Review: Increase Productivity With This Laserjet

HP's LaserJet 1020 combines speed, competitive pricing, and easy setup for individual office use in enterprise environments.

Marc Spiwak, Contributor

September 21, 2006

4 Min Read

In busy office environments, there are always some users who are required to print documents all day long, and then there are others who only need to print from time to timeall of which can result in users wasting time waiting for paper output. Productivity suffersa lot.

The solution? The savvy solution provider will encourage the inclusion of a printer with every workstation sold. But what's a good printer to recommend? Hewlett-Packard's new LaserJet 1020

With the exception of high-volume printers, color network printers and other specialty units, the most economical type of printer to roll out in large numbers for individual use in an office environment is a monochrome laser printer. This type of printer is essentially maintenance-free, very reliable, small in size and provides inexpensive toner replacement.

When it comes to printers, Hewlett-Packard is one of the best-known brands in the business, which adds to its appeal with customers. The LaserJet 1020 is one of HP's smallest and most affordable monochrome laser printers. The printer is 14.6 inches wide by 14.2 inches deep by 8.2 inches high and weighs only 11 pounds. About the size of a toaster oven, it is an ideal printer for installation in cramped offices.

The LaserJet 1020 produces high-quality output at a low cost. The printer has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $179, but it sells for a lot less on the street. In fact, solution providers can take advantage of HP's instant rebate of $50 until Sept. 30. Of course, the unit also is available to solution providers through most major distributors.

HP's LaserJet 1020 is extremely easy to set up. That's mainly because the printer is so small and easy for one person to manage. Also, the consumables come preinstalled so the solution provider doesn't have to do much more than unpack the unit and remove some packing materials and pieces of tape from the outside of the printer. The printer's plug-and-play operation through the USB port makes driver installation a breeze.

The LaserJet 1020 also performs exceptionally well. A 234MHz processor plus 2 Mbytes of memory combine to produce prints speeds of up to 15 pages per minute (ppm), and its instant-on technology allows the first page to print in less than 10 seconds. Image quality also is good. The 600 x 600-dpi printer features HP's FastRes 1,200-dpi effective print quality which produces crisp and highly legible output.

Robust enough for business use, the printer has a 5,000-page monthly duty cycle. Toner cartridges are good for up to 2,000 pages each. Print cartridges are easy to replace, as the toner and imaging drum are contained in a single unit.

Although it is diminutive in size, the LaserJet 1020 nonetheless has an ample 150-sheet input tray along with a single-sheet priority input slot for specialty paper. The printer supports plain paper up to legal size, envelopes, transparencies, card stock, postcards and labels. Duplex printing must be done manually.

Not designed as a network printer, the LaserJet 1020 features only a USB 2.0 interface, and it supports Microsoft Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000 and XP 32-bit.

Note that a USB cable is not included with the printer, so solution providers are advised to bundle one with the unit.

As inexpensive as the HP LaserJet 1020 is, costs can escalate when numerous units are installed in an enterprise environment. If price is an obstacle to making a high-volume deal, solution providers should consider the HP LaserJet 1018 printer which is almost identical in features to the LaserJet 1020, but operates just a bit slower.

Whereas the LaserJet 1020 has an estimated street price of $130 (after the aforementioned instant $50 rebate, until Sept. 30) and prints at speeds of up to 15 ppm, the LaserJet 1018, on the other hand, costs about $100 and prints only 12 ppm. The result is not an enormous difference in performance, and the two printers otherwise have the same input and output capacity, the same connectivity options and the same paper-handling capabilities.

HP's PartnerOne channel program is broken into three tiers: Platinum, Gold and Business. Partner levels are assigned based on sales goals or special certifications. Margins can range from 10 percent to 18 percent, depending on partner level and product line sold.

Partners also have access to market development fund rebates (from 1 percent to 1.5 percent), membership rebates (from 0.2 percent to 0.45 percent) and System Builder Program rebates (from 2 percent to 4 percent). The Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor offers significant demo unit discounts, along with free training and several support options.

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