HP LaserJet 1020 Workgroup Laser Printer Reviews
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HP LaserJet 1020 Workgroup Laser Printer

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Hewlett Packard LaserJet 1020: Small, fast, quiet and efficient

Oct 21, 2005 (Updated Dec 7, 2005)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Paper Handling:

Pros:Small, quiet, and fast

Cons:Prints black only, connects via USB only, no USB cable

The Bottom Line: The bottom line doesn't like paper jams either.

My office has grown so much in the last two years that I have almost run out of space for people due to the amount of equipment I have acquired. I now have a total of seven printers which are each assigned to different specific tasks. The Hewlett Packard 1020 LaserJet was a replacement for an eight year old LaserJet 5L, which still works but the frequent paper jams became too much of a pain to deal with on a daily basis. I was pleased to see that the 1020 is roughly the same physical size as the old printer so I didn’t have to make any special space for it. This was a big plus for me. As I stated previously, I don’t have any more room to make.

Hewlett Packard LaserJet 1020

The printer is small for a laser printer and prints at a decent speed. It is a nice looking printer although sort of plain. It is light grey with slightly lighter sides and only two LED indicators. The design is simplistic but also very easy to use. It comes with a black toner cartridge, standard AC power cable and instructions to set up the printer in less than 10 minutes (including the software installation). Hewlett Packard calls this type of LaserJet an ”Entry level LaserJet”. I have worked this little printer (nowhere near the max of its duty cycle) but without any problems so far and not a single paper jam.


* Print speed: 15ppm at 600 dpi. (text only)
* First page out: 10 seconds
* Duty cycle: 5000 pages per month
* Processor speed: 234MHz
* Memory: 2MB (no upgrades)
* Maximum Resolution: 600x600 dpi.
* Paper trays: 1 input tray and single sheet input slot
* Input tray capacity: 150 sheets (standard paper)
* Envelope capacity: 15 max. (no envelope feeder)
* Output tray capacity: 100 sheets (standard paper)
* Duplex printing: Driver supported (manual only)
* Supported media: Paper (plain, LaserJet and photo), labels, transparencies, cardstock, postcards and envelopes
* Main input tray custom media sizes: 5.8 x 8.27 to 8.5 x 14 inches
* Input slot custom media sizes: 3 x 5 to 8.5 x 14 inches
* Interface: USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 compatible)
* Ink type: HP Laser Toner (HP Q2612A Ultraprecise Print Cartridge)
* Colors: Black and grayscale only
* Warranty: 1 year limited

* Height: 8.2 inches
* Width: 14.6 inches
* Depth: 14.2 inches
* Weight: 11 lbs.

In The Box

* Hewlett Packard LaserJet 1020 printer
* HP LaserJet print cartridge
* Users Guide
* Printer documentation
* AC power cable
* Installation software CDROM

Setting it up

Set up is a ten minute task that is easy enough for a complete novice to accomplish with little effort. First you unpack the printer, the power cable and load the paper tray which takes about a minute. Then you simply install the printer software from the CDROM, then plug in the power cable and USB cable when the program tells you to do so. After powering up the printer, Windows will detect it and install the driver automatically. Unfortunately, this printer is not Mac compatible so it can not be installed on any Mac not even with USB 2.0 support. The printer does not come with a USB cable either (not many do) so you will need to purchase one separately.

After Windows installs the print driver you can print a test page to make sure the printer is working properly. There is no need to align print heads since laser printers do not have print heads to align. The printer is now set up and ready to work.

Personal Use

As I said before, I have specific tasks for each of my printers to ensure the best use of paper and ink. This printer is used mainly for printing in-office jobs that I need to keep permanently (or at least for a long time). Things like tax papers, copies of receipts, manuals, and forms. The printer does it’s job well and I have had no problem printing jobs as big as 200 pages. All the pages come out identical with no streaking and no paper jams. That was my biggest problem with my old LaserJet printer, if there were less than 20 sheets of paper in the input tray it would inevitably jam and was never easy to “un-jam”. I have printed over 1,000 pages in the two months that I have had it and not a single jam.

The printer is also very quiet. When it first sparks to life after sending a job to it, it will make a low hum and then nothing but blessed silence. It is possibly the quietest printer I have ever had. In fact, the first print job I used it for, I had to check it to make sure it was printing because I couldn’t hear anything.

Aside from being quiet it is also a very small printer that takes up very little space. I have it sitting on the top shelf of my desk where it happily sits with ample room to work. Even with the output tray extended, it doesn’t exceed 18 inches front to back. The output tray can be closed also to save more room when it is not in use. The tray folds up and closes flat against the printer.

I do use the printer over my network but in order to do so, I have to share the printer from the computer it is installed on because there is no network card built into the printer. There may be compatibility issues with older operating systems such as Windows 95 and NT and computers running these operating systems may have to be updated in order to use the printer over a network. Even then they may not work.

If the network is made up of computers running Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP or later versions of Windows there should be no problems.

Cost of ink
The ink cartridge for this printer is $69.99 at OfficeMax and is the same (HP Q2612A Ultraprecise Print Cartridge) used for the LaserJet 1012. I could not find any information on how many pages you get out of a cartridge but as I said earlier, I have printed over 1,000 pages and have not needed to change the cartridge yet.

Laser printers will get more pages out of an ink cartridge than inkjet printers do anyway. The price of ink for this printer compared to any inkjet is minimal in the long run. The printer only prints in black and grayscale so there is only one cartridge to buy at a time.


This is a great printer for the price and is a little work horse. It has taken every job I have thrown at it gracefully, quietly and performed admirably. I would recommend this little printer for anyone with a home office or anyone who needs a printer for black only text jobs and wants to save time, money and space. The printer sells for $149.99 but compared to inkjets and the cost of inkjet ink, it will save you a bundle of a three year period.

Thanks for reading,
Gr8ful :-)

Recommend this product? Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 149.99
Operating System: Windows

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