HP LaserJet P3005 review
Cheap to run and yet another solid HP laser, but it's beaten by rivals in virtually every key area.
Review Date: 17 Jun 2009
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £297 (£342 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Go into most medium-to-large offices in this country and the likelihood is that you'll be able to spy an HP printer somewhere in the room. The company's printers, specifically its lasers, are universally popular. And from the performance of the LaserJet P3005 in this group, it's easy to see why.
In a surprising move on the part of HP, we were supplied with the non-network, non-duplex version, so we had to test over USB. Obviously, no right-thinking IT manager is going to purchase one of these high-volume printers without network facilities, so you'll need to add another £144 exc VAT at least to the price above, with the full "dn" version costing £425 exc VAT.
Fortunately, the increased price doesn't have too big an impact on the overall running costs of this printer. Whether you buy the basic version or one of the dearer models, it's the joint-second cheapest printer here in terms of raw running costs, roughly tying with the Oki B440dn. Only the Kyocera FS-2020D beats it in the long run, and after 30,000 pages our basic model will have cost you a mere £560 exc VAT.
That explains the decent value for money score, although the P3005 doesn't compete quite so well with the Kyocera FS-2020D in other areas. Quality, for instance, is worse, with noticeable banding affecting photographs and graphics, and although text had clean edges, at small sizes character formation was far from perfect.
Its speed, too, although well up there with the manufacturer's claims of 33ppm, couldn't quite live with the best this month. The P3005 managed to churn out our 50-page plain-text file at a rate of 32ppm flat, but with more complex material - despite a fairly beefy 400MHz processor and 48MB of RAM - things slowed to 27ppm. Overall, its average of 30ppm is respectable, but it lags behind the Lexmark E360dn and Kyocera FS-2020D.
Despite slight disappointments, the P3005 is a decent all-rounder. It's cheap to run and reasonably quick, if not capable of particularly stunning quality. As befits its heritage it's a solid, dependable printer, but it has one problem: in most departments, the competition is just that bit better.
Author: Jonathan Bray
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