HP Color LaserJet 2605dtn

For instance, the 2605dtn sports PostScript 3 emulation, a second 250-sheet paper tray, Ethernet connectivity, built-in automatic duplexing capabilities, and a built-in memory card reader. Even though its print quality isn’t the best we’ve seen, and its print speed isn’t the fastest, this printer – with all of its features taken as a whole – is a real bargain.

A true desktop colour laser, the 2605dtn is designed to stand high where many printers sit deep, making it an easier fit for most workspaces. Four inches of the HP’s height can be attributed to the second paper tray, a feature that can save you time by not having to load paper as often and by giving you the ability to print on two different kinds of paper, A4 or bright white for example, by specifying the proper tray in the print driver. You can connect the printer to your Mac via the USB 2.0 port, or over an Ethernet network. Both worked well, and the printer supports Apple’s zero configuration network protocol, Bonjour, and showed up automatically in our printer list.

While not exactly a speed demon, the 2605dtn finished most tests (ten-page Word, 22MB Photoshop, and four-page PDF file) in roughly the middle of the pack compared to other colour lasers we’ve seen. The printed output was of very good quality, with sharp, legible text – even at tiny point sizes. Some coloured text, green, for example, was a little jaggy in our PDF test, but this seems to be the case with many colour lasers in this price range. The printer also scored well in our graphics and photographic tests, with no obvious banding in colour gradients. The colours, however, tended to be a little too red in our photo test, and there was a very faint white outline around some objects.

Speaking of photos, the 2605dtn includes a built-in card reader for printing snapshots without requiring the use of a computer. The slot supports CompactFlash, SmartMedia, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, SD and xD Picture Cards. Inserting a card brings up several text menus on the printer’s small, two-line, 16-character display. You can use the menus to print out an index sheet, which assigns each photo a number. You can then use the menus to select one or all of the photos, the print size, and the media you want to use. The 2605dtn won’t rival a good inkjet in terms of delivering lab-quality photos, but its good for quick, inexpensive prints.

OUR VERDICT

While the HP 2605dtn may not be the fastest colour laser printer, its print quality, expanded paper handling options, built-in duplexing capabilities, networking, and low price make for quite a bargain.

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