HP’s latest business printer aims to eliminate the unruly chore of changing printer cartridges, and therefore allow entrepreneurs and small business owners to get on with more important tasks. The HP Neverstop Laser printer is certainly an interesting new direction for HP to be heading in, and while it does technically do away with traditional printer cartridges, it introduces a slightly new bizarre method of ‘injecting’ toner directly into your printer.
Pricing and availability
The HP Neverstop Laser 1200w printer retails for AED 1,149, which includes scanner capabilities. The print-only version – the 1000w – retails for AED 899 if you’re just after monochrome printing.
The printer does away with traditional ink cartridges in favor of a large syringe-like device. You simply screw the syringe into a special opening on top of the printer, depress the plunger, and your printer is refilled with toner. The whole process takes no more than 30 seconds to finish, and though HP haven’t yet revealed pricing for the toner refills just yet, you should get around 2,500 pages from each toner refill.
There’s nothing groundbreaking about the way the Neverstop Laser 1200w looks, and that’s a good thing. The mostly grey color palette is good for blending in to any office environment, and there’s only a slight protrusion around the paper trays. Otherwise it’s a fairly compact printer that you can tuck away in a corner of your office or desk.
The top part of the printer easily swings open to reveal the flatbed scanner, which is best for quick single-page scans or for scanning IDs. To the left of that is an LCD control panel, which allows you to perform basic printer operations as well as quickly copy a document or ID card. Any other settings will have to be done via the companion smart app.
The printer has a handy toner level on the front as well, which is an easy indicator for when you need to pop in some more toner before running out. HP does ship this printer with toner already installed, enough for around 5,000 pages before you have to do your first toner refill.
A slightly awkward thing about the Neverstop Laser 1200w is its paper input tray. Rather than a normal sliding mechanism as seen in most printers, you have to take off a small cover first, then slide in and align your paper, and then replace the cover. It’s not the most efficient way to add paper as we often struggled with correctly putting the cover back.
Setting up the Neverstop Laser 1200w is all done through the HP Smart app, which talks you through adding the printer to your Wi-Fi network as well as alerting you to toner levels and allowing you to print directly from your phone or Google Drive. Windows users can utilize the desktop version of the app, which offers a bit more details and configuration via the printer’s dedicated web portal.
Print speed and quality
When it comes to actual printing, the Neverstop Laser 1200w gives some decent performance, depending on what you’re printing. The first page pops out in a little under 15 seconds, and it took a total of 1 minute and 22 seconds to print our text-only, 25-page document.
Text legibility was crisp and very clear, however the same can’t be said for when printing images. There’s a fair amount of banding that appears no matter how big or small your images are, so it’s good for draft document printing rather than for something you would hand over to a client for review. The printer does support manual duplex printing, so you’ll have to stand around and re-insert pages if you want to print on both sides.
Refilling the printer with toner is also easy enough. Simply slide away the protective cover on the top of the printer that covers the toner inlet, screw in a toner refill, and plunge down. The printer’s toner tank itself can handle two toner refills, so it’s up to you if you want to refill to max capacity or not.
There are dedicated buttons for quickly copying a document or an ID card, which makes this printer ideal for being set up in a reception area or any scenario where quick copying would be required. Scanning can be done via the HP Smart app, either through the mobile or desktop versions. Scanning a full page takes around 16 seconds to finish, and since there’s no automatic document feeder, it can take a while to scan multiple pages.
As an ‘install and forget about it’ printer, the HP Neverstop Laser 1200w does a very decent job of fulfilling quick print needs for small businesses. If you’re looking for a hassle-free printing solution that requires little maintenance, then this is a great printer to pick up for everyday printing.
The new toner system may seem a bit odd at first, but the speed at which toner can be refilled is exactly what HP was going for. You’ll end up spending less time fiddling around with cartridges and more time working on that next million-dollar startup pitch.