I was having a hellish experience with a Samsung color laser printer -- a story I won't repeat here. But it is worth mentioning, because there is an important lesson here: Laser printers of the same price class are NOT created equally.
I ordered this HP printer, thinking it would be about as good as previous color laser printers I've owned. But no. It wasn't as good. It was FAR, FAR BETTER.
This is not your average junk product thrown out by some company hoping to take your money and run. This is a product built by a company that appears to care about quality and producing the most excellent printer it possibly can, and yet still manage to keep the price reasonable. It is bit heavy in the box, so be prepared to lug that thing home when you get it. But there's a good reason for it -- it is a solidly built, quality product.
And the setup? Oh my goodness. I use a Mac, and typically getting third party equipment set up is like putting your head through an old fashioned wet clothes wringer. You might make it out the other side, but you'll get a huge headache in the process. But not so with this HP laser. Setup was truly a breeze, and it recognized everything instantly and was just so simple, HP deserves some kind of award for that alone.
If you value your time and sanity, as I do, listen: Even if this cost a bit more than other, comparable printers -- and really for what you get, it doesn't -- it would still be worth it. When you can unpack this, pull a few strips of plastic protective tape, plug it in, throw in an install CD, and be up and running hassle free in minutes, that's because the company that made it cares about the experience and paid attention to details. HP got a LOT right with this printer. Another thing that just makes life so much easier is that there is a flip up, touch LCD screen. Touch! Thank you... no more printing out status pages by holding down some crazy button for a minute and wondering what's going to come out. This is how a printer should work! This is it!
The print quality itself is really great. It really looks just like what I see on my screen, too, unlike the washed out nonsense I've seen from other brands. I'm very, very pleased.
Check out the other reviews to date, and consider: Every single one of them gave FIVE STARS, except one that gave FOUR. Why? Well, according to the reviewer, he got a low toner alert too soon, and was able to print 800 more pages and the toner still had not run out yet. Wait... that's... a PROBLEM? I don't think so. If that happened to me, I'd want to give this printer SIX stars. Some people might need that early alert so they can place an order for more toner, and not run out before it arrives.
I guess some people see the glass half empty, some half full. I haven't owned the printer long enough to get to that point, but I do know of a way to solve it. Just go into your printer settings, open printer Options and then the Printer Utility, and you can actually change the warning thresholds for low toner alerts. Boom! Problem solved.
Until/unless this printer is eclipsed by something newer and better, which is hard to imagine given the relatively stable nature of laser printers over the years, in my opinion there is nothing worth looking backwards to at any price in the same class, no matter how much lower that price might be. This is an excellent, quality product that is worth every cent.