The HP Color LaserJet 3600n is a single user or small workgroup color laser printer that has everything in its modest little package. This is another HP printer design whose size belies the power within its discrete chassis.
The curved front wall makes it aesthetically pleasing while hiding the paper path and toners. The cartridges clip into a vertical rack which sits along the single pass paper path. The belt is actually fastened to the front wall, which makes clearing paper jams as easy as it's possible to be.
The 3600n has a 250 sheet paper tray and a 100 sheet bypass feed. It is possible to upgrade the paper handling by purchasing a further 500 sheet paper tray which will fit on the bottom. This is the only expansion you can perform on the 3600n, the big brother the 3600dn has a duplexer and twice the memory. Although 64Mb of memory should be plenty enough for most uses.
There is a simple backlit LCD which has a complete set of menus which is navigable by the buttons beside it. The menu was intuitive and easy to navigate thanks to the helpful back button. It's such a simple thing but you'd be surprised how many manufacturers didn't include them on some models.
The 3600n prints monochrome text at a respectable 13 pages per minute in real world tests and color at 13.5 pages per minute. Despite looking more dark gray than black, the text looked pretty good. The fill was even and the edges straight. There was a little blurriness at lower points however, but nothing to put you off buying it. Color photographs were accurate, including the color use and transitions. All-in-all a good performance for a color laser.
For once, you get full cartridges with this printer. That might not sound much, but we are so used to being provided with "starter toners" that is does make a difference. Considering consumables is where the manufacturers actually make their profit, this is a good point indeed. Each black toner is good for 6000 pages, and the colors for 4000 so it does make a difference to running costs.
Overall, the HP Color LaserJet 3600n is a solid performer at a decent price. It's quick, accurate and produces prints of a quality you can't argue with. It's reliable and comes with the backing of one of the biggest names in the industry. We see no reason why this couldn't be a solid contender for the SOHO printer market.