Big and fast
For a black and white laser printer, the LaserJet P4015N is big, ugly and expensive. However, HP isn't trying to compete against Canon's Laser Shot LBP 3100B and other lower-end mono lasers. The P4015N is designed for businesses that need to perform cheap, fast, good quality and high volume print jobs on a daily basis.
- Job storage functions, blisteringly fast, fantastic quality, embedded Web server
- Extremely noisy, bulky, convoluted onboard control panel, no auto duplex
Although it isn’t the prettiest printer about, the P4015N is certainly functional and will suit businesses in need of high volume printing.
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The P4015N's size is immediately striking — at 450mm deep, it certainly won't fit on shallower desks. The printer is also quite tall. The P4015N does manage to put some of its size to good use though. Its specialty print tray can hold up to 100 sheets of paper and the main paper tray offers 500-sheet capacity. The top output tray can also hold up to 500 sheets at a time, so printing off that debut novel while you're at work is slightly easier.
A key aspect of any business-bound laser printer is its running costs, and here the P4015N excels. Using HP's high-yield toner printouts cost an average 1.8c per page, which is cheaper than low-end mono lasers and makes the initial price point much easier to handle.
The P4015N can connect locally through USB 2.0 or over a network using its Ethernet port. There's no wireless option, but we're not surprised — despite it's proliferation in homes, Wi-Fi isn't as popular among businesses. Sadly, the P4015N lacks an automatic duplex unit, an important feature for any business.
Printer configuration is somewhat convoluted when using the onboard control panel, but all the same administration functions can be accessed through the printer's embedded Web server. Users can configure and maintain the printer's security settings, as well as configure the printer to periodically send status reports to a nominated email address.
There are several job storage functions available, so users can easily reprint documents without having to reinitiate the job from a computer. The P4015N's 'personal jobs' feature secures a job, making it available for print only once the right PIN is entered. Similar functionality can be seen in even basic multifunctions, but it's particularly well implemented here; it's an invaluable feature for a network printer.
Although the P4015N certainly isn't a quiet machine, it is definitely speedy. HP suggests the printer is capable of 50 pages per minute, but we managed to produce even faster speeds during our standardised testing. We averaged 54.5ppm over all four quality settings. The only problem we had is that the computer we used couldn't actually keep up with the printer, forcing the P4015N to pause every few pages. We only encountered this issue over USB 1.1, so it won't be a problem for those connecting over USB 2.0 or Ethernet.
HP offers four different quality settings — a 600dpi draft mode and three different 1200dpi modes, ranging from 132 lines per inch to 180lpi. The difference between the 1200dpi modes is clearly noticeable, with a document printed at 132lpi proving to be much bolder and less accurate than a document at 180lpi. However, at its best, the output was flawless. A text document printed at 1200dpi and 180lpi is among the most accurate we've seen.
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