Pros: Speed, print quality, reliability, ease of use, flexibility
Cons: Time limit on print cartridges, footprint, LCD panel in poor light.
As a plumbing design engineer who works mainly from home, I had a need for a printer capable of printing 11x17 Construction documents as well as numerous books/cut sheets from PDF files. The Hewlett Packard 2500CM has done my tasks flawlessly for a year.
HP no longer makes this printer, but don't let that scare you. I bought mine used as well for $150.00 which seems like quite a bargain, especially considering the retail price on the printer new was $1,450.00.
Here's what HP said about it when it released: "The HP 2500C professional series color printer uses HP's new Modular Ink Delivery System (MIDS). It is targeted for small workgroups in the office who need a color complement to their workgroup monochrome laser printer. This printer combines the affordability and the professional print quality of HP Inkjet printers with the speed and low cost per page of MIDS technology. The HP 2500C series printer also has robust networking and media versatility." All that means is that it's a printer capable of printing color prints from 4x6 cards to 13x19 posters.
Since it's not longer made it is hard to find specs for it, but here are some that I can remember
Print Speed: 15 ppm black, 8 page ppm color. - I have never timed it, but it prints fast and I have not noticed a significant speed difference why printing in color or just black.
Print Output - 12,000 pages per month. - It was originally designed to be a network printer for groups or offices. I have not printed close to 12,000 total, let alone 12,000 per month. Basically all that means is it should be able to handle 12,000 prints per month without excessive wear.
Paper Handling - Two trays, plus a top sheet feeder. The two trays are capable of handling 150 sheets of paper, the top sheet feeder will hold 5 sheets. The trays are both adjustable to handle 4x6 cards to 13x19 paper. There is also the option to feed a single sheet in the back of the printer for heavy card stock.
Ink Cartridges - 4 separate cartridges (Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow) with separate print heads. - I personally like the separate cartridges for each color, so when one is empty, I don't have to throw a way a cartridge that may be half full of the other colors.
Here has been my experience with the printer.
-- Print speed, it's fast. I print mostly 11x17 construction documents (blue prints, just on regular paper). I have the "Print preview" function set up, but as soon as I verify the print and click the "Print" button it starts. An 11x17 sheet takes approximately 2 to 2.5 seconds to print.
-- Paper Handling. The only problems I have had with paper handling was a result of the person who shipped it to me. He packed it in peanuts (if you buy any printer that is going to be shipped to you, tell them to NOT use peanuts), and a small piece of styrofoam was in the paper path. Once I found that and removed it, I have not had a paper jam in 1,326 prints.
-- Paper Trays. With the ability to adjust each paper tray it allows me to keep 8.5x11 in one tray and 11x17 in the others. But there was a time when I needed to print a 400 page manual, so I was able to put 8.5x11 paper in both trays and get most of it printed before having to add more paper.
-- Color printing. It's not really designed as a photo printer but I have printed about a dozen photos (on HP photo paper) and really can't tell a difference between those and the photos I get from Walmart.
-- Ease of hook up. I downloaded the software and updated drivers from HP's website. Even though they no longer make this printer they do still support it. It took all of 10 minutes to get it up and running. The User Interface on the printer is easy to read (if the area is well lit) and maneuver and the option to change print options on the computer.
-- Cleaning and Maintenance. I have learned from experience that it is necessary to periodically clean printers for continued effective performance. The HP 2500CM has numerous panels and openings making it very easy to get to 95% of the inside of the printer without a screwdriver. A can of compressed air and 15 minutes will keep your printer very clean.
-- The PCB board on the ink cartridges have a preprogrammed time limit on them (4 years I think). HP has done this to reduce the ability to refill the cartridges. Once a cartridge "expires" the printer is not usable until a new cartridge is installed.
-- The footprint. At approximately 19x26, this is not a desktop printer, unless you have a huge desk.
-- LCD panel on the printer is not back-lit. If the area is not well lit, you will have trouble reading the LCD panel.
-- Only manual duplex. Duplexing is not something I do often so it's not a big deal for me, but it was a bit annoying the couple times I wanted to print on the front and back of a page.
I have 3 printers in my office. An HP VX series multi-function printer, an HP Laserjet II laser printer and the HP 2500CM. The HP VX is now only used as a fax machine and scanner. The LJ II has not been used since I got the 2500CM. I have also tried printers from Lexmark and Canon, but have never been as impressed as I am with the HP 2500CM. The printer is perfect for all my needs and because of the ability to print up to 13x19 it has been very useful for some of my daughters school projects.