The HP LaserJet 1300 is the replacement for the inimitable LaserJet 1200 which was the stalwart of previous years, and many reviewers and users favorite. The 1300 still retains much of the character of the older model, such as the sloping front, USB only, no USB or parallel cable, but does it improve on its predecessor?
At first glance, the LaserJet 1300 looks cheap and flimsy. The paper tray at the front doesn't look very sturdy, the construction doesn't look as solid as some of the other series of printers and it doesn't come with any cables to connect it up.
The exterior does not relate to the strength of the printer though. The print engine is strong, the processor and memory are quite capable of providing fast, quality printing that would suit almost any use. Photographs can be a little vague, but the grayscale is good, and they are easily understandable. Text is the real strength of any laser, as well as the strength of the LaserJet 1300. Edges are exact, coverage is even and black, edges are sharp. Even the smallest points are clear, unblurred and look perfectly good enough for business use.
While this printer is USB only in its basic form, it is expandable to be wireless with the purchase of a wireless card. The only downside to that is that it costs half the price of the printer. If you can overcome that, it's a great way to free yourself from wires and share the printer between machines.
The LaserJet 1300 uses HP's instant on fuser technology which uses smaller toner particles that take much less warming up than traditional toner. This also apparently allows the printer to lay the toner down more accurately, which might explain why the print quality is so good.
The initial setting up is simple. Once unpacked, there is a poster-type instruction sheet that makes it about as easy as it is possible to be to get up and running. USB is about as easy as it can be for Windows users, as it takes care of everything itself. The driver package also installs everything itself and it all just, works.
Don't be fooled by the first impressions of the LaserJet 1300. It might not look like much but it's every bit as capable as anything else out there at the price.