HP LaserJet Pro P1606 review: HP LaserJet Pro P1606

Performance
The HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn proved itself to be a consistent and speedy performer. Across CNET Labs' three monochrome speed tests--text, graphics, and presentation--it posted consistent scores in the 20-pages-per-minute range. It scored 20.5 ppm on our text speed test, an impressive score for a laser printer and even more so given the P1606dn's low price. It was a bit faster in our graphics test, at 22.5 ppm. And in our presentation speed test, it fell just shy of the 20-ppm mark at 19.29 ppm. We were impressed that our labs scores approached the vendor's claim of 26 ppm, as vendors' claims are notoriously exaggerated. Looking at the performance results, however, you can see why the Oki B431dn won an Editors' Choice, clearly outpacing the competition with print speeds of 33 ppm and higher in testing. For a printer that costs roughly $75 less, the HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn fared well in the labs against the top-ranked Oki.

HP LaserJet P1606dn (in ppm)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Presentation  
Black graphics  
Black text  
Oki B431dn
38.16 
33.3 
33.86 
Samsung ML-2851ND
20.28 
21.8 
20.69 
HP LaserJet P1606dn
19.29 
22.5 
20.5 
Dell 1720
11.79 
21.59 
13.46 
Lexmark E460dw
9.96 
25.99 
17.61 

On our print quality tests, the HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn excelled where it matters most for a monochrome laser, pumping out crisp, black text. Text was a deep black with clean edges and was legible down to 2-pt font. With graphics, grayscale gradients weren't as smooth as we would have liked, but the quality will more than suffice for busy offices. If highly detailed graphics are vital to your business, you aren't likely to be shopping for a monochrome laser anyway.

Service and support
HP backs the LaserJet Pro P1606dn with a standard one-year warranty, which includes 24-7 toll-free phone support and live Web chat during weekdays. HP's Web site also contains downloadable drivers, software, and manuals; e-mail tech support; FAQs; and a troubleshooting guide.

Conclusions
Although it couldn't best the top-scoring Oki B431dn, the HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn earns high marks for its abundance of extra features. Smart Install takes the pain out of a typically tedious process, and storing drivers on the printer not only speeds things along, it lets you easily install the unit on multiple computers. Coupled with an affordable price and high marks on all our performance tests, the P1606dn would be a valuable asset for any small business or home office.

Find out more about how we test printers.

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