User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:High speed, compact design, plenty of options
Cons:output tray much too small
The Bottom Line: I would definitely recommend this printer to any business that is needing a compact powerhouse to save space and get the job done.
About six months ago, we needed to replace one of our oldest laser printers in our payroll department. We needed to replace it because of the software they were running they needed to use a specific printer and it happened to be a HP LaserJet 4 plus.
Recommend this product?
Fortunately for me HP has only two printers for me to chose from that would have filled their needs. They both happened to be part of the revamped HP LaserJet 4000 series printers. I have used all of the previous models that have been part of the 4000 series and I have been very happy with them all. The two printers I had to choose from was the HP LaserJet 4200 and 4300. The printers were similar in look but they are quite different in capabilities and specifications.
I chose the HP LaserJet 4300n to replace the older HP LaserJet 4 plus. One of the reasons I chose the LaserJet 4300 printer was because of its very compact size as compared the higher volume laser printers from HP. The space that I was going to put this printer wouldn't have fit a larger printer like the HP LaserJet 9000n.
The HP LaserJet 4300n printer is an amazing little printer that has so much to offer. It can be a workhorse workgroup printer used by several users as well as a stand alone printer in a busy doctor's office. The HP 4300 series was designed to be a high volume workhorse but still retain the compact size of the original HP LaserJet 4000 series. This series is made up of five different models and each model builds upon the base model and adds special options to create a separate model. I will detail each of the models later in this review.
HP beefed up the print engine to handle the higher volume and to handle a medium size workgroup. The two most important factors that made this the perfect printer for our needs were the speed and size.
Speed :The printing speed of a laser printer that is being used in a workgroup is an important factor when considering which printer to purchase. This is because of you have a several users sharing the printer and they have to wait too long for another users job to print that can severely limit production. With the HP LaserJet 4300n that isn't much of a problem and that is because it prints at a blazing 45 pages per minute and it has a memory buffer of 80MB standard and it is upgradeable to 416 MB maximum. The buffer memory allows print jobs to be sent to the printer at the same time it is printing another job and it will start the next job as soon as it completes its current job.
Size : Not too long ago the only way you could get a high speed laser printer from HP was to buy a big and bulky 8000 or 9000 series LaserJet printer. Fortunately HP realized that they needed to offer a compact printer that was capable of printing high speed to compete with the other brands of printers. When it came to choosing a replacement printer the size really mattered since it had to fit in the same place we pulled the old printer from. The dimensions of the printer made it a perfect fit; coming in at a mere 46lbs it was easy for only one person to carry it instead of having to have two people like was necessary with the bulkier 9000 series LaserJet printer from HP. The overall size of the base model LaserJet 4300n printer are 16.4" W x 16.9" D x 14.4" H and if you select one of the 4 other models the height of the printer will change and you will need to consider that when you are looking for a place to put it.
Print Quality : This is another important factor to consider depending on what you are looking to print with this printer. The print quality rating is measured in DPI or dots per inch, which means simply how many dots that can be squeezed into the smallest space. The closer you put the dot to the next dot will decrease the jagged look to characters of print. It will make the letters you print so much crisper. For anyone that remembers the first laser printers, they would look so jagged on the edge of characters. That made it almost impossible to be used for those important letters for most businesses. As laser printers evolved so did quality of print or resolution of the print. Manufacturers started squeezing those dots closer together and the print quality started to get a lot crisper. Today's monochrome laser printers (black and white only) have achieved the 1200x1200 dpi range and the print quality is truly awesome. Even though this printer cannot print color, you would be amazed at the quality of the grayscale graphics that come out of this printer.
Consumable:The HP LaserJet 4300n uses a toner cartridge to create the image, this toner is a dry material, unlike inkjet printers that use a liquid ink to create the image. The toner is a dry material and it is mixed with a material that has a magnetic properties. Using the magnetic properties the toner is transferred to the page and then it is carried through a unit that uses pressure and heat to fuse the toner to the page creating the final image. The toner is contained within a closed cartridge and this cartridge contains enough toner to create up to 18,000 images. That number is based on a single sided page with only 5% of the page covered by toner. So your actual page count will depend on a whole lot of variables. These toner cartridges just like inkjet cartridges are not cheap; the cartridges from HP are costing $205.00. You maybe able to find them cheaper on the web, but I would recommend you stay away from the refilled cartridges or non-HP cartridges. Just from experience, you may save money in the short term, but you will not get the same results from a refill or non-HP cartridge.
Setup and Connectivity: Setting up the HP Laserjet 4300n was a snap all the drivers are located on the CD that is included in the box with the printer. This is a network ready printer and signified by the "n" in the name. This means that HP has included an Ethernet card so the printer can be hooked up to your network and allow it to be shared. The 615n JetDirect card uses one of the two EIO ports on the back of the printer. All of the network settings are handled through the installation process and it lets you customize them to fit your specific network settings. If you are setting the printer up on a single PC you can connect the printer to your PC using a standard parallel cable which is not included in the box. The CD holds the drivers for the following Operating Systems; Window 3.1x, Win9x, Win ME, Win 2000, Win NT, Win XP, Mac OS, HP-Unix and Linux. The printer has a LCD display on the front for operator to easily setup all needed functions. It will also display error messages in the event there is a problem.
Paper Handling:what I really like about HP is they have wide range of paper handling features and options that allows it to handle just about every type of job you might throw at it. The 4300n comes standard with a 500 sheet paper drawer located at the bottom of the printer and a 100 sheet manual feed tray that pulls down out of the front of the printer. This gives you a maximum of 600 sheets of paper that you can feed through it. If you find yourself needing to print a larger volume of paper without having to reload paper every 500 pages you can add an optional 500 sheet paper drawer or a higher volume 1500 sheet paper drawer to increase the maximum amount of paper you will have available. The HP 4300n is designed to handle paper size 3x5 up to 8.5" x 14" paper and envelops. The manual feed tray is a multipurpose tray; this is where you would feed envelops, laser labels, card stock and any odd size paper that won't feed from the lower paper trays. Paper output is an important aspect of this printer and it will determine whether you will be able to do unattended printing. The paper output is at the top of the printer and it has a limit of 250 sheets and this means that if your print job is larger than 250 sheets the printer will stop and give an error indication on the LCD display telling you to empty the output tray. If you will be continuously printing jobs larger than 250 pages and you want to avoid this stopping and starting you might want to look into purchasing a 500 sheet paper stacker and this will give you twice as much output capacity. You may also purchase a 500 sheet stacker that has a stapler built-in to it. Both of these options are included on the 4300dtns and 4300dtnsl models respectively.
The HP LaserJet 4300n Specs from HP
350 MHz Processor
45 pages per minute
1200 dpi print quality
Monochrome print (Black and White)
200,000 duty cycle
Light gray exterior w/ dark gray operator panel
500 sheet paper tray
1500 sheet paper tray
Auto Duplexing unit
500 sheet paper stacker
500 sheet paper stacker w/stapler
Upgrade memory modules (100 pin SDRAM)
Fast infrared port
Models in The 4300 Series LaserJet printers
HP LaserJet 4300: All the same features of the 4300n except for the 615n JetDirect Ethernet
HP LaserJet 4300tn: All the features of the this printer plus an additional 500 sheet paper tray and comes standard w/ 80 MB of memory
HP LaserJet 4300dtn: All the features of the 4300tn plus an autoduplex unit; for double sided printing.
HP LaserJet 4300dtns: All the features of the 4300dtn plus a 500 sheet paper stacker.
HP LaserJet 4300dtnsl: All the features of the 4300dtns plus stapler option included
I think this is the perfect little printer the packs power to handle large print jobs or small from a single user up to a busy work center. It comes standard with plenty of memory but if you find yourself needing more to handle your work load it is very easy to upgrade the amount of memory. You can order the memory modules directly from HP or you can use less expensive memory from Kingston and save a bunch of money. This is the fastest printer for its size on the market that I am aware of and if you require a faster printer you will be jumping up to production level of printers and they are considerably larger and more costly.
I think the only down side to this printer has to be the standard output tray is much too small for a high volume printer. To increase the capacity you would need to purchase the 500 sheet stacker and it sits on top of the printer and you will need to take that into consideration when you are deciding where you will place the printer.
The toner cartridges are a bit on the expensive side but they will last about 18,000 images and that is depending on how much coverage of the page. If you are printing mostly text then you should get the full amount of pages out of each toner. But if you are printing mixed pages; text and grayscale graphics then you will see a decrease in the number of pages you will get out of each toner.
I would definitely recommend this printer to any business that is looking to replace an older and slower printer.
Amount Paid (US$): 1850.00
Operating System: Windows