HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf multifunction laser printer

HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf review: If you're running a small business, a multifunction laser printer like the HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf could be your best buy in 2010

HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf
  • HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf
  • HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf
  • HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Large input tray, useful high capacity ADF, good double-sided print quality and fast output speeds

Cons

  • Low recommended monthly page volume, high initial price for monochrome printing

Bottom Line

If you're looking to buy a laser printer for your small business, the HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf could be a simple solution that takes care of faxing, copying, scanning and regular black-and-white printing duties. It's a good printer for small or medium businesses that want to set the printer up and only perform maintenance tasks infrequently.

Would you buy this?

The HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf is a multifunction monochrome laser printer with an inbuilt fax, scanner, copier and 35-sheet automatic document feeder. Its large input tray and high capacity regular toner cartridges makes it good for users that don't want to be constantly refilling paper or consumables. It has a low recommended monthly page volume, but unless you're running a paper-heavy medium business this shouldn't be a concern.

HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf: Specifications, set up and maintenance

At $599 the HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf is probably slightly more expensive than many small businesses would be willing to spend on a monochrome printer. It's got all the features most small and medium businesses would need though, with automatic document feeding for scanning, copying and faxing. Multi-computer offices are catered for with inbuilt Ethernet connectivity, but no Ethernet cable is included. USB 2.0 is also available for direct PC connection and a cable is bundled with the printer. We connected the HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf via USB 2.0 to a Apple Macbook Pro 15in notebook.

A large input tray capacity is an important consideration for business use, as it reduces potential lost print jobs as well as the amount of time spent refilling paper. The HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf's 250-sheet capacity impressed us, although the output tray can only handle a maximum of 100 sheets before problems occur.

The HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf is rated at up to 8000 pages per month, with a recommended volume of 500-2000 pages. Given a competing model like the Fuji Xerox Phaser 3160N can handle 15,000 pages per month, we were disappointed.

HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf: Print speed and quality

The HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf prints good quality documents, with impressively clean text and good gradation on graphics. We'd happily use this printer for long-term archival documents — all of our test prints were consistently clear and easy to read even with 6pt text. Obviously we wouldn't use it for printing photos, but for graphics and text it does an acceptable job.

Using Normal print quality settings we were able to print at just under 24 pages per minute during print runs of more than 50 pages. It generally takes less than 10 seconds to print the first page of a document.

HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf: Consumable costs

The HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf's single black CE278A toner cartridge is rated at 2100 pages, and costs $101.41. This translates into an ongoing cost of 4.8 cents per standard black A4 page, which is on par with competitors. We found the cartridge for $85.70 online, which drives the per-page cost down to just over four cents per page. It's important to note that the HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf only comes with a 'starter' cartridge, which has a lower capacity than one bought in a retail store.

HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf: Scanning, copying and other features

The HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf has an inbuilt flatbed scanner with a 600x600dpi resolution for documents. When scanning colour text and graphics it's able to interpolate up to 1200x1200dpi resolution. It's not an especially high quality scanner and isn't able to capture the same detail levels as a high-end model like the Canon PIXMA MG8150, but for digitising documents and presentations it does an acceptable job. It is also connected to the HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf's 35-sheet automatic document feeder — this makes it easy to scan in multi-page documents without having to stand at the printer constantly feeding in sheets. The HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf's 35-sheet ADF is superior to the 20- and 25-sheet ADFs that similarly priced competing multifunctions usually have.

HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf: Environmental policy and conclusion

HP runs a number of environmental initiatives including recycling of empty ink cartridges. The company's environmental policy claims that it aims to minimise its products' energy consumption to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with yearly goals and updated progress reports.

The HP LaserJet Pro M1536dnf is a well-rounded multifunction monochrome laser printer. Its initial price may be slightly higher than most small businesses would like to spend, but it has advantages when it comes to low maintenance requirements and features.

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