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HP LaserJet P1006 review

HP LaserJet P1006
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £109
inc VAT

HP's tiny LaserJet doesn't take up much desk space, but high print costs negate all its other advantages.


mono laser, 16ppm print speed, USB, 194x347x305mm

The LaserJet P1006 is one of the smallest desktop printers around, measuring just 194x347x305mm, although it takes up a little more space with its paper tray extended. Like most personal mono lasers, it’s not designed for particularly heavy use, with a maximum monthly duty cycle of 5,000 pages, which usually translates to recommended use of between 500 and 2,000 pages monthly. This is quite a bit lower than the quoted maximum duty cycles for most mono laser devices.

Typically for a budget device, it has only a USB connection. Driver installation is simple and the setup CD even includes an animated guide to unpacking and connecting your printer. It gets a little muddled towards the end, as you have to allow Windows’ own hardware detection wizard to perform the final step of locating the drivers, but the process went smoothly.

The output tray is just a plastic flap that folds out from the top of the printer. Although it does a fair job of containing piles of printed pages, the first page is usually pushed off by those that follow it. This is more down to poor design than the sheer speed of the device, as the P1006 is rather slower than most similarly priced mono laser printers. It managed just 15.8ppm in our mono text print test, and 15ppm when we printed a set of illustrated business documents.

Mono text is sharp, dark and as perfect as we’ve come to expect from HP’s laser devices. By default, the P1006 uses its FastRes 600 mode, with a resolution of 600x600dpi. A higher quality mode, FastRes 1200, is available using resolution enhancement to fill in difficult areas like fine curves and small fonts. We tried it during our photo printing tests, but found that it produced grainier images and, at 22 seconds, took longer to print two 10x8in photos on A4 than the default 600dpi mode, which printed them in just 17 seconds.

In terms of size, quality and ease of use, the P1006 is an excellent little printer, but it’s not good enough to justify its price – you can get similar results from a mono laser that costs half as much. Print costs are also ridiculously high at 3.3p per mono page. Between them, these costs give the P1006 a Total Cost of Ownership almost as high as that of a colour laser device. Three years’ light use – 100 pages a month – will cost you £211. Our medium use estimate, based on 750 pages a month for a total of 21,000 pages over three years, is a whopping £823. At least its low-maintenance: there’s just one consumable, the £51 CB435A cartridge with an integrated photoconductor drum and enough toner for around 1,500 pages.

If you can find the P1006 at a lower price, or if you could arrange a supply of inexpensive toner cartridges, then it would be a good buy. As this isn’t currently the case and there are better value printers available.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Maximum native print resolution 600x600dpi
Maximum enhanced print resolution 1,200dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 16ppm
Quoted time to first page, mono 9s

Tested Speeds

Mono page from sleep time 1.0 9s
Letter, time to first page 1.0 10s
25-page mono document – total time 00:01:35
Time for 24 pages mixed greyscale 1.0 1m 36s
Time for two greyscale 10x8in photos 1.1 17s
Time for six greyscale 6x4in photos 1.0 22s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 194x347x305mm
Weight 6.4kg
Duty cycle 5,000 pages

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4
Maximum paper weight 163gsm
Standard paper inputs 1
Standard paper input capacity 150
Maximum paper inputs 1
Maximum paper input capacity 150
Output tray capacity 100 sheets
Duplex (code, cost if option) No


Printer technology mono laser
Language(s) host-based
Supported operating systems Windows 2000/XP/XP 64-bit/Vista/Vista 64-bit/7/7 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.3 – 10.5
Standard printer memory 8MB
Maximum printer memory 8MB
Other laser features and options 1,500 page toner (CB435A), £51; warranty extension to three years next day exchange (UG086E), £39, warranty extension to two years standard (UG230E), £12, warranty extension to three years standard (UG206E), £22

Buying Information

Price £109
Price of 2nd paper cassette N/A
Capacity of supplied black toner 700 pages
Capacity of supplied drum(s) replaced with toner
Estimated mono TCO – three years light £211
Estimated mono TCO – three years medium £823
Estimated mono TCO – three years heavy £3781
Warranty one year RTB

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two greyscale 10x8in photos 1.1 17s
Time for six greyscale 6x4in photos 1.0 22s