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HP LaserJet 4200 review: HP LaserJet 4200

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The Good Excellent text speed; first-rate technical support resources; fine print quality.

The Bad Slow print speed for mixed text/graphics; no USB support; printed documentation lacks some detail.

The Bottom Line HP's LaserJet 4200n offers small businesses impressive print quality and relatively fast speeds at a good price. Those who print graphics-intensive documents, though, should look for a faster model.

7.6 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Support 8

Hewlett-Packard's LaserJet 4200n is one of the more basic of the company's monochrome laser printers for busy or medium-size offices. It has the same engine and print resolution as its siblings but with 16MB of additional memory over the 4200 base model and an internal print server. While it produces impressive print quality and mostly fast speeds, however, its mixed text/graphics printing is agonizingly slow. The design of its multilanguage user guide also makes even simple processes challenging to follow. Still, small departments or businesses on a budget will appreciate the 4200n's fast and accurate text production.

The Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 4200n offers a simple, no-nonsense design. Measuring 16.4 inches wide by 16.9 inches deep by 14.4 inches high, it is an approximate cube. At 45 pounds (minus toner cartridge and paper), it still takes two people to move it around, but it's 10 pounds lighter than the hernia-inducing Xerox Phaser 4400N.

The printer's connectivity is as basic as it gets for an office printer. It comes with the old standby, an IEEE 1284-compatible parallel interface, but no cable is included, though HP will sell one to you. It also lacks the USB port that you can find on other printers in this class. The LaserJet 4200n includes the HP JetDirect EIO internal print server for Fast Ethernet 10/100BaseTX, and room for one additional network card; an Ethernet upgrade costs $320, while a token-ring connection costs an additional $600.

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Front-panel controls are as straightforward as the three indicator lights marked Attention, Data, and Ready.
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The LaserJet 4200n's parallel port requires a Centronics 36-to-25-pin cable rather than the more common 25-to-25-pin version.

Controls on the front panel are simple: One button pauses, and the other button cancels a job. Two arrow buttons let you scroll through menu options, such as paper handling, configuring the device, checking diagnostics, and so on. A third button lets you make a choice, and a fourth lets you undo it, moving back up a menu level. For questions about menu selections, there's even a question (?) button. The power control is on the printer's left side. There are three indicator lights marked Attention, Data, and Ready.

We don't recommend placing the LaserJet 4200 directly next to a workstation. It emits a soft, low-pitched hum when powered but inactive, but during a print job, the sheet-delivery mechanism becomes very noisy.

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