The Printer Showcase, Inc., Computers  Supplies & Parts, Marietta, GA
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 HP Color LaserJet M651
The Way We See It
HP M651n
Print Quality
Paper Handling

“The new HP M651n (pictured above right)
appears very different from its predecessor on the outside”
“But underneath the façade we find the two machines
to be nearly identical spec for spec”
In Short:
The M651series is the replacement for the CP4525 series as Hewlett Packard’s flagship enterprise color laser printer. After unpacking the new printer we noticed the new front panel display right away and how very different it looked from its predecessor.  This was surprising considering how similar the two printers looked based on technical specifications. Same processor, resolution, paper handling, and so on.  

However, once we started looking under the hood it became apparent that the new HP M651 is almost exactl
y the same as its predecessor, the CP4525. We had to dig deep in the specs to find any substantive difference which was higher toner yield. The end result is a slightly improved operating cost but still higher than most competitive models. Set-up was easy once the printer is unpacked and plugged into your system or network. The driver installation was straight forward and HP also provides other software utilities should you need them. The M651n did well in most of our speed tests though we never came close to the 45 page per minute rating claimed by HP for “Normal Letter”. In fact, in most all speed tests, the HP M651n was a bit slower than its predecessor which was rated at 42 PPM (for actual test-print times from our lab go to the Printer Comparison page). Output quality overall is good and the text was sharp. This quality is more than adequate for most office applications like spreadsheets and presentations. The 1200x1200 dpi does show up when printing hi-resolution graphics or any document with small details. HP’s Resolution Enhancement technology, (ImageRet), smoothes out low-res images and text but some detail may be lost. Overall we found the paper handling to be good except for the multipurpose tray which was not as reliable especially for envelopes. The HP M651n includes a 500-sheet feeder and can handle cover stock up to 80lb.from the MP tray. The M651dn configuration adds auto-duplex for two sided printing and the M651xh configuration adds an internal HD, three more trays, and a floor stand. All configurations include PostScript3 emulation, 1.5 GB “system memory”, USB 2.0, and Ethernet 10/100/1000BaseTx.

The Bottom Line:
The Hewlett Packard M651n series is a fast network color laser printer that is more than adequate for most office applications and even some graphics intensive applications. The printer works well with most all networks and is easy to set-up. However, the new long life toners still yield one of the highest per-page cost and therefore not recommended for any high volume printing environment.
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