Hewlett-Packard Australia LaserJet 3550n
- Colour printer, good monochrome print quality
- Too big, high price
The HP Color LaserJet 3550n delivers decent print quality, especially for black-and-white documents, but it is both expensive and quite slow.
Price$ 2,249.00 (AUD)
The HP Color LaserJet 3550n is bulky, housed in a grey box whose front curvature adds to its sense of inflated size. Unfortunately this model's girth and its price tag don't reflect the components inside, considering it cuts some corners in its networking, processing and expansion options.
The 3550n lacks its own Ethernet port, instead coming with an HP Jetdirect en3700 external print server that plugs into the printer's USB 2.0 port. If you don't need Ethernet connectivity, you can buy the cheaper Color LaserJet 3550, which is effectively the same printer without the print server. We found our 3550n easy to hook up to our network, even with the added complexity of its print server. The two-line LCD isn't backlit, which could make it hard to read in low light. When you're not using the display for accessing the menus, it conveniently displays the toner level.
Instead of PCL or PostScript and a built-in processor, the 3550n's driver uses HP's JetReady language and your PC's CPU to render pages. Since today's PCs have very powerful CPUs, borrowing some of those clock cycles to drive a printer is a reasonable way to cut printer manufacturing costs. (We conducted this printer's speed tests using a Micron PC Millennia 920i with a 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor and 512MB of RAM.)
When we put the 3550n through its paces in the lab, its print quality impressed us. The fine text characters could have been more readable if they had been slightly heavier, but they looked sharp and did not bleed together in bold fonts such as Hattenschweller. Some strangely shaped characters puzzled us, such as capital Cs with dot-like artefacts at the top. Our line-art sample looked nice and crisp; even the most closely spaced lines were still distinct when examined under a magnifying glass. The greyscale image had some minor banding, but none of the moire patterns we usually see, and it showed nice, smooth tonal transitions. Our colour photo looked too dark overall, though skin tones appeared natural. In our speed tests, performance was middling: the 3550n was a little below average for both monochrome (14.8 pages per minute) and colour printing (3.9ppm).
Up to 250 sheets load in the main paper drawer, and the manual bypass tray takes up to 100. The main output bin is on top of the printer, where up to 150 pages can land facedown. A rear output tray folds down at the back to give a straight path for thicker media such as envelopes.
You can also add a single 500-sheet drawer, giving a maximum paper capacity of 850 sheets. That's the only expansion option you get, however. A duplexer attachment is not available. Nor can you expand the printer's memory beyond its standard 64MB--with the processing happening on your PC, though, there would be little point in adding more.
The printer comes with two printed documents, a Start guide to explain the basic hardware setup and a Network Installation Guide. We didn't get far with the latter before it referred us to the Jetdirect Administrator's Guide, which was included as a PDF file on the software CD-ROM. The PDF led us through the installation steps quickly and effectively. A more comprehensive Use guide is also included on the CD-ROM, in both Windows Help and PDF formats.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Why won’t my printer connect to my wireless router?
- How 4D printing is now saving lives
- 3D printing industry to triple in four years to $21B
- Disney files patent for near instantaneous 3D printing
- Never run out of printer ink with HP Instant Ink
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- PTVBA Analyst Programmer - Permanent / Part Time (3 days per week)QLD
- CCJunior Business AnalystNSW
- FTExecutive Sales ManagerNSW
- FTFunctional ConsultantNSW
- CCSystem EngineerSA
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst Finance & Lending - Brisbane Based RoleVIC
- FTLinux EngineerNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCBig Data Developer - Government - 12 Month Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperVIC
- TPProgram ManagerNSW
- CCData Migration Lead - SAPNSW
- TPSQL Server DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Technical Specialist - AIXVIC
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- CCAAA DeveloperNSW
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- CCDevOps Lead - Agile/AWSVIC
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- CCNetwork EngineerACT
- CCFIS Connex Developer (Brisbane Based)Other
- FTTechnology Testing Services ManagerQLD