"Don't be confused by mixed reviews! Read this..."4.0 starson by jdc321
Pros: Inexpensive, High Quality Output, Networkable
Cons: Slow Black and White
Summary: I normally don't write reviews, but when I went looking for a printer, I hit the user reviews at all the sites. With this HP 2600n, half the reviews said it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, the other half said it was the worst garbage out there. What to do?
The in-store demos looked good, so with much trepidation, I decided to try it out. So far, I am very pleased with this printer. Most reviewers don't tell you what their experience / expectations are, so its hard to judge the usefullness of their opinions.
I am self-employed, and my wife home schools our children. We have a moderate output of several hundred pages a month, with brochures, forms, business cards, etc. on a Mac and three PC's.
Most reviewers that hated this printer seem to be high volume business users or used to high-quality color output from high-end machines. This printer is no HP3700. If you have high usage and expectations, you should not be looking at a $399 printer in the first place. Buy a two or three thousand dollar one and be happy.
Here are common gripes you will read and my thoughts on them:
I had a Samsung CLP500 before this, but the cost of the waste toner bottle, not to mention you couldn't print without one, turned out to be a huge drawback. The 2600n only has the toner cartridges to replace-NO waste toner bottles, drums or imagers to replace. The toner is available at local stores and doesn't have to be special ordered. No stores carry waste toner bottles in stock and this is a huge drawback for some printers. Check the printer you plan to buy to see if it has one. (you'll have to factor in shipping costs and delays)
If you have an office network where people routinely print large documents, this will be a drawback as the 2600n is slow...relatively speaking. Its first out page from idle is very fast compared to the Samsung and other printers. Since we mostly print one or two pages, this is a plus speed-wise and should be considered. If you want to print out a 50 page manual, it will take some time... again depends on your usage. For the average home, it's faster. For a business with lots of large documents, it's slower.
No laser printer is good for photographs, period. What really matters is brochures, one-ups, etc. This printer prints excellent quality graphics and brochure photos. Some say it's "grainy." I found it actually sharper and less grainy then the Samsung. The graphics look great. I did notice [slight] color fringing and ghosting on colored letters if I used cardstock, but not on regular paper. The Samsung CLP500 did not do this. It's slight and some adjusting may have to be done.
If you access the printer from your web browser [print a network config report, find its IP address and type that in to your web browser], it has a ton of settings. More than I thought were possible in a printer. I haven't played with it, but I'm sure you could tweak a lot.
To sum up:
All in all, I think this printer is excellent for the home and small business user. Large volume users should look elsewhere.
I was able to set-up and network the printer on the Mac (with BonJour), and PC's easily. I paid $299 at Sam's Club, so the printer is inexpensive. Print quality is excellent, despite what others say (unless they had a lemon, or bad toner cartridges). Speed on first out print from idle is great... slow for multi-page B&W.
I would recomend this printer!