HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n full review

At around £174, the HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n is an inexpensive colour laser printer. Value lasers are typically a touch flimsy – not the HP CP1525n, though, and its robust casing - weighing a substantial 18kg - stretches back a significant 453mm. 

This is much deeper than most of the lower-priced lasers in our charts, and this HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n could almost double up as a coffee table. 

Not that it isn't attractively styled, and the cream livery combined with the extreme curvature of the front panel makes for a printer that's large, but relatively easy on the eye. 

The design of the HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n is functional, and toner cartridges can be accessed by pulling down the front panel - most make you scrabble around at the rear. The oversized casing also means that HP can build an expansive paper tray into the top of the LaserJet. 

We don't have an official figure for how many sheets the HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n can safely collect in its output tray, but we'd guess it be about the same as the 150 held by the well-built input tray that slides in and out of the bottom.

You can't expand its paper feed capabilities (an additional one-sheet slot at the front is the only other option), although you can upgrade its 128MB of memory to a decent 384MB. 

The control panel feels fairly basic. A two-line text display lets you run through various options. Text isn't particularly easy to read, and buttons are quite small, so you may need to bend down to see what you're doing. 

Provided you can understand them, the options are reasonably detailed, and you can even fiddle around with the speed of the USB and calibrate the colour. There are few additional features, and no slots for USB thumbdrives or memory cards.

Neither is there an auto-duplex option, but there is ethernet as standard. Should you want Wi-fi, the very similar CP1525nw offers an 802.11b/g/n interface for around an extra £17.

HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n: Performance

A poor aspect of the HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n is its speed. Even on mono text, it lists an official figure of just 12 pages per minute (ppm). In reality, the HP churned through our text tests at the rate of 9.6ppm. 

It would be trounced by any decent dedicated mono laser - the £160 Kyocera Mita FS-1320D, for instance, puts out at 26.1ppm. 

In fairness, colour lasers tend to be slower: the £135 Oki C110 comfortably betters the HP with a rate of 15.8ppm. However, when it comes to colour printing, the Oki's figure of 2.5ppm is far behind this HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n's 5.6ppm. 

Nonetheless, the HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n is slow. It takes over 30 seconds to unroll the first sheet, and if speed is key for you, the CP1525n will prove a poor choice. And that would be a shame, as it does well on quality. 

Its colours are dark but fairly rich and realistic, and the HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n is refreshingly clean and experiences very few problems with banding and dithering. Skin tones are smoothly handled. It did well in text quality as well, producing characters that are fairly light yet well formed, with none of the fuzziness that mars inkjets and low-grade lasers.

The HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n may be a cheap printer to buy, but it isn't particularly cost-effective to operate. Toner costs work out as 3.8p for a page of black and 12.7p for a page of colour. That 3.8p is much in line with the Oki C110, although it's still around twice as much as you’d pay on a decent mono model. 

However, the real eye-waterer is the cost of colour - working out at 12.7p/page. It may be possible to get the price down by really hunting around, but sub-10p a page will prove extremely unlikely. When even the Oki offers colour pages for 5p a time, consumables are clearly a concern.


HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n: Specs

  • Colour laser printer
  • 600 x 600dpi print resolution
  • quoted print speed B=12ppm C=8ppm
  • actual print speed B=9.6ppm C=5.6ppm
  • USB 2.0, 10/100 ethernet
  • 150-sheet input tray, 1-sheet priority feed slot
  • 128MB memory (expandable to 384MB)
  • toner cost B= £75 C=£55 x 3
  • print yield (pages) B=2000 C=1300 x 3
  • 399 x 453 x 254mm
  • 18.1kg