Pros Good color, clean printing, fairly fast
Cons out of 6 printers purchased, 3 DOA, 1 problematic, 1 worked and last one never unboxed
Summary I have never seen a problem like this with HP products and was stunned. I will give their tech support and customer service kudos for dealing with this quickly, but in my experience, the product is junk. 1st setup was flawless so I ordered 2 more, both of which had noisy mechanical problem and never worked. While returning those, I ordered a 4th. It printed all blue pages. 2 replacements arrived, first one had same mechanical problem as #'s 2&3. Last one never unboxed and all are going back.
Pros Crisp color, good photo quality, great business features
Cons Noisy fan, occasional banding, no native PS (but emulated PS in driver kit)
Summary So - I got this printer with some hesitation after reading some internet user reviews - but I got it at a price I just couldn't refuse for a good business class printer (with duplexing, networking etc. etc.).
First of all - NO - you don't have to use the GIANT toolkit for the printer. Instead just download the 10MB "direct host" drivers from HP (and unzip it), and when you plug in the printer - just search for the drivers - and you are good to go.
Second - with the printer out of the box my initial impression was that the color reproduction - in particular black levels - was misreable. After looking more into the issue - it turns out that HP actually fixed it - but it required a quite complicated firmware update.
The firmware that came with the printer (presumably all the printers HP ships out of the factory) was "20060203 3.002.4" The update on HPs site is called "03.003.1 27 Sep 2006" - and after you apply it updates the internal firmware to "20060828 3.003.1" (note that even with a direct-connected printer - the only way I could get the firmware update to take place - was to share the printer with myself [i.e. \\MYCOMPUTER\HPCOLOR] and then apply the copy command that HP has in the ReadMe file. The "port" suggested method just doesn't work correctly).
So - after the tweaks - we now have a FANTASTIC color business printer - and it spits out 40-page Power Points speedily, that beat the output quality of our Dell and earlier HP color lasers.
Keep in mind that since it has no PS - you should connect it to a powerfull computer that will use the driver set to perform the native image conversion. And - other than being a tad noisy, it's feature set makes it a pleasure to work with. Also - the supplies are significantly cheaper than all the other color lasers in the office - so (while I haven't fully done the math) it looks like this will be the cheapest printer by far in the long run.
GREAT one if you can find it for $500 or so (and given HP's current promotion of $549 - you might be able to find a dealer who can give it to you for around $500 easily)
Pros Excellent printer for home use (just upgraded from a deskjet 960). Has all the features needed for an at-home or small business set-up.
Cons Noisy when printing, makes a clanking noise before spooling the paper.
Summary Am thrilled to have upgraded from a deskjet to laser. Cost wasn't too bad compared to others on the market.
Pros VERY quick printouts, instant-on is awesome, even if the unit is waking up from power-save mode, ROCKS on quick color or B&W printouts. Network installation took 5 minutes out of the box!
Cons The front fold-down feeder tray is really flimsy and appears cheap. Not sure if I'll expect a problem with that in the future.
Summary I picked this thing up after thinking long and hard about getting the Multifunction HP or the Multifunction Canon, either in Color Laser. I am sick of maintaining 3 or 4 different machines that I have right now. I went to OfficeMax to buy the HP LaserJet 8420, and ended up being really impressed with the speed and instant output that this unit provided. Text and graphics all looked good, and I like the fact that you don't have to worry about replacing a separate imaging drum, because of the single-pass setup in this unit. I think the cartridges fit in very well, and the design (although it looks fragile) is pretty slick. Paper jams, although I haven't had any yet, look very easy to clear by opening the front door.
The menus and prompts give you tons of options, and this thing is pretty quiet, even when printing, it sounds like a normal LaserJet 4000n that I used to have. I had a problem printing envelopes and paper mis-feeds with the *ugh* OfficeJet 7320 that I have had been testing for the past few months, and so far, this one seems to print them fine. It auto-detects the envelopes and the paper size, which is good too.
I'm still skeptical, but so far, this unit looks very promising and very, very fast.
Pros looks like it would be great, if it worked
Cons install failed repeatedly, no tech support
Summary Looks like it would be a nice printer, but put me in the same camp as the other people who couldn't get it to work out of the box. Software installation failed repeatedly to install the driver. Tech support phone number? Not a chance. Installing a driver shouldn't be this big a deal, but HP insists on custom bloatware (220 meg disk space required!) instead of Windows-standard "Add a printer"-type routine.