GCN LAB REVIEW—Printers

Hewlett-Packard Color LaserJet CP3525x

The HP Color LaserJet CP3525x is lighting fast with both color and black-and-white printing, and it has good accuracy to boot

Pros: Fast printing, good color accuracy
Cons: Long configuration process when cold-booted
Color Accuracy: A
Color Speed: A+
B&W Speed: A
Features: A-
Value: A-
Price: $1,299

Seeing an HP printer blaze through our testing documents in near record time is starting to become commonplace. Although you will pay more for this $1,299 printer than any other in the review, it’s going to be worth it if speed is what you need.

The CP3525x crushed our text document in 1 minute, 9 seconds, which is impressive. But it also finished our intense 30-page graphical nightmare of a file in 1 minute, 25 seconds, the best time in the review. Good luck getting a line of people to form behind the CP3525x. It will probably finish printing before you can walk to it from your desk.


Products in this review:

When color matches quality and price
Brother HL-4070CDW
Epson B 500DN
Lexmark C734dn
Panasonic KX MC6040
Xerox Phaser 6280


The CP3525x did extremely well in terms of accuracy. It was one of the few printers in this roundup to accurately reproduce yellow text that was easy to read. It also had no problem properly putting text over graphics, something that often produces little halos around letters. Even straight black-and-white text looked great with a high degree of readability in any font. For normal text, it was among the best in the review, something that will come in handy with all those government reports.

Although it could not match the Lexmark in terms of perfect color accuracy, there were few flaws. Printed colors matched their real-life counterparts, with even tricky and fine images coming out clean when mixed in with other photographic elements.

One secret of the CP3525x might be that it seems to run a cleaning process after almost every print job. We wondered why the printer was still making a lot of noise well after a test had concluded. Most printers spin down at that point and go quiet. But the CP3525x cleans itself up. We triggered a new test right in the middle of a cleaning process just to see what would happen, and it seemed to abort the cleaning to print our file, so that shouldn’t slow you down.

There is a large color LCD screen that shows the status of toner supplies in the unit. That's how we found out about the cleaning process, which the screen showed when the process was triggered.

The CP3525x has no notable flaws. It does take a little longer to boot than most other printers in this review, though this will only affect a few people because most agencies leave their printers powered all the time. Its time coming out of power-save mode is about par for the course.

If you need a speedy, accurate printer and are willing to pay a little extra for it, the CP3525x is the one that should race into your agency. It earns a Reviewer’s Choice for this roundup.

Hewlett-Packard, 800-289-6947, www.hp.com

Reader Comments

Wed, Sep 16, 2009 Skeptical Reader

Perhaps evaluating the 3525dn or 3525n would have not only been a more equitable comparison in terms of features, but also reduced this excellent printers price..The additional $200+ for the "X" provides the additional paper source drawer.. Completely unnecessary.

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