HP Color Laserjet CM6040 MFP review

This multifunction heavyweight is designed for large workgroups and comes equipped with comprehensive security features? We examine it for speed, quality and usability.

The multifunction comes with an 80GB hard drive fitted as standard, which is virtually essential to buffer documents, but it can also be used to permanently store standard documents, so they can be printed without having to repeatedly send them from a PC. Prints can also be sent to the machine and held until a PIN is entered at the keyboard.

This concern with security is also, according to HP, why it doesn't have a flash drive socket for walk-up printing or a 'repeat last print job' function, by default. We don't really see this argument, as there's no reason why these facilities can't be tied in with a PIN to provide necessary confidentiality.

HP rates the print engine of the CM6040 MFP at 41ppm mono, so we ran a mix of short and longer documents on it, to test the claim. Our five-page black test print took 29 seconds, as did the text and graphics job, giving real-world speeds of just over 10ppm for both. Increasing the page count to 20 produced a time of 51 seconds, equivalent to a page speed of 23.5ppm, so you're going to have to print a long document to get close to 41ppm.

In duplex mode, our 20-side document completed in 58 seconds, so still over 20spm, and switching to A3 produced five colour pages in 38 seconds. While the printer is certainly no slouch, you should take the speeds on the spec sheet with some of the old NaCl.

The output quality from this machine is very good on text and colour graphics, with intense, striking colours and a gloss sheen to all print, which we think is classy, though opinions vary. Photo prints are a bit grainy, but colours are natural and there's a wide enough colour gamut to handle quite subtle changes of hue.

HP sells the Color Laserjet CM6040 MFP in a number of different ways. You can buy the multifunction, its consumables and a service contract, so somebody is available on an eight-hour call out, or pay per page, with different rates for black and colour pages. The best route will depend on the number of pages you expect the machine to print and whether you have an IT department to provide support. Based on consumables costs alone, you're looking at around 0.3p per black page and 4.0p per colour one. Both of these figures are good, but not unheard of in this market segment.

Verdict

Large workgroup MFP printers are designed to work largely unattended and be used by anybody with the right authorisation. HP has built a number of useful extra controls into this device and provided a very expandable printing and scanning framework, so you can add extra functions as and when they're needed.

Resolution: 1,200 x 600dpi, 41ppm A4/A3 duplex colour printer DPI: 600dpi duplex colour scanner Dimensions: 704 x 673 x 988mm Paper handling: 2 x 500-sheet paper trays + 100 sheet multi-purpose feed Duty Cycle: 15,000 page monthly duty cycle Connectivity: USB 2.0, gigabit Ethernet Software: HP Web Jetadmin, Toolbox, Common driver

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