HP LaserJet 1012 review: HP LaserJet 1012

This printer isn't designed for heavy use. You can't upgrade its 133MHz processor and 8MB of memory, and the maximum recommended monthly volume is 5,000 pages. The paper tray holds 150 sheets, the manual tray above it holds 10 sheets or envelopes, and the output tray on top of the printer holds 100 sheets.

The LaserJet 1012 performed quite well in CNET Labs tests, churning out 12.42 pages per minute (ppm) of text and 12.49ppm of mixed text and graphics; that's just a few pages off HP's 15ppm claim for the LaserJet 1012, and it's a hair faster than the LaserJet 1012's close competitor, the Samsung ML-1710. Printed text showed up sharp and professional-looking, although some 2-point-font letters looked blurry. Test graphics showed even shading with no banding.

It took just a few seconds for a document to reach the printer, and the noise level while printing was moderate but not distracting. The printer cartridge for the LaserJet 1012 costs $69.99, a typical price for printers in its class, but it yields only 2,000 pages, which results in a somewhat pricey per-page cost of 3.5 cents.

Laser printer speed (personal and workgroup)  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP LaserJet 1300
HP LaserJet 1012
Samsung ML-1710

Laser printer quality
•Poor   ••Fair   •••Good   ••••Excellent
 Printer  Text  Graphics
 HP LaserJet 1012 ••• •••
 HP LaserJet 1300 ••• •
 Samsung ML-1710 ••• ••

Support for the LaserJet 1012 continues in typical HP fashion, with the standard one-year limited warranty and toll-free phone support. HP also offers a progressive print-cartridge and hardware recycling program, as well as a trade-in program that lets you upgrade products while receiving the current value for your trade.

Free telephone support for the LaserJet 1012 printer is available 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., PT, Monday through Friday. A call to tech support found technicians easy to reach and knowledgeable. It would be helpful, though, if live support were available on weekends or later in the evening on weekdays.

The installation CD includes a user guide that is printable as an Acrobat PDF file. Illustrations and well-written text describe the printer's features and basic maintenance and offer troubleshooting tips. Online support at the HP Web site includes FAQs, service requests, user forums, and e-mail access to technicians.

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