While laser printer technology is known for its incredible speed, there are exceptions to the rule such as the ridiculously slow HP Color LaserJet 1600. While the unit’s color print time of 8 pages per minute could be considered acceptable, the fact that black and white print speed lags behind at the exact same level can not be. A sluggish color printer such as this should be considered for purchase if and only if color laser printing is your primary demand, as opposed to an added bonus, due to the exceptionally slow operation of this unit.
A slightly below average first page out time of 20 seconds doesn’t help the HP Color LaserJet 1600’s standing as a painfully slow device and, with a shockingly highly rated 264 MHz Motorola CFV4e processor on board, it boggles the mind how black and white print speeds could have been left so neglected. 16 MBs of built in RAM also seems almost sufficient, though no memory upgrades are possible to account for slowdown caused by projects with high levels of complexity.
You would think that a unit with this level of performance would temp buyers with an appealingly low price tag, and you would be wrong. Even for a color laser device, the HP Color LaserJet 1600 ceases to impress in the dollar value category. It is no wonder that HP promptly discontinued this model for more fruitful ventures.
Does the HP Color LaserJet 1600 make up for its poor specifications by coming in an incredibly small package? No. With a footprint of 16.1 inches by 17.8 inches, the printer sits with about the same girth as any home laser device. The height of 14.6 inches could possibly be increased due to a single additional paper tray option, and the total weight of over 40 pounds is nothing to applaud.
Mediocre resolution of 600 x 600 dots per inch doesn’t help the HP Color LaserJet 1600’s cause any. While 600 dpi is perfectly acceptable for producing clear black and white text, having a color device with such a limited quality level almost defeats the purpose of having one at all. Images will come out sloppy, and inaccurate, while basic colored charts and graphs are pretty much as good as it’s going to get for this device.
A maximum monthly duty cycle of 20,000 pages seems more than adequate for such a light duty printer, while paper handling abilities also seem appropriate with a 250 sheet input tray and the lack of a multi purpose tray. A single sheet priority feed slot is incorporated into the front of the unit for single feeds of special media types, which should prove to be more than enough for this limited duty device.
A single additional paper tray with a 250 sheet capacity is optional, but seems like overkill for the HP Color LaserJet 1600. If you’re looking to add the power of color laser printing to your office hardware set, turn the other direction and run. Do not buy this printer. If you already own it, throw it away.