HP's Colour LaserJet CP2025dn is a mid-range printer with a small stature and fast print speeds. Photos won't dry properly when printed on glossy media, but for matte in-house marketing materials the printer is a viable choice.
It is roughly the same size as a low-end mono laser printer such as the Laser Shot LBP 3100B, but considering its relatively small stature the Colour LaserJet CP2025dn is surprisingly heavy and may require two people to move.
At $130 above the standard configuration, the dn model of the Colour LaserJet CP2020 series adds an automatic duplexer. Apart from this, the CP2025dn has the same features as the CP2020, including USB and Ethernet connectivity, ImageREt 3600 half-toning technology and a 540MHz processor. The printer also boasts 128MB of memory, which is user-upgradeable to 384MB through an easily accessible panel on the side of the unit.
The Colour LaserJet CP2025dn has a maximum paper input capacity of 300 sheets and an output capacity of 150 sheets. The maximum monthly duty cycle is quoted at 40,000 pages, though HP recommends printing 750-2000 pages; the printer is designed for low-volume use but can handle larger print jobs if necessary.
A control panel features a three-way navigation panel and a 2-line LCD that provides users with access to basic network settings and reports. Disappointingly, the printer refuses to show the IP address on the LCD itself: users have to waste paper by printing a network configuration report. Thankfully the report is only one page — reports from some high-end HP laser printers run to four pages or more.
Once connected to a network, users are able to access the printer's Web interface, which will be familiar to users of other HP laser printers released in recent years. The Colour LaserJet CP2025dn doesn't boast the most comprehensive options, lacking HTTPS and 802.1X security standards found in the higher end LaserJet P4515x. Still, it offers detailed statistics, reports, settings and e-mail alerts.
Like Dell's 2130cn, the Colour LaserJet CP2025dn also offers administration functions when connected to a PC using its USB interface. HP's Toolbox FX software mimics the Web interface, providing the same breadth of options without requiring the printer to be networked.
The Colour LaserJet CP2025dn can print at a respectable speed but it won't amaze you. It printed at a consistent speed of 20 pages per minute in our tests for both mono and colour documents, with the first page out in an average of 23.2sec. Printing A4 photos will slow down the first page out time to 53.5sec, after which pages will still churn out at 20ppm.
The quality of documents is quite good, largely due to the printer's use of the ImageREt 3600 technology, which allows the CP2025dn to print in halftones to produce a higher quality image. Mono text documents are very accurate, though characters are noticeably thinner and lighter than documents printed by HP's Colour LaserJet CM3530fs, despite both using ImageREt 3600. Colour graphical documents lack the gloss of higher-end colour laser printers, and colours are lighter than they should be. Nevertheless, these results actually proved to be more readable when combining text with graphics and coloured highlights.
HP offers a Photo Fix setting designed to enhance photo quality, but it still doesn't make it the CP2025dn an ideal choice as a photo printer. Though colour accuracy with yellows and blues is acceptable, reds aren't vibrant, resulting in inaccurate combination colours such as purple. Rampant banding is also apparent on darker images. Printing more than one photo at a time on glossy material and allowing them to rest upon each other leads to the toner material easily rubbing off, damaging the photos. The printer will be able to print professional-looking documents on higher density matte paper, but using glossy media with the CP2025dn will cause problems.
The Colour LaserJet CP2025dn is expensive to run, and this is its biggest drawback. The three colour laser toners produce an average page yield of 2800 pages each, while the black toner produces 3500 pages. This is a reasonable figure but once the price of consumables is factored in each page will cost the user an average of 31.5c — an extremely high figure for laser printers. Given that the printer and its consumables are relatively new, expect price cuts soon — but for now this printer is an expensive machine to run.