HP LaserJets: 1022 vs P2015?

dan_reynolds's picture

Hello everyone… I know that the "what printer should I buy for typeface proofing" question has been done to death over and over on Typophile, so I will try to keep my question really specific.

I'm about to buy a laser printer in Berlin. I've narrowed my search down to two possibilities: the HP LaserJet 1022 and the HP LaserJet P2015.

In England, I've inherited an 1022, but I don't have it with me when I am in Germany, and I will be leaving it in Reading (hello Reading MATD class of 2008–2009!) when I relocate back to Germany for good at the end of September. The 1022 is nice, but it doesn't render outlines 100% perfectly. It is close though.

So I need to buy a printer for the longer haul. I can easily afford another 1022, but the twice-as-expensive P2015 (300 euro vs. 130 euro) looks good as well. I don't care about printing speed, since I only proof a few pages at a time. Both printers print 1200 x 1200 dpi. But if I can get better (really) outline rendition on 12 point type, the price increase of the P2015 would be worth it, I think.

Does anyone here use the P2015? Would you recommend it? Thanks!

P.S.: At Linotype, I used a P3005, which I just love, love, love! If I can find one in my price range, I'd probably buy it instead. But this isn't really my question.

clauses's picture

I use the P2015 and it's great and only eight seconds from you print to the first page comes out – even from standby mode. Highly recommended.

peterbruhn's picture

I'm really happy with my P20015. I haven't seen print-outs from the 1022 so I can't compare, but it's good detail down to very small sizes.

Jens Kutilek's picture

Dan,

have you thought about getting an older model? I bought a used LJ 4050 last summer for about 70 € (incl. PS, 3rd paper cassette, no network). That's a real workhorse, indestructible ;)

I can compare only to a HP LJ 6MP (600dpi) and a 1200dpi Kyocera FS-1920, the 4050 prints way better than both of them.

If you're in Berlin, I can show you a printout :)

Jens

Nicole Dotin's picture

As the previous owner of your 1022... I'm surprised you would consider buying another (but happy it's worked for you, too). The price is certainly right, but its print outs are grainy and always heavy. I wouldn't buy that printer for the long-haul.

How is the 1022, anyway? Does it miss me?

dezcom's picture

Dan,
I have a 2300 HP. It is 600dpi and comes with what they call Pro Rez that is supposed to simulate 1200 dpi. I would compare results to how an inflatable woman compares to a real human :-)

It is a good general purpose machine but not so good for type design. As you say with the 1022, outline rendition at smaller sizes is not acceptable for type design use. Let me now how your new machine works out!

ChrisL

dan_reynolds's picture

>How is the 1022, anyway? Does it miss me?

Yes, it does! I think that it misses Charlie most of all, though. The printer is decidedly not moody, which I can't say about any of the other printers I try to connect to regularly. Of course you are right about that weight being a problem.

Jens, I have thought about buying a used printer. The only drawback is that I need to make my decision soon; I'd like to have whatever I'm going to get by this time next week.

It is nice to hear some good things about the P2015.

Nicole Dotin's picture

Well, tell the 1022 we all say hi (although, you might want to avoid telling it we don't think it's the ideal printer for type design proofing... no need to insult it).

jupiterboy's picture

Not on topic, but for what it is worth. Top is process black on uncoated vs. Ricoh AP610N on super white office paper on the bottom. Walbaum 9/11.125.

I recently purchased this for about $400 US.

dezcom's picture

I always use very good paper and it really helps but 600dpi just doesn't cut it for type.

ChrisL

ebensorkin's picture

I have a P2015 too. The main drawback already - noted else where - is that hinted fonts don't proof properly with it. It's some kind of HP rendering engine glitch. I have been meaning to see if they patched it in some kind of firmware update or something for a while! But if you can proof sans hints then you are alright. I really like it's speed and the quality is good. I compared it against many other new printers looking at actual output last year and I felt it was the best compromise in the price range. Paper has a definite impact on quality. I have had no issues with it in the past year.

dan_reynolds's picture

Thanks, Eben! What about unhinted fonts?

andyclymer's picture

Hey Eben, I'm curious about this HP hinting glitch, what exactly happens?

pattyfab's picture

HP uses postscript emulation, rather than true postscript. For true postscript I recomment the Ricoh that James mentioned above, or a Xante machine. I have the Ricoh and think it's a great machine. They also make a smaller version, I can't remember the exact name.

k.l.'s picture

No problem with unhinted fonts.

HP's PS-interpreter applies hints even at resolutions/sizes that don't need hints. E.g. overshoot is suppressed, so round letters are smaller than they actually are. Not really useful for evaluating type design.
It's amazing that HP still hasn't done anything about it -- they know about the problem for a couple of years now.

ebensorkin's picture

Thanks Karsten! Now I don't have to go & link to the thread where you said that.

Maybe one day I will have a Xante...

:-)

dezcom's picture

I would love a 2400 dpi Xante but $4000 is more than I can spare.

ChrisL

ebensorkin's picture

Likewise. But when those fonts start selling like hotcakes... nevermind.

Actually, if you are proofing for office use I think the P2015 is not bad at all. ;-)

dezcom's picture

I can dream of selling like hotcakes but first I have to get them off of the griddle :-)

ChrisL

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

And I though type designers were rich :op ...

Thomas Phinney's picture

I knew about HP's PostScript clone incorrectly applying overshoot suppression at sizes beyond what it should. Do we actually know anything specific about any other bad hint processing on their part? I certainly don't.

Although the overshoot processing bug *is* a big one for type designers working with Type 1 or OpenType CFF, it bothers me when a very specific problem starts to be represented as being broader and more nebulous than it is. Then again, maybe Karsten knows something I don't - certainly possible!

Cheers,

T

k.l.'s picture

Yep, the "e.g." before "overshoot" was nonsense. The overshoot issue is serious enough for type designers who want to see the overshoot and evaluate whether it is sufficient or not. What bothers me is that type designers who use a HP (one without original Adobe RIP) should need to find out by themselves that the error is not in their drawings.

Btw, I still use a HP printer, my third or fourth, because I like the printing quality.

dan_reynolds's picture

Well, thank you everyone for all your comments! After much looking, I've ordered the P2015. If it is good enough for Peter Bruhn, then it is good enough for me, I guess.

I spent a while looking for Ricohs, Xantes and Xeroxes. None of these were carried in stores. I had heard some good things about real PostScript Xeroxes, but online, I could only find a single b/w Xerox Phaser in my price range, and just had PostScript 3 emulation. I could get a big Ricoh, but only if I had it shipped from the US. That would surely take too long, and I'd have to pay import duties as well, which in my experience seem to average about 20% of the cost. I couldn't find any Xantes in country either.

Since I'm proofing unhinted type, I think that I'll be allright for now. I've had good experiences with the HP 3005, so I have my fingers crossed. Wish me luck!

Chris, I can send you samples later if you'd like.

dezcom's picture

"Chris, I can send you samples later if you’d like."

Thanks, Dan!

ChrisL

hrant's picture

Is the P3005 true PS?

hhp

dezcom's picture

Hrant,
According to the HP site, Print languages are HP PCL 5e HP PCL 6, HP postscript level 3 emulation.

HP has a reasonable postscript emulation but tends to add more weight to horizontal than to vertical lines. It is also a tad bit heavier than true PostScript. It is very reliable though.

ChrisL

paragraph's picture

wrong thread, oops

hrant's picture

> tends to add more weight to horizontal than to vertical lines.

Interesting. Is this documented anywhere,
or did you do hi-res scans or something?

> It is also a tad bit heavier than true PostScript.

Well, the lower a printer's resolution (yours is 600 dpi, right?)
the thicker everything looks. Or do you mean that at the same
resolution a true PS printer renders lighter?

BTW, my 1022 has a weight setting that makes everything
lighter or heavier, but I haven't tested it rigorously.

hhp

dezcom's picture

Hrant,
I meant heavier than a 1200 dpi Xante with true Adobe PostScript, not my 600 dpi printer. I have done ImageSetter tests using a Linotronic at 2540 dpi. The Linotronic was clearly lighter than any Laser printer I have ever seen and the curves and near verticals (as you might imagine) were incredibly smoothe. I can't even find a service bureau which does this kind of output any more. Direct to plate prepress has killed the market, The only people on the planet who want Linotronic photo paper output are type designers like us and we are all too broke and too few to be worth the effort. :-)

I find the lightweight settings on laser printers just reduces the density of toner applied giving you the appearance of lighter weight but not really accurate enough to help you refine a typeface at text sizes or smaller.

ChrisL

hrant's picture

> The Linotronic was clearly lighter than
> any Laser printer I have ever seen

That's mostly (but not entirely) due to the higher resolution though.

> I find the lightweight settings on laser
> printers just reduces the density of toner

That's something called "economode" or something, that saves toner by printing gray. AFAIK there's something else that causes more or less toner to amass on the drum, in effect making the "silhouettes" fatter or thinner. But yeah, I wouldn't trust that to equate to a higher-res printer at all, at least not at the letterform level.

hhp

dezcom's picture

"But yeah, I wouldn’t trust that to equate to a higher-res printer at all, at least not at the letterform level."

Yup, that is our dilemma.

ChrisL

hrant's picture

I just saw this - looks quite promising:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&sk...
http://www.productwiki.com/dell-2230d/

It even has duplexing, which makes the price exceptional.

hhp

_Palatine_'s picture

Thanks, hrant!

That actually does look like a great unit.

Replaced my Laserjet P2015 (it died, out of warranty) with this:

http://www.brother.ca/en/printer/description.asp?Prodid=7407656982107861...

It's getting excellent reviews. It does true 1200 dpi, duplexing, emulates Postscript 3 (supposed to be decent), and is quite affordable.

hrant's picture

That does look good. WiFi too!

hhp

nina's picture

Brother is generally supposed to be pretty good from what I hear. FWIW one guy from my type class did a little comparison about half a year ago comparing scans from the same file printed on different printers; the Brother models (HL5040 and HL5250) performed exceptionally in terms of quality, compared to the rest (some HP/Canon/Lexmark models). Now these models don't seem to be available anymore… but maybe that's a vote for Brother in general.

hrant's picture

The 5040 is actually 600dpi, but I'm getting the feeling that the
5370 is a new version of the 5250 (which would be good news).

hhp

nina's picture

Hm – the file I have shows both a 600dpi and a 1200dpi version/setting(?) of the 5040 (and even the 600dpi looks impressive in fact). I should ask back.

dezcom's picture

"...guy from my type class did a little comparison about half a year ago comparing scans from the same file printed on different printers"

Nina,
The comparison of scanned images is not the best way to check a printer for use in type design. You can see general printing ability and rendering of pixel images but type design needs to see how a printer pours pixels into a bezier outline--how does it choose to deal with rounding, how much hinting affects the output, how it interprets PostScript, how much toner spread it generates, etc.. At large sizes, this is less of an issue but at text sizes, it can be quite significant.
I even notice a difference using the same printer and type if it comes from the originating app like InD or from a PDF generated from it. Oddly enough, even Adobe products like InD and PDF don't always match when printed to a laser printer. I don't know if this is do to PostScript interpreter, the operating system rendering, or differences in the way each software sends to the rendering device.

ChrisL

nina's picture

"The comparison of scanned images is not the best way to check a printer for use in type design"
? Did I say images? Sorry if I was unclear, Chris – it was text he printed/scanned (Optima at 8pt). But there was no control over the paper used etc., so it's obviously not going to be the Ultimate Answer (but still interesting).
I would have permission to post an image if people are interested.

BTW, I know that other problem; my printer's output is useless directly from InDesign – I make PDFs of everything. :-\

Thomas Phinney's picture

As I recall, as of several years ago, Brother's PostScript emulation was exceptionally bad. I wouldn't have touched it with a 10-foot pole based on that.

This may have changed since, or perhaps my memory is faulty, but that's what I recall hearing from the printer gurus at Adobe.

Regards,

T

_Palatine_'s picture

Thomas:

Could it be a PPD vs. CUPS issue?

Or print at PostScript Level II instead? Or print to PDF instead?

Brother implements "BR-Script3" emulation on its lasers, at least in this price range. All I can tell so far is that 1200dpi text printed from the HL-5370DW is crisp and beautiful. But that's not much of a Postscript test. I don't really use Adobe products, either. I do the odd thing in Quark Xpress8, though I haven't had time to test this printer with it. This printer is strictly for text, used with Apple's Pages application.

What is the best test for Postscript emulation quality?

Of course a Laserwriter 8500 is still an option. Always one for sale somewhere. ;)

_Palatine_'s picture

Thomas:

I should add that although I don't really use Adobe software, I *am* a fan of the Adobe fonts. ;)

Actually, with respect to Laserwriters, OS X 10.6 no longer includes AppleTalk. So if I want true PostScript goodness I'd need to set up my old PowerPC 6100/60 from 1994 as a print server. Hehe . . .

hrant's picture

> Laserwriter 8500

I would never buy that. It doesn't have an "i" in front of it.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=itard

Hey u guyz no wen iNeedALife at the STORE?

hhp

nina's picture

Wow Thomas, that's worrisome. Our teachers at the type class specifically recommended Brother printers. I wonder if they changed something about that emulation.

Now I can't help posting at least a bit of this:
(8pt Optima scanned at 1200 dpi, thanks to Richard)
Looks pretty good to me, especially the 5250.

Full file here: http://www.altaira.de/posted/infomercial.png

Sorry for making the HP thread a Brother thread…

hrant's picture

That's pretty revealing! Thank you.
But did you say the paper was different for each one?

hhp

nina's picture

Yeah, no control over the paper. Basically this is what he said:

"I went to Media Markt to look at mono laser printers but there was no
good information or examples of the quality. So, I did an experiment:
I asked friends and colleagues to print out a sample on their laser
printer, and scanned in the results.
The attached image is 8pt Optima scanned at 1200 dpi. At the top and
the bottom, you can see how it "should" look, and in between, the scan
from each printout. As you can see there is quite a difference between
the printers. (Of course there will also be differences because of
different paper, older toner, etc, etc, but I couldn't control that.)"

So it's not uh, scientific. But still interesting.

hrant's picture

One other wrench in the test: there are many different versions of
Optima! For example in mine (TT, Medium weight, from Linotype)
the stems are cupped at the baseline.

hhp

dan_reynolds's picture

Nina, this is great! But you need at least one more line in your test: the same word in the same point size printed on the same paper stock, but on an offset press (maybe multiple presses, too…)

nina's picture

I'll try to get the file Richard used for testing.
Actually that might be pretty cool, we could continue&expand the experiment here on Typophile :)

[Edit] Dan, offset would be great. And letterpress! But I guess we'd need to get funding for that. :)

dan_reynolds's picture

No, you shouldn't test just for the sake of testing! It isn't really relevant how close the the laser-printed output is to the font's outlines. What is important is how close the printer approximates the font's appearance in real print. Testing with letterpress isn't really relevant, unless you are making a face primarily intended for that medium… which is practically never the case anymore.

hrant's picture

But Dan, "real print" is misleading, because even offset varies. So maybe comparing to the outlines does make sense in its own way: it's a comparison with the "ideal" that the printer is given to print.

> practically never the case anymore.

Well, not never.

hhp

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