HP 3015d mono laser
Fast, reliable but expensive
Up to two additional 500-sheet cassettes can be purchased to fit onto the base, at £95 each, making a maximum potential paper capacity of 1,600 sheets. The output tray, moulded into the top of the printer, can hold 250 sheets before needing to be emptied.
Replacing the combined toner cartridge and drum is done in seconds
A control pad of buttons and a four-line, backlit LCD status screen are located on the top surface of the unit, towards the front-right corner. Oh how we love HP printer menus. OK, that’s probably a bit sad, but no other manufacturer makes on-printer controls so quick and easy and intuitive to use.
This is especially helpful since the P3015d is designed to allow stored jobs and proof-and-hold functions. In other words, you can send a print job and have the P3015d store it for reprinting directly from the unit at any future date, or have the printer wait until you get to the device before it outputs the job. These can be PIN-protected for security and multi-user personal use. So having an easy-to-use menu system for retrieving these stored and delayed print jobs really makes the feature usable in real-world office environments, rather than just clever.
HP has also stored a set of illustrated Help documents in the printer, so you can quickly print out step-by-step instructions on clearing paper jams, loading special paper stock and so on. Show some foresight print this out in advance and it could potentially reduce the number of unnecessary IT support call-outs for simple tasks, especially paper jams.
A USB port is provided at the front of the unit to let you print documents directly from USB storage devices. Unfortunately, it only lets you print PDF, PS (PostScript) and PCL formats. Support for a wider range of business formats would have been helpful. If not Microsoft Office, then at least open formats such as ODF. Image formats are not supported, either.
A USB port at the front enables printing of PDF files directly from USB storage devices
Talking of USB, the P3015d is provided with a USB connector at the rear, for hooking up to a host device, but no Ethernet port. While the USB option may still be suitable in a number of office setups, the lack of Ethernet feels wrong in a workgroup printer. Sure, there is an Ethernet option in the series, and there is a wireless upgrade option available too, but, in this day and age, every office printer ought to be networkable out of the box.