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HP LaserJet P2015 review: HP LaserJet P2015

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The Good Compact; lightning fast prints; overall good text quality; multipurpose input tray is convenient; low per-page costs; 24-7 tech support.

The Bad Encountered a major, reproducible text error; graphics quality needs improvement; expensive relative to some of the competition.

The Bottom Line The HP P2015dn has the right features to make it a good fit for a small office or home office, but the competition offers a better printer for less money.

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

On the whole, the HP P2015dn is a good mono laser printer for the home, small office, or dorm room: it's compact and fast and (usually) produces decent text and graphics. A reproducible print error, however, gives us pause. The Lexmark E350d series is a better value proposition: you get more features for less money along with better print quality and comparable print speeds.

For mono laser printers, the models in the HP LaserJet P2015 series are fairly compact, making them a good fit for cluttered home offices and cramped apartments and dorm rooms. The P2015dn model we reviewed stands 13.8 inches wide, 14.3 inches deep, and 10.1 inches tall, and weighs just 24.3 pounds. The various permutations of the P2015 vary slightly in dimensions and weight due to features such as extra paper trays and a built-in duplexer. The muted light- and dark-gray color scheme gives the printers a plain look.

The main paper cassette pulls out from the front of the printer and holds up to 250 sheets of plain paper. A multipurpose input tray folds out from the printer's front wall and can hold up to 50 sheets of paper, a great feature if you switch media often. Nearly the entire top of the printer is taken up by the output well. A straight pass-through door resides in the rear; to engage straight pass-through, simply open the door. The top-mounted control panel consists only of several indicator lights, a go button, and a cancel button.

Toner options are straightforward for the P2015 series. You can choose between the 3,000-page standard cartridge and the 7,000-page high-capacity cartridge. The former costs $81 and the latter $148. Using the high-capacity cartridge, print costs work out to about 2.1 cents per page for text--a reasonable cost that's in line with other printers of its class. HP's recommended monthly duty cycle (that is, the maximum number of prints recommended per month) for the P2015 series is about 15K pages, so it should be suitable for a home or very small office.

HP offers five variations on the P2015. The base model, the P2015, costs $350. The $400 P2015d adds a built-in duplexer. The $500 P2015dn includes a duplexer and built-in networking, while the $600 P2015x builds further by adding a second 500-sheet input tray. All models come with a 400MHz processor and 32MB of RAM, which can be upgraded to 288MB. For comparison, the Lexmark E350d costs $350 and includes a duplexer.

For this review, we tested the P2015dn, but the print speeds and quality assessments apply for all variations offered because they each feature the same print engine. The P2015dn is a fast mono printer, churning out text at a rate of 22.13ppm and graphics at a rate of 21.29ppm. The less expensive Lexmark E350d bested the HP in both tests, however, scoring 24.13ppm for text and 25.47ppm for graphics.

CNET Labs' mono laser speed tests (pages per minute)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Black graphics  
Black text  
Lexmark E350d
HP LaserJet P2015dn
Samsung ML-3051ND

We'd like to say that the P2015dn's text quality was excellent, because for the most part it was: text was sharp and clean, characters were consistently formed, and the black was deep and rich. At very small point sizes (5 points and smaller), however, we noticed a couple of major errors: the printer overprinted some of the letters, one atop another. We tried to recreate this error by printing a variety of documents--single pages, multiple pages, duplexed pages--but couldn't. The only way we could produce this error was by printing our standard text test page (the alphabet plus "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog"), and the error only occurred with 5 point or smaller characters. Based on our experiences, the printer probably won't make this error often, but it's a possibility. This error is admittedly small, but combined with the fact that the Lexmark E350d is faster and cheaper, leads us to recommend the Lexmark's mono laser.

Graphics prints showed decent quality. We saw a bit of compression in the light end of the grayscale. This was manifested by the photo elements in the print, which were slightly blown out, resulting in loss of detail in highlighted areas. Additionally, the photo elements were grainy. Overall, we preferred the print quality of the Lexmark E350d over that of the HP LaserJet P2015dn.

CNET Labs' mono laser quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Black graphics  
Black text  
Lexmark E350d
Samsung ML-3051ND
HP LaserJet P2015dn

Service and support
HP backs the LaserJet P2015dn with a standard one-year warranty, which is on par with the competition, though you can also pay to extend the warranty. While under warranty, you can get toll-free phone support 24-7, at no cost. HP's Web site has downloadable drivers, software, and manuals; e-mail and online chat tech support; FAQs; and a troubleshooting guide.

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