HP LaserJet 1012

Quick look: small, powerful laser printer

Price: $199

Phone: 888-999-4747

Online: www.hp.com

HP LaserJet 1012

Henrik G. de Gyor

At the beginning of the year the GCN Lab predicted that a price war would break out among printer makers. Hewlett-Packard Co. fired one of the first shots.

The HP LaserJet 1012 is a tiny printer whose performance matches up with many units three or four times its size. It might initially be a bit more expensive than an ink-jet printer, but you will soon recoup that cost because the toner cartridge will last for several thousand pages. With ink, you typically have to buy new cartridges after only a few hundred pages.

The little printer sits comfortably on almost any desk. It is 14 inches by nine inches, which is smaller than most ink-jets. It's driven by a 133-MHz processor with 8M of RAM. And it weighs only 13 pounds.

At a price of $199, almost anyone can now afford laser-quality printing.

The lab has two documents to test printers. One is a simple 30-page text document, and the other is a 30-page, highly complex, graphical and text mix.

We have seen network-level printers choke on the 30-page graphical document and others take as long as 11 minutes to finish the job.

The LaserJet 1012 packs a lot of speed under its small hood. With either the text or the graphical test document, it could spit out all 30 pages in two minutes, nine seconds. The first page was out of the tray in just 11 seconds.

Quality was good, especially with all-text printouts. You just can't beat laser quality when it comes to text printing. But the graphical print was not as good. The graphics looked passable but had some odd horizontal shading that, though minor in nature, was noticeable. If you figure on the 1012 being primarily a crisp text printer, but with the capability to create average black-and-white images if needed, you should be fine.

The only other negative is a small paper tray. It holds 150 sheets in a lower area and 10 envelopes in a second area. That's a good amount for a single user, but at the speeds the system achieves, it could even serve a small work group.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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