HP LaserJet M1522n review
The HP LaserJet M1522n offers mono laser printing, mono copying and scanning for just £156. It combines the fast and fuss-free document printing of a mono laser, along with the convenience of a photocopier, making it perfect for a small home office; but with most multifunction devices in our recent reviews using inkjet technology, we were keen to see how an affordable laser would compete.
For a start, printing is inevitably cheaper than an inkjet. The HP toner cartridge costs £38 (www.misco.co.uk), and has the fuser, belt, drum and toner integrated to ensure the best possible quality. However, in laser terms lifespan is poor at just 2,000 pages, and it comes with an even smaller 1,000-page starter cartridge in the box. Even without this the cost per page of around 2p is higher than all of the standalone mono lasers in our recent Labs.
Print quality is excellent for both text and graphics, even if the former is likely to be its main use. Thanks to HP’s spherical toner technology blocks of colour exhibit fine detail and black areas are suitably deep and solid. That it manages this at a rate of 22ppm is even better news, putting it right up with the quickest budget mono lasers we’ve seen.
The scanner follows suit, with equally impressive speeds. Quality was reasonable in our tests, although certainly not on a par with the best we’ve seen. This has a knock-on effect for copying, meaning images in particular don’t come out quite as crisply as the original; if you stick to text it’s adequate.
The design is a little unusual, probably because it’s essentially a mono laser with the MFD housing plonked on top; prints arrive from the side on a flimsy output tray. A 50-page auto feeder on the top adds office appeal, as does an ethernet port for network printing.
The plethora of buttons on the front panel is probably of more use on the fax-equipped M1522nf (£170), but this basic version shares the same two-line LCD screen; it’s a little cramped but not too difficult to navigate.
ReadIRIS OCR is included in the box, and HP’s instant-on technology gives a first page in under 9 seconds, making the M1522n a versatile and affordable choice for a small home office. Medium to high-yield offices will find it uneconomical to run, but if you don’t print a great number of pages it offers an interesting alternative to cheaper, but slower, inkjet all-in-ones.