The HP LaserJet P3005 is a great mono laser printer for small and medium-sized offices, but it's expensive. We think Lexmark's E350 series offers a better value.
The HP LaserJet P3005 is a mono laser printer that's all business: it's a quick printer that offers great print quality. With five configurations from which to choose (ranging from $550 to $1,000), you can find the right one for your home office or multi-user office, but the Lexmark E350 series boasts faster prints and is, overall, a better value. The Lexmark E352dn includes a duplexer and is network ready, and at $450, is $100 cheaper than the basic HP P3005, which includes neither feature (the comparably featured HP P3005dn costs $900). To its credit, the HP P3005 gives you better paper handling out of the box and cheaper prints. For the value and faster prints, we prefer the Lexmark E352dn, but the HP LaserJet P3005 is still an excellent, single-purpose office printer.
The HP LaserJet P3005 is boxy, but its bland gray-and-putty color scheme will blend into any standard office environment. It stands 16.7 inches wide, 16.1 inches deep, and 12.2 inches tall, and weighs nearly 36 pounds. (The P3005x model is taller and heavier due to the extra paper tray.) It's reasonably small for a mono laser printer, but may be on the large side for a small home office.
The 500-sheet paper cassette pulls out from the front of the printer. You can adjust the tray to hold up to legal-length paper, though the cassette will stick out from the back of the printer. Above the cassette sits a foldout multipurpose tray that holds up to 100 sheets of plain paper--convenient for small print jobs on less commonly used media (you don't have to swap out the contents of the main tray). The top of the printer serves as the output tray, and a small extension flap helps keep long prints under control.
The control panel is straightforward, befitting the basic nature of the HP LaserJet P3005. A menu button and menu navigation button help you scroll through the short list of menus on the backlit, two-line text LCD. The options are those you'd expect: print quality, diagnostics, and maintenance, to name a few. One we found handy is the "Show Me How" menu, which includes options such as how to clear paper jams, how to load trays, and how to load special media. If you choose one of these, you'll receive a printout walking you through the process (these also can be found in the user guide). Of course, trying to print the How To Clear Paper Jams page after encountering a jam is fruitless and slightly ironic.
The HP LaserJet P3005 series includes five configurations. All come with a 400MHz processor, a 500-sheet paper tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose tray, and USB 2.0 and parallel connectors. The $550 base model, the P3005, ships with 48MB of RAM (all configurations can be upgraded to a maximum of 320MB of memory). The $650 P3005d builds on the P3005 by shipping with 64MB of RAM and a built-in duplexer for automatic two-sided prints. The $800 P3005n builds further by starting with 80MB of RAM, but trades in the duplexer for built-in networking. The $900 P3005dn offers both auto duplex and built-in networking, while the $1,000 P3005x includes all of the above, plus an additional 500-sheet input tray. The low-end configs are better suited (and priced) for home offices, while the high-end configs are geared for small to medium-sized offices.
|Model||Price||Processor||Memory: Standard (Max)||Paper handling||Connection options||Auto duplex (yes/no)|
|P3005||$550||400MHz||48MB (320MB)||500-sheet cassette; 100-sheet multipurpose tray||USB 2.0; parallel||no|
|P3005d||$650||400MHz||64MB (320MB)||500-sheet cassette; 100-sheet multipurpose tray||USB 2.0; parallel||Yes|
|P3005n||$800||400MHz||80MB (320MB)||500-sheet cassette; 100-sheet multipurpose tray||USB 2.0; parallel; 10/100 Ethernet||No|
|P3005dn||$900||400MHz||80MB (320MB)||500-sheet cassette; 100-sheet multipurpose tray||USB 2.0; parallel; 10/100 Ethernet||Yes|
|P3005x||$1,000||400MHz||80MB (320MB)||2 500-sheet cassettes; 100-sheet multipurpose tray||USB 2.0; parallel; 10/100 Ethernet||yes|
When it comes time to replace your spent toner, you have two options. HP offers a 6,500-page cartridge for $129 and a 13,000-page cartridge for $215. This works out to about 1.9 cents per page and 1.65 cents per page, respectively--both very low numbers. The Lexmark E352dn's per-page costs are nearly twice those of HP's: Lexmark's high-yield cartridges average out to about 3 cents per page. While the toner savings could be significant over time, it's not enough to make up for the huge difference in initial price between the two printers (comparing the equivalently featured HP P3005dn and the Lexmark E352dn).
For this review, we tested the base model, the HP LaserJet P3005, over a USB 2.0 connection. Performance should be similar among the five configurations, though the high-end versions may be slightly faster due to having more built-in memory. As we haven't reviewed many single-function, mono laser printers lately, it's tough to make direct comparisons to the competition, but the P3005 is pretty fast. It printed black text at a rate of 23.33 pages per minute (ppm) and black graphics at a rate of 20.99ppm. The Lexmark E350 series of mono lasers edges it out, though, scoring 24.13ppm for black text and 25.47ppm for black graphics (with more features, to boot).
|Black graphics||Black text|
We were generally happy with the P3005's print quality. The text printed up sharp and clean, though we would've liked it to be a bit blacker. A peek through the jeweler's loupe showed some problems handling very small point sizes (three points and smaller), though this is a nonissue for most people. The black graphics print also displayed sharp text, as well as good graphics handling. The photo elements on the page showed good detail, though they were beset by the cross-hatching that most lasers can't escape.
|Black text||Black graphics|
Service and support
Hewlett-Packard backs the LaserJet P3005 with a standard one-year warranty, which is on par with the competition, but you can extend the warranty. While under warranty, you can get free, toll-free phone support 24-7. HP's Web site has downloadable drivers, software, and manuals; e-mail tech support; online chat with tech support; FAQs; and a troubleshooting guide.