HP's B&W Laser Printer Shines

By Adam Stone | Posted October 05, 2004

Low-end mono laser prints may not have the bells and whistles or overall pizzazz of high-end color laser, but these inexpensive printers span a diverse buying audience. Given its size, versatility and functionality, the new HP LaserJet 1320 can serve an individual as a fast desktop companion or — just as easily — a small workgroup printer.

With over 260 million of its printers in use around the world, HP is a safe buy, with a longstanding reputation for simplicity and reliability. The 1320 upholds the tradition, starting with an ease-of-use factor that should make small-business owners smile. For instance, a Network Printer Wizard makes it quick and easy to install and configure the printer as part of a network. Automated two-sided printing increases throughput capacity, while integrated technology measures and reports print cartridge levels and usage information.

If we haven't said it before, we'll say it now: We love a simplified cartridge system. The 1320's ink cartridges feature a single-piece, no-shake design that install easily.

Enhanced Productivity
The 1320 printer also offers a number of components that enhance productivity and frees up the business owner to worry about things other than the care and feeding of printers. The HP Toolbox provides a single location from which you can access all printer information, including status, documentation and troubleshooting tips. An embedded Web server lets you easily manage printing functions, as well as view printer and network status.

The HP 1320 readily integrates into an existing office environment since it's compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000 and XP, as well as Macintosh OS9.x, OS 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3.

HP's SureSupply application tracks and manages supply usage and sends alerts when it's time to replace or reorder. An Internet link makes it possible to act on this information with just a few clicks: You can check product information, pricing and purchasing options either from the reseller of your choice or from HP directly. For a time-pressed small-business owner, this kind of capability could be a welcome relief, assuming you make the effort to locate a preferred vendor and configure the software at the start.

Printing in the Wireless Age and Other Options
In a nod to the ever- increasing popularity of wireless networks, the LaserJet model 1320nw comes with embedded wired and wireless connectivity.

Place the printer within a wireless network, and it will carry data at speeds up to 54 Mbps across distances of up to 100 feet. Security features include Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).


The HP LaserJet 1320
HP's compact LaserJet 1320 provides SMBs with reliable, high-quality printing

Other variants in the 1320 series offer a range of extras. The 1320n comes with a built-in Ethernet 10/100 port, while the 1320tm carries an additional 250-sheet paper tray, over and above the standard 250-sheet tray. It, too, offers the built-in Ethernet port.

Quality In spite of its compact design and relatively low price ($569) the HP LaserJet 1320 printer (model Q5927A) spits out up to 22 clean, clear pages per minute. With 1200 dpi resolution the LaserJet 1320 delivers clear text, smooth grays and solid blacks.

Small enough to fit on a desktop, yet with enough muscle to support a small workgroup, the 1320 series should earn a leading place among entry-level laser printers.

Adam Stone writes extensively on business and technology issues. He makes his virtual residence at inkbiz@yahoo.com and his physical home in Annapolis, Md.

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