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HP LaserJet 1018

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Oki C6100N LED Printer

    PCWorld Rating

    Tiny, easy-to-use unit is slower but also cheaper than most recent personal mono lasers.

At just $130 (as of 8/4/2006), the HP LaserJet 1018 is the cheapest model in HP's current compact monochrome laser printer lineup. It costs $50 less than the almost identical LaserJet 1020 that we reviewed a year ago, but it sacrifices only a little performance. Both models hook up to your PC through their USB ports and use the computer's processing power to render pages.

The LaserJet 1018 has a main paper tray that holds 150 sheets. You can also feed single sheets and envelopes through a bypass slot on top of the paper tray's dust cover. If you have a bunch of envelopes to print, the main tray accommodates up to 15 at once, which is unusual for a budget laser. When not in use, the printer saves desk space by folding up into a small box 14.6 inches wide by 14.2 inches deep by 8.2 inches high.

The 1018 uses the same $70 toner cartridges as the 1020 and 1022n, which yield 2000 pages each (rated using the industry-standard method of 5 percent ink coverage per page). Maintaining the 1018 should be easy, because no other parts need regular replacement, but a cost of 3.5 cents per page is expensive for a monochrome laser. The printer comes with a starter cartridge rated for only 1000 pages.

We saw decent quality text printing from the 1018 in our tests, though the bottom edges of letters showed slight shadowing. Our text and graphics test results also looked a little grainy and exhibited narrow horizontal banding. Blocks of close parallel lines in the line art sample showed strange scratchy patterns, and the dithering in our grayscale print made fine edges appear jagged. In our speed tests, the 1018 printed text slower than most of the monochrome lasers we've seen recently. Text emerged at 11 pages per minute, while graphics were closer to average at 7.6 ppm.

The LaserJet 1018 could be a sensible choice if space and convenience are paramount, but it delivers less than stellar prints at slower rates than most mono laser printers.

Paul Jasper

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Tiny, easy-to-use unit is slower but also cheaper than most recent personal mono lasers.

    Pros

    • Compact design
    • Easy to maintain

    Cons

    • Has a high cost per page
    • Slower than most mono lasers
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