12 Color Laser Printers Explored

HP Color LaserJet 2840 All-in-One

The Color LaserJet 2840 All-in-One is one of two MFC color laser printers that made the grade for this article. It's got a somewhat lower monthly duty cycle than the HP 2600n - 30,000 pages per month instead of 35,000 - and it offers faster black-and-white print speeds of up to 20 ppm, though its color output is a pretty pallid 4 ppm at best. Though the color output speed is pretty slow, many SOHO users find this printer appealing because their color needs are limited, and because the 2840 not only offers excellent print quality, its MFC functions also do a nice job with faxing, copying, and both black-and-white and color printing.

With its scanning lid and integrated fax management keypad on the top cover, the 2840 looks like a 2600n with a much bigger lid.

Pricing on this unit is all over the place, so you'll want to shop carefully if you decide to pick one up. Our search turned up low-ball prices at just under $600, while the MSRP is just under $1,000. We think that's a lot to pay for a color laser with such slow color output, but you'll have to decide if the great print quality and other convenient functions, including faxing and copying, outweigh this disadvantage.

The input tray in this unit holds 375 pages (125 pages in a multipurpose tray and 250 pages in an input tray) for a bit more capacity than the 2600n, and a second 250-page paper tray is also available for $150. The HP 2840 also comes equipped with 96 MB of RAM, and can be upgraded to a maximum of 224 MB with the addition of a 128 MB module (100-pin SDRAM DIMM; available on the aftermarket for around $41).

The 2840 is pretty big and bulky, like so many other laser printers. Its dimensions are 19.6" x 20.9" x 22.4" (49.79 cm x 53.09 cm x 56.90 cm), and it weighs a hefty 75.3 lb (34.23 kg). Consumables run $83 for a 5000-page black cartridge, $100 for a 4,000-page CMY color cartridge, and $74 for a 2,000 page-CMY color cartridge. A single-pass 4-color image drum that can produce 5,000 color and up to 20,000 black-and-white pages costs $174. Like most laser printers, the 2840 gets good scores for text output, but unlike most other color lasers, the 2840 also does a pretty good job with color images, especially when printed on glossy photo stock.

If you can handle a color laser that performs more like a color inkjet, the 2840 may be just the printer for you. If you can overlook its slow performance, you can't help but be happy with its output, for everything from text documents to color photos.

  • gorbehnare
    I was kind of disappointed to see this article completely ignores that these printers employ different Colour Laser printing technologies. In terms of the cost of ownership and cost of print per page different technologies make a huge difference.

    This information can be found anywhere and this article is only good as a list of products that are available in the market and nothing more.
  • exceltoner
    Thank you for info. Do you know if this printer is compatible with a Mac?

    toner cartridge
  • I Have owned the Dell 3110cn Printer for about 7 years and it has been the best, most trouble free piece of hardware I have ever purchased. I was completely fed up with dealing with clogged up inkjet printheads, and walking around with purple hands. I bought the Dell Laser for around $379.00 and the only thing that I have replaced are the toner carts, of which I am on my third set. This Printer is bullet proof, and as a bonus it prints very acceptable color photos in high quality mode. Mine has paid for itself over and over and over with zero problems.