GCN Lab Review | HP Color LaserJet 4700n

RISE AND SHINE: The HP Color LaserJet 4700n wakes up in a hurry to start printing.

Pros: Fast, good color quality, wakes up quickly

Cons: Slightly discolored black printing, not always sharp

Price: $1,999

Print speed: A-

Color accuracy: A-

Features: A-

Value: B+

The HP Color LaserJet 4700n would be just as comfortable in a small- to medium-sized workgroup as it would be with a more active, large set of users. That is because it not only boasts extremely quick first-page-out times, but can also wake up from sleep mode quicker than any other printer in the review.

So if users are frequently printing documents, the 4700n is able to respond with quick-outs. But if there's a lull, users won't have to wait through a long calibration cycle. From sleep mode, it took the printer just 16 seconds to wake up and print a page. That is faster than some printers respond when they're not in sleep mode. And when the printer was awake when our test document arrived, it took just nine seconds on average to spit out the first page.

We detected no real flaws when printing color photographs or images. The 4700n was always in the top three in terms of quality measurements such as output of shadowed graphics, detailed images printed in bright settings and color matching. There was a bit of sheen over photos, which made them look like they came out of an actual photo printer.

In general, the 4700n produced better quality on darker images. Its black text was right in the middle of this group in terms of shading, neither too light nor artificially dark. Standard text was readable and crisp with no jaggedness around letters even when viewed through a photo loupe.

The one flaw with the 4700n was reproducing lightly colored text. On certain colors, such as light blue, the text appeared slightly fuzzy. Yellow was also difficult to read. HP has apparently tuned the 4700n to work at maximum efficiency with darker images. If you had to pick, darker images (black text would also count) come up a lot more in daily office life than light ones. Pie charts, line art and most business graphics come through just fine.

The 4700n is one of the fastest printers in the review. Combining good quality and a reasonable price, it could find a nice home in almost any workgroup, from 10 to 50 people. It's also extremely quiet, a bonus in many offices. Overall, we like the 4700n better than other HP workgroup printers we've tested.

Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto, Calif., (800) 727-2472, www.hp.com.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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