The Printer Showcase, Inc., Computers  Supplies & Parts, Marietta, GA
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In Short: The new HP Color LaserJet M653 and M652 replace the HP M651 series as their high speed enterprise desk-top color printers. The new M653 and M652 share the same fast engine, controller, and supplies. Rated up to 60PPM and 50PPM respectively for color or B&W, these models are currently the fastest desk-top color printers available. These new HP color models are very similar under the hood to their previous M651 though the new exterior looks totally different. The main improvement is speed and a slightly more competitive operating cost compared to their predecessor. HP’s new M653 and M652 are very fast no matter what you are printing even out of sleep mode which is very impressive. 

Both models ship with a 1.2GHz processor, fast Ethernet, and 1GB RAM upgradable to 2GB. These new HP models were consistently at or near the top of all our speed testing. The set up was straight forward once we downloaded the correct driver from HP. The four preinstalled standard toners are located in the front of the printer just like the M651. Just the waste toner has moved. The new M653 and M652 are rated up to 1200x1200 dpi resolution, and the print quality we got in our testing was good overall. Black and white documents looked very sharp and color documents were generally above average. Color gradients were just ok with some limitations in the violet-purple range and overall fewer visible gradients.  Color documents looked good with a flat overall appearance which is fine for most users. HP has standard and high-capacity toners available for the M652 and M653 models so that heavier users can improve their cost per print but the high yield toners themselves may cause sticker shock. When calculating the cost per color print using the High-Capacity toners, the M653/M652 are an improvement over the previous M651 model but are still more than double that of competing models. The HP M653 and M652 ship with a 550-sheet feeder and a 100-sheet capacity MP feeder that can feed paper as heavy as 80lb cover stock, (220 g/m2). All configurations include PS3 emulation, PCL5c, PCL6, USB 2.0, and Ethernet 10/100/1000BaseT. The DN configurations include auto-duplex for automated two-sided printing. HP also has other configurations that add a second 550-sheet paper feeder, and wireless connectivity.

The Bottom Line: The new HP M653 and M652 are the fastest desktop color printers currently. Overall paper handling is average and print quality is good. The high supply pricing would be the biggest deterrent for volume users but at least you do get that extra speed. These printers will work on Mac OS, Windows OS, and Linux.

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