The HP 2700n seems to have been engineered, rather than designed. The toner system includes a clever latching mechanism which reveals the fragile light-sensitive drums as you close the cover, protecting them while it's open. From the outside, however, the HP 2700n isn't quite so appealing. Its large breadbin case has a hefty footprint and the HP 2700n's panel is minimal.

Installation went smoothly and the HP 2700n was up-and-running in five minutes. HP's drivers tend to be fussy and riddled with adware but, while the HP 2700n does suggest you register, the only thing it tries to sell you is consumables within the main driver page.

The main software is HP's ToolboxFX, which includes status information, network details, and a rough estimate of the remaining toner. The networking and remote status tools make remote operation practical, which almost compensates for the HP 2700n's size - with ethernet it becomes easier to hide away a hefty printer in a cupboard.

Print speeds are middle of the range. A time-to-print of 30 seconds put the HP 2700n ahead of much of the competition, but our tests later recorded a sluggish 16ppm (pages per minute). HP doesn't quote a print speed in its specifications, so we're forced to assume this is what we should have expected from this model. HP's quote for monochrome print speeds matched out test results at 20ppm - the slow end of the spectrum. Running costs are reasonable at 2.3p and 1.3p for standard- and high-capacity toner packs respectively.

Print quality was something of a letdown, with light, washed-out colours, even after some fine-tuning in the drivers.

See also:

Colour laser printer buying advice

Epson Aculaser C1100

Konica Minolta Magicolor 2550

Lexmark C530dn

Oki C8800n

Xerox Phaser 6180

HP 2700n: Specs

  • 600x600 hardware resolution
  • mono print speed quoted/actual = 20/20
  • colour print speed quoted/actual = n/a/16
  • time to first print 30 seconds
  • standard paper input 250 + 100 sheets (max 500)
  • USB interface
  • ethernet
  • standard toner = £81, 3,500 pages, 2.3p per page
  • hi-cap toner = £87, 6,500 pages, 1.3p per page
  • 400x450x400mm
  • 27.1kg
  • 600x600 hardware resolution
  • mono print speed quoted/actual = 20/20
  • colour print speed quoted/actual = n/a/16
  • time to first print 30 seconds
  • standard paper input 250 + 100 sheets (max 500)
  • USB interface
  • ethernet
  • standard toner = £81, 3,500 pages, 2.3p per page
  • hi-cap toner = £87, 6,500 pages, 1.3p per page
  • 400x450x400mm
  • 27.1kg

OUR VERDICT

The HP 2700n is a good middle-of-the-road model, with reassuring build quality and the benefit of HP's good reputation. But it's difficult to get excited by this colour laser printer.

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