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Unpack the LaserJet 1000 and you're nearly good to go; the printer does most of the work for you. Just install the integrated toner and drum cartridge, plug in the cables (HP includes all of them), insert the CD-ROM, and you're all set--that is, if you're a PC user with a USB port. The LaserJet 1000's first limitations lie in its compatibility and connectivity. The printer supports Windows 98, 2000, Me, and XP, but not Mac or Linux. Plus, it connects only via USB, not the parallel port. At least the documentation is up to HP's typically high standards; in addition to the illustrated Getting Started guide, the online user guide is complete and detailed and provides step-by-step instructions for handling various tasks. The CD-ROM also contains video help for printer error messages.
Simple yet sophisticated
The design of the LaserJet 1000 is sleek, even though it's actually a little bigger than the Samsung ML-1250. Its design is adequate, but it's indicative of more ways that HP cut costs. For instance, the front paper tray is not removable like the one on the HP LaserJet 1200; instead, a faux-green-glass cover lifts up to insert paper into an integrated tray. Unfortunately, the cover has a tendency to pop off easily. The input tray holds a generous 250 sheets of paper, and the output tray (located on top) holds 125 sheets. The printer supports basic media types, including envelopes, transparencies, labels, A4, legal, and executive. For thicker media, a door folds down in the back to give you a straight paper path. And like most low-cost printers, the LaserJet 1000 is host based--it uses the processing power and memory of your PC to manage print jobs, so the speed of your printer depends in part on the speed of your computer.
The driver software for the LaserJet 1000 looks simple, but it actually offers lots of useful features. The four tabs include Finishing, Effects, Paper, and Basics. Each tab has a Quick Sets drop-down list, which lets you assign a name to any set of configurations you've customized for easy access in the future. You can make the usual adjustments to output quality, setting the resolution to 300dpi (dots per inch), the default 600dpi, or EconoMode, which uses slightly less toner. You can also apply watermarks and print one, two, four, six, or nine reduced-size pages per sheet.
The outcome on output
The LaserJet 1000's text-printing speeds were a little on the slow side compared to those of other printers in this price range. While the 8.2 pages per minute (ppm) it managed in CNET Labs' tests came commendably close to the 10ppm speed HP claimed for the printer, it was still quite a bit slower than the similarly priced Samsung ML-1250, which produced 9.9ppm (its rated speed is 12ppm). The LaserJet 1000's more expensive sibling, the $400 LaserJet 1200, cranked out a whopping 11.4ppm. The LaserJet 1000 fought back in graphics printing, though, turning in a blistering 8ppm speed that left the Samsung ML-1250 lagging behind at 5.8ppm. Throughout these tests, we noticed another plus for the LaserJet 1000: its whisper-quiet operation. You'll find yourself wondering if it's really printing.
The print quality from the LaserJet 1000 was acceptable, at least for text, which looked good but somewhat light. This resulted in some loss of detail for letters at seven points and below. Light doesn't always mean worse, however; the Brother HL-1440, for example, also printed text on the lighter side, but letters always looked smooth and legible. Graphics printed from the HP LaserJet 1000 looked a bit blotchy, and we'd prefer to see smoother photographic images.
People buying printers in this price range also tend to care about the cost of consumables, and here the LaserJet 1000 once again does an adequate job. The 2,500-page toner cartridge costs $65, or about 2.6 cents per page (compared to 2.8 cents per page for the Samsung ML-1250). An environmental plus: You can recycle your used toner cartridge by sending it back to HP using the included, postage-paid shipping label.
The LaserJet 1000 comes with the usual one-year warranty. Phone support is available Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, but local and long distance charges may apply. The HP Web site offers the latest drivers, manuals, FAQs, and e-mail support.
The HP LaserJet 1000 is a decent little printer for the money. Users seeking a less expensive version of the LaserJet 1200 should look carefully at this printer's speed and connectivity limitations. And if you're willing to shell out just $50 extra, you can get a faster printer with better output quality in the Brother HL-1440. At least this printer retains other important qualities, such as ease of use, which could make it a reasonable choice for budget-strapped yet value-conscious buyers.
|Laser printer speed|
Pages per minute; longer bars indicate better performance
|Laser printer quality|
Compared to other laser printers in its class, the HP LaserJet 1000 printed text slowly in CNET Labs' speed tests. Its graphics speed was more impressive, blowing away the Samsung ML-1250.