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HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn review

Simon Handby
3 May 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
135.61
inc VAT

This isn't a bad printer, but Canon's LBP6300dn is cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, faster and more upgradable.

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This compact mono laser is aimed at small businesses, but home users will also find it has a reasonable set of features for the money. There's an automatic duplexer for two-sided printing, and an Ethernet port. It's compatible with HP's Jetdirect ew2500 wireless print server, but this costs more than the printer itself – we'd recommend buying a wireless printer in the first place if this is a priority.

The LaserJet Pro P1606dn otherwise can't be upgraded, meaning it may not keep pace with an expanding business. There's a 10-sheet multipurpose feed that forms the dust cover for a 250-sheet paper tray underneath. The correct paper and envelope orientations are marked, but they're hard to read in the dark plastic.

HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn button

HP's install program is a pain, as it requires so much user input before finally asking you to choose the printer model from a list of four. Its test page printed onto an envelope we'd loaded into the multipurpose feed, even though the main tray was stocked with A4 paper.

We found that the feed generally took priority over the tray underneath when the printer was left to auto-select its paper source. If you leave the feed loaded with envelopes or special media, some of it is likely to end up wasted.

The P1606dn is reasonably swift when printing text, but it was slower than many printers to spool graphical print jobs. Including this spool time, it delivered our mixed graphics test at just under 19ppm. Black text was crisp and dark, but it seemed as though the printer had boosted the contrast of photos, making them look artificial. Fortunately, this wasn't as evident in illustrations and PowerPoint slides.

The LaserJet Pro's print quality is broadly similar to the Canon i-Sensys LBP6300dn's, and both printers use a single consumable that combines toner with an imaging drum. However, although Canon provides a 2,100-page starter unit that can be replaced with a 6,400-page item, HP's is good for just 1,000 pages and replacements last for only 2,100 pages. As a result, it's considerably more expensive to run, with each sheet costing 2.5p. For this reason, the Canon i-Sensys LBP6300dn is the better buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Maximum native print resolution600x600dpi
Maximum enhanced print resolution1,200dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A425ppm
Quoted warm-up time0s
Quoted time to first page, mono7s

Tested Speeds

Mono page from sleep time 1.08s
Letter, time to first page 1.08s
25-page mono document - total time00:01:04
Time for 24 pages mixed greyscale 1.01m 16s
Time for two greyscale 10x8in photos 1.112s
Time for six greyscale 6x4in photos 1.016s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, 10/100 Ethernet
Optional printer interfaces802.11g wireless
Size246x387x284mm
Weight7.0kg
Noise (in normal use)6.6 B(A)
Duty cycle8,000 pages

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4/legal
Maximum paper weight163gsm
Standard paper inputs2
Standard paper input capacity260
Maximum paper inputs2
Maximum paper input capacity260
Output tray capacity150 sheets
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes

General

Printer technologymono laser
Language(s)host-based, PCL 5e
Supported operating systemsWindows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X 10.4 or later, Linux
Standard printer memory32MB
Maximum printer memory32MB
Other laser features and optionsnone

Buying Information

Price£136
Price of 2nd paper cassetteN/A
Capacity of supplied black toner1,000 pages
Capacity of supplied drum(s)N/A
Estimated mono TCO - three years light£262.77
Estimated mono TCO - three years medium£685.09
Estimated mono TCO - three years heavy£2691.11
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.printerbase.co.uk
Detailswww.hp.co.uk

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two greyscale 10x8in photos 1.112s
Time for six greyscale 6x4in photos 1.016s