cashback!)
  • Summary: 
  • Best of:
  • Worst of: 
  • Buy it now from: IT247.com

 

What’s in the box?

  • HP Colour LaserJet CP1515n printer
  • 4 Toner Cartridges (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) pre-installed in printer
  • Large user manual
  • 3 CD-Roms
  • UK and European mains cable

 

HP Colour LaserJet CP1515n specification:

  • Printer Type: Workgroup printer – laser – colour
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 39.9 cm x 45.3 cm x 25.4 cm
  • Weight: 18.2 kg
  • Max Media Size (Standard): A4
  • Min Media Size (Custom): 76 mm x 127 mm
  • Max Media Size (Custom): 216 mm x 356 mm
  • Print Speed: Up to 12 ppm – black normal – A4 (210 x 297 mm) ¦ Up to 12 ppm – black best – A4 (210 x 297 mm) ¦ Up to 8 ppm – colour normal – A4 (210 x 297 mm) ¦ Up to 8 ppm – colour best – A4 (210 x 297 mm)
  • Max Resolution ( B&W ): 600 dpi x 600 dpi
  • Max Resolution ( Colour ): 600 dpi x 600 dpi
  • Image Enhancement Technology: HP ImageREt 3600
  • Interface: USB, Ethernet 10/100Base-TX
  • Processor: Motorola 450 MHz
  • RAM Installed ( Max ): 96 MB ( 352 MB ) – DDR2 SDRAM – SO DIMM 144-PIN
  • Media Type: Envelopes, transparencies, labels, plain paper, glossy paper, cards, recycled paper
  • Total Media Capacity: 150 sheets
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 30000 pages
  • Networking: Print server – Ethernet, Fast Ethernet
  • System Requirements: Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Apple MacOS X 10.3, Apple MacOS X 10.2.8, Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Environmental Standards: ENERGY STAR Qualified
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year warranty

 

General

Staring with the front of the printer, this is where you are going to fill up the paper tray and access the print cartridges. The cover on the front opens and a tray slides out with all the toners in a row. On the right you’ll also find the control panel with LCD display. You can change printer setting from here.

HP CP1515 front view HP CP1515 control panel

IMG_1370

 

On the right side of the printer is a small door which opens to reveal a memory socket. You can upgrade the memory in the CP1515 using a single DIMM module.

IMG_1372

 

To the rear you’ll find just two connectors. One is a USB socket so you can connect direct to a computer and the other is an Ethernet socket to connect to the network.

IMG_1374

 

The left side of the printer is rather bare with just a simple on/off switch.

IMG_1375

 

The toner cartridges themselves are quite small.

IMG_1366

 

 

Highlights

  • One of the smallest colour lasers
  • Value for money
  • Good quality prints
  • Quiet

 

Lowlights

  • Complex documents can take a while to print
  • Print cartridges that it ships with are ‘introductory’

 

Review

Having looked at a few printers lately and having my own LaserJet 3700 I expected that the setup of the CP1515n would take quite a while. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. As with all HP products this printer is extremely well packed and as you open the box there’s even an unpacking diagram but it’s simply a case of removing everything from the box and then taking the printer from is plastic wrapper.

Once all the packing is removed one also has to remove a number of sticky orange tabs that hold things in place during transit. Unusually the toner cartridges are already in place inside the printer, all you have to do is to pull the orange tabs to release the toner prior to use.

The overall setup is simple. I decided to connect the printer to the network with an Ethernet cable rather than USB, partly because there was no USB cable supplied, why is it that whenever you buy a printer these cables are never included?! So I put one of the supplied CD-roms in to the computer and followed through the on-screen instructions. One of the first things though was to download the latest drivers from HP as the supplied CD does not contain drivers for Windows 7. Not a big deal as you are directed to the right place.

Having downloaded the correct drivers a wizard takes you though the rest of the installation process and even tells you when to turn the printer on and when to plug in the cables etc.

The total setup up was a little under 20 minutes which included the time taken to download the drivers for Windows 7 and to allow the printer to run through an initial setup cycle so within 20 minutes some of my own documents were coming out of the printer.

The HP Colour LaserJet CP1515n is a really quiet printer considering the moving parts that you find in a laser, it is far from noisy. Quite important for home use perhaps if you are using the printer when you potentially have other people sleeping – something I have to think about here at home.

The print quality of this little printer is very impressive. When you want to print something for work or something important there’s nothing to beat a laser printer for quality. Inkjets may well be getting close but the text quality of a laser just cant be beaten and the CP1515n is no exception. Black and white text is really sharp and clear, if anything I’d say possibly better than my LaserJet 3700 and you can get these sort of results even on cheap paper.

I printed a few colour photos on the CP1515n and while they are never going to be as good as a dedicated inkjet photo printer can produce on glossy paper they were still very good. The colours are bright and vivid and well saturated and there’s no sign of colour banding.

The HP Colour LaserJet CP1515n is fairly large but compared to other colour lasers it’s possibly one of the smallest I’ve ever seen and probably about half the size of my 3700. It’s still quite a heavy lump but as it’s unlikely that you are going to be carrying it around much I guess this isn’t a problem. Overall it’s about the same sort of size as a multifunction printer.

Print speed is possibly one of the drawbacks of the CP1515n printer though. Complex prints with a lot of images can take a while to process and print but even monochrome text documents are not what I would call fast. In our test print a 5-page Word document took 40 seconds from pressing print to the job being complete. Not terribly fast but I guess acceptable for general home or small-business use but some way short of HP’s claim of 12ppm. Don’t forget though that this is also a colour laser printer and they are never as fast as their mono counterparts.

Running costs for this printer, like other laser printers, is lower than the inkjet competition. Toner cartridges cost in the region of £45 each, and there are 4 of them. The page yield for black is quoted at 2,200 pages and 1,400 for each of the colours. This give’s us a per-page cost of just under 3p for mono and 12p per colour page. Not bad but if you’ve done the maths you may have worked out that the cost of a full set of cartridges comes out to be about the same as the complete printer. One thing you need to factor in though is that the cartridges that come with the printer are 750-page starter supplies and also that the actual page yield can vary considerably depending on the actual page coverage of your print job.

 

Conclusion

The HP Colour LaserJet CP1515n is probably ideal for home or small business use and I’d be surprised of these were not being snapped up by schools for their IT labs too.

It’s discrete enough to sit on the edge of your desk without being too much of an eye-sore and I’m sure that the print speeds are more than adequate for the sort of light use for which this printer is intended and the quality of the output, even for photos is really impressive.

HP’s spec claims a monthly duty cycle of 30,000 pages but I’d say that if you are going to do more than a few thousand pages per month you might want to consider a slightly higher model LaserJet.

All in all the HP Colour LaserJet CP1515n represents excellent value for money, you would be hard pushed to beat it!

 

Review by: Matt

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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