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Color Laser Printers: Fast and Affordable!

HP LaserJet 2600n

Designed for HP by Canon, the LaserJet 2600n is without a doubt the most astounding one-pass laser color printer. However, while its price is low for a one-pass model, its overall cost per page is incredibly high. This limits its advantages for business use, despite the fact that it comes with a network port as standard equipment.

Ergonomics And Functions

Many people will be attracted to the LaserJet 2600n's relatively small size and weight. At 40 lbs (18 kg), it's a real lightweight compared to the competition. Its architecture, which puts all the cartridges on the top, considerably simplifies the paper path during printing, which reduces the risk of paper jams.

Printing Speed

Thanks to its one-pass technology and Instant-On Fusing, the LaserJet 2600n is particularly at ease with small color documents. It can put out three or four pages in twenty or so seconds, while other printers are still in their warm-up phases. On the other hand, the 8 ppm printing engine was a little slow with monochrome output. It took three times as long to print 20 pages of text as some other models.

Print Quality

A lot of progress has clearly been made with the driver, compared to the first version of this printer, which we tested last year. This time around the colors were fairly accurate overall, and we noted very good reproduction of contrast on documents with a lot of black.

Cost Per Page

Since HP doesn't offer high-capacity cartridges for its LaserJet 2600n, and since the price recently increased by more than 20%, its cost per page was by far the highest of all the printers we tested: 5 cents for a black page and 22 cents for a color page. But ironically, on this model, that's not of major importance. Since the combined cost of the four cartridges is actually higher than that of the printer itself, it's actually better to replace the whole printer when the cartridges are empty. This also gives you the benefit of a fresh warranty.


The LaserJet 2600n will be especially attractive to those who need to print black as much as color. At low printing volumes, however, the high cost per page and limited capacity of the cartridges don't make it very economical to use. Its network port and Instant-On Fusing technology make it ideal for a small organization working in a group.

  • veffari
    I honestly don't feel any closer after going through this interview. Consumer-end color laser printers have their real limitations. I have one (Minolta) that's been very useful for years but not useful enough.
    How about sticking an envelope in the printer. What happens then, does it come out wrinkled? Does the text get evenly put on? Or a cardstock, does the printer handle it and what weights and types? Does the cardstock come out bent? Do the printers handle vellum paper, transparencies, do they have to be hand-fed or does the printer jam when the user gets more creative than your average office drone?
    Is the program interface quick and easy to understand or a time-eater?
    I feel the reviewers should get a little more creative here. A review measuring speed is ok, but in reality versatility is more important than a sceond or two here or there on paper outputs. It makes no real-world difference if one machine does 23 seconds or the other 24 seconds, really. Unless were talking 1 minute per page vs 45 seconds: In the end, is the machine going to print nice brochures that have not to bright colors or certain colors that become to vivid and muddy? Or is it just good for a quick presentation for an informal meeting? Does it easily perform on commonly found laser copy paper? Is it easy to calibrate colors with Photoshop? Do you recommend certain paper types that produce beautiful results and guide us to who makes them so we can use the machine better after we buy it on your recommendation?
    And how about doing a review on professional level color laser printers? Like $1000-$4000 models. Some of those have really amazing qualities in text and photos, but I'd like to know how they compare. After all my dozen broken inkjets I realized long time ago they are there to perform temporarily and designed to not really be workhorses.
    So how does it last? Does the printer last and does the output last? Do you put printouts in the sun, on the radiator, or spray steam on them for humidity simulation and such?
    The output image files are a bit confusing and could be expanded on. Side by side comparisons where the reviewer notices differences. Not just stick them in the article.
    Boy, I have more questions after reading the review than when I started reading. Much of the info is in semi-techno or owners manual style. It would be nice to get beyond it and TEST the machines and have strong opinions and say why.