Monday, 1 October 2007

Review: Hewlett Packard Color LaserJet 3800dn

Following our damning review of the Lexmark C530dn duplex color laser printer, we're going back to our original view that Hewlett Packard offer far and away the best printers in this range. PC World kindly gave us a refund on our awful Lexmark machine because it was blatantly not fit for purpose of sale (it failed to reach most of the specifications claimed by Lexmark). We then chose to invest in an HP Color LaserJet 3800dn instead.

Now that we've printed 25,000 pages with it, we can review its performance: this HP printer is simply awesome!

In contrast with the Lexmark, the HP is smaller, quieter, produces higher-quality prints, is more reliable and running costs are vastly lower. That last point has become particularly important for us thanks to record sales of the OCaml for Scientists book.

Lexmark claimed their black toner cartridges did 4,000 pages when, in fact, they only did 3,000 pages. As it happens, Hewlett Packard claim that their cartridges all do 6,000 pages when, in fact, their color cartridges are doing 13,000 pages! By our reckoning, a copy of OCaml for Scientists was costing around £30 to print with the Lexmark but only £8.52 with the HP.

Better yet, the Lexmark only had rudimentary support for Linux whereas the HP Color LaserJet works flawlessly from both Linux and Windows XP via its own LAN connection. In fact, the printer was easier to setup in Linux than in Windows XP.

So if you're looking for a good mid-range color laser printer with low running costs, look no further than the Hewett Packard Color LaserJet 3800 series!

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