Color Laser Printers at Bargain Prices

Printing Speed

Thanks to its one-pass technology and Instant-On Fusing, the LaserJet 2600n was particularly at ease with shorter color documents. In 20 seconds or so, it had already produced three or four pages, while at that point other printers were still in warm-up phase. On the other hand, the 8 ppm engine is a little underpowered for monochrome printing. It took three times longer to print 20 pages of text than the Dell, Epson and Samsung models.

Print Quality

The LaserJet 2550's print quality impressed us, but the same wasn't true of the 2600n. Colors were rather dull, and above all we sometimes noted color registration problems between cyan, magenta and yellow. The grain was also fairly pronounced and shaded areas weren't very convincing.

Cost Per Page

Since HP doesn't offer high-capacity cartridges for the LaserJet 2600n, its cost per page was the highest of the six models we tested. But as we've already explained, that factor isn't of major importance. It'll take quite a while to empty the cartridges that ship with the printer, since HP - unlike its competitors - supplies full-capacity cartridges as standard. And if you decide to buy a full set of four cartridges, you'll notice that the price is within a few dollars of the price of a brand-new printer.


With its one-pass engine, the LaserJet 2600n is particularly well-suited for those who need to print in color as much as or more than in black and white - while it's also true that they'll have to compromise slightly on quality, and it'll be better to stick with documents with graphics as opposed to real pictures. Its network interface and Instant-On Fusing technology make it ideal for a small business working in a group.

  • chrisbak
    Your image (laser2.gif) is an excellent animation of an LED printhead in action. Can I use it in some material I am putting together for Xerox, or is there a copyright on it.

    Christine Baker