The HP LaserJet CP4525 is an impressive colour laser, capable of delivering professional colour results at speeds more commonly associated with monochrome products. It's A4-only, but an A3 model (CP5225) is also available. Networking comes as standard along with several paper handling options, making it suitable for a range of applications from departmental workhorse in a large company, to use in small design agencies, advertising companies and print shops.
Up to 40ppm throughput; professional quality results; robust build and high duty cycle; optional encrypted hard disk; Gigabit networking and remote management.
Poor value standard size black cartridge; tiny LCD control panel; no finishing options; A4 only.
£ 979+VAT (CP4525dn)
Single-pass A4 colour laser; up to 40ppm (colour or black and white); 800MHz processor; 512MB RAM (expandable to 1GB); 600dpi native resolution, 1,200dpi with HP ImageREt 3600 technology; integrated duplexer; USB 2.0 port; integrated Jetdirect Gigabit network print server; PCL6, Postscript Level 3 and direct PDF printing v1.4; 100-sheet multi-purpose feeder; 500-sheet paper drawer; optional extra 500-sheet or three x 500-sheet paper feeders; maximum paper capacity 2,100 pages; optional secure hard disk
Colour printers usually fall into one of two camps. They're either quick, but of little use for anything other than office documents, or capable of professional quality output, albeit slowly and at a price.
The latest member of the HP Colour LaserJet family, however, bucks that trend, delivering top quality colour prints at speeds to match monochrome printers. It's also much more affordable than a lot of the alternatives, making it attractive to enterprise workgroup and small business buyers alike.
Three models have been released, all based on the same single-pass A4 colour laser engine from Canon and all coupled to an HP controller with an 800MHz processor and up to 1GB of memory. Native resolution is 600dpi, rising to 1,200dpi using HP's ImageREt 3600 enhancement technology, with PostScript, PCL6 and direct PDF printing as standard, plus an integrated HP Jetdirect adapter with a Gigabit Ethernet interface for printing over the local area network.
Prices start at £779+VAT for the base CP4525n model, but it's worth paying a little extra for the CP4525dn we tested, as this comes with a built-in duplexer for double sided printing, hence the 'd' in the name.
Alternatively, for buyers looking for extra capacity, the CP4525xh (£1,899+VAT) comes with three additional 500-sheet paper trays, plus a stand fitted beneath the single 500-sheet tray on the cheaper models. The CP4525xh also has a full 1GB of RAM (the other two have just 512MB) plus an encrypted hard disk to hold downloaded forms and other documents, which would otherwise add £499+VAT to the price.
Speed and performance
A robust and well made printer, the CP4525 can be used to print up to 10,000 pages per month at speeds of up to 40 pages per minute (ppm) whether in colour or monochrome. That, of course, is a maximum, and actual throughput will depend on the kind of document involved. Having said that, however, we got pretty close to 40ppm when printing simple Word documents and spreadsheets, with good speeds too when printing more complicated PDFs and photographic images. Equally importantly, the first page put in an appearance in under 10 seconds on all of our tests. HP's patented Instant-on technology ensured that this happened even when the printer was in low-power standby mode, a feat rival vendors struggle to emulate.