I bought an HP Laserjet 1020 a few days ago. It sat outside my room gathering dust for a few days; I was worried. I’ve had an HP Laserjet 6MP for the last 8 years and it has performed flawlessly. Would this new printer be any good or has HP lost it. “They don’t build ’em like they used to.” This new printer looks like a toy compared to the 6MP. Heck, that’s the main reason I didn’t bring it. The 6MP weighs in at roughly 25 lbs; this new printer is barely 5, consuming 1/2 the desk space. How could it possibly print 3 times as fast at twice the resolution, printing envelopes and full size images with it’s wimpy 2 MB of RAM?
Well, it does.
The first thing that got my attention was how well planned out the setting up procedure was. From the pretty language-free notes to the amazing ease at which the toner slips into it.
- Driver software: excellent. It clearly walked me through printing double-sided… and it didn’t speak! Those speaking printers still freak me out.
- Speed: remarkable. The first text page comes out in 8 seconds, then 6 seconds per page. Full page photos come out just about as fast.
- Print quality: excellent. Not as good as a photo, or as a color photo but terribly sharp black and white. Better paper might help this.
- Envelopes: Fine. Since it doesn’t have an alternate paper path port, I worried that my envelopes would be all crinkled. It comes out only a tiny bit crinkled and the paper fully recovers after a few minutes. (better than my 6MP!)
- Footprint: tiny! When you’re not using it, you can fold up the front door and it takes up about 8″x15″x8″. Otherwise, it’s 15″x15″x8″, smaller than some inkjets.
- Aesthetic: Nice. Smooth, slightly curvy lines, respectable two-tone traditional beige and dark beige.
- Cost: A bit more than some other printers. I paid $179. Some other stores had a $30 rebate but I was lazy. Some other low-end laser printers are as cheap as $89 but buying the HP name seems to still be worth something. :-)
- Toner life and replacement cost: I think I remember reading that I’ll get 2,000 pages out of the $80 print cartridge. Probably more if I refill it.