A compact, mono laser printer with built-in wireless
When it comes to printing documents, the best option in terms of value and speed is usually a laser printer. And with lasers now available for well under £100, they are becoming more and more popular with home users.
Although it's very much a budget printer, HP’s black and white Laserjet P1102w is a little more expensive than most because of its built-in wireless network module. This allows users to share it with all the computers on their networks without it connecting it to an individual PC. The Laserjet P1102w does not support the newer and wider-reaching 802.11n standard, though.
Setting up the printer was a simple process. The lid of the printer flips open and the toner slots in neatly, while the included software CD guides users through the process of connecting it using USB or wireless.
Due to the small size of the printer, the input tray incorporates a small flap that needs to be opened when in use. This makes the printer look a little untidy, but it’s the price you have to pay if you want a compact device.
HP quotes print speeds of 18 pages per minute (ppm). As usual for printer makers, these figures are calculated without taking into account the time it takes for the first page to arrive, which in our tests was just over seven seconds with the printer in standby mode.
Once the first page had been printed, we recorded print speeds of just under the quoted 18ppm. It’s worth noting that if the printer is switched off instead of in standby, the first page will take nearly one minute to arrive.
Print quality was very good, although when printing extra-large text we noticed the letters had some jagged edges. It handled photos and images reasonably well, but as with most lasers detail is soon lost in darker areas.
Laser printers are usually cheaper to run than inkjets, and the Laserjet P1102w is no different. However, with the replacement toner costing £65 and lasting 1600 pages, the effective 4.1p per-page cost is expensive compared with the competition. It’s also worth noting that the Laserjet P1102w comes with a reduced-capacity cartridge that only lasts 700 pages.
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Compact size and built-in wireless connection impress, but it’s fairly expensive to run Good points Compact; built-in wireless networking; fast print speeds Bad points Expensive running; no 802.11n support; some jagged edges on large text
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