HP Color Laserjet CP4005n review

Price when reviewed

The CP4005 range is aimed squarely at small businesses and workgroups looking for an affordable, high-speed colour laser that doesn’t sacrifice on quality. With the base model on review coming in at £699, it compares well with Lexmark’s C770 on price, but can’t beat Kyocera’s FS-C5025N. HP has a reputation to maintain, so does the CP4005n keep up the good work?

HP Color Laserjet CP4005n review

Physically, the printer is a whopper, and the main reason for its size is that the toner cartridges are laid out vertically behind the front panel, allowing colour pages to be printed in single pass. The CP4005n doesn’t include a duplex unit and can’t be upgraded, so go for the CP4005dn variant (£879) if you want this facility. Standard paper handling is spread across a 100-sheet multifunction tray, and a 500-sheet tray to which a second 500-sheet lower tray can be added. Printing costs are economic, as adding together the four toner cartridges with the fuser and transfer belt gives a cost per colour page of 6.3p, while mono pages are produced for 1.3p each.

The web management interface provides good access to the printer settings plus status displays of all consumables. The printer can fire off email alerts if errors are detected or consumables are running low. A handy feature is the ability to set up user and application lists at the printer and decide which are allowed to print in colour. From the driver panel, you can play around with the quality of photographs with tools provided for auto focus, softening and contrast.

HP had no problems achieving the quoted speeds for mono and colour in our tests. A basic 30-page Word document was whisked out in 59 seconds, while our 24-page DTP-style document containing large graphics and colour photographs was out in a tidy 55 seconds. HP also claims a time to first page of less than 10 seconds for mono and 12 seconds for colour, which the printer achieved during all the tests.

The CP4005n impresses with speed and doesn’t disappoint with print quality either. Text is razor sharp, while mono photos show good levels of detail. Colour photographs have a richness and vibrancy to them, and banding is almost non-existent. As with mono pictures, we found the printer was capable of resolving detail in darker areas of colour pictures.

Our colour performance tests revealed colour fades with virtually no stepping, while grey shades using different mixes of cyan, magenta and yellow were faithfully reproduced. Comparing HP’s output with that of the Kyocera showed the latter suffering from inferior detail and a washed-out look to colour photos.

All too often, print quality is the biggest casualty in the printer price wars, but the CP4005n doesn’t fall victim to this as it provides an output quality that belies its modest price tag. Not only that, but it delivers fast print speeds for both mono and colour, and has comparatively low printing costs as well.

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