LaserJet 3700 series is a compelling reason to stop printing in
black and white. The judicious addition of color to business
reports and presentations creates an impact that’s just not
possible otherwise. Rated at 12 pages per minute, the 3700 is
positioned between the 8 ppm 3500 and the 4650 series.
CLJ 3500, $799; CLJ 3500n, $999; CLJ 3700, $1,299; CLJ 3700n, $1,599; CLJ
3700dn, $1,999; CLJ 3700dtn, $2,199
Palo Alto, Calif.
You know who the other players are in laser printers. But when it
comes to color lasers at this low price points, the field is narrow.
Lexmark, Okidata, Minolta, Samsung, and Brother are the
other games in town.
Up to 16 ppm
4First page out:
18 seconds or less
MIPS RISC at 350 MHz
True 600 x 600 dpi with HP ImageREt 2400 and HP’s print quality
Standard: 128 MB
Maximum: 448 MB
55,000 pages per month
Tray 1: 100-sheet capacity
Tray 2: 250-sheet capacity
Output capacity: 150 pages
Duplex printing: Automatic
Sizes: Letter, legal, executive, envelopes (Monarch, No. 10)
Tray 1: 3"x5" to 8.5"x14"
Tray 2: 5.8"x8.3" to 8.5"x 14"
Weights: 20 to 28 lb
Types: Paper (plain, glossy, tough, recycled), envelopes,
transparencies, labels, cardstock
Interfaces: IEEE 1284-compliant bi-directional parallel port, USB
1.1 port, HP Jetdirect 615n internal print server in EIO slot
Printer languages: HP PCL 6, HP PCL 5c, PostScript® 3 emulation
(automatic language switching)
operating systems: Microsoft® Windows® 98, 98 SE, NT 4.0, Me,
2000, XP 32-bit2; Windows Server 2003, 32-bit2; Mac® OS 9.0 and
later, Mac OS X V 10.1 and later
4Network operating systems: Via optional HP Jetdirect print
servers: Microsoft Windows 98, Me, NT 4.0,2000, XP and XP 64-bit,
Windows Server 2003, Mac OS 9.1 and later; Novell NetWare 3.2,
4.2, 5.x, 6; Red Hat Linux 6.x and later; SuSE Linux 6.x and
later; HP-UX 10.20, 11.x; Solaris 2.5x, 2.6, 7, 8 (SPARC systems
only); IBM AIX 3.2.5 and later (requires software from the NOS
Network protocols supported: TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, AppleTalk, Apple
Rendezvous compatible, DLC/LLC, Auto-IP, IP Direct Mode, NDS,
Bindery, NCP, NDPS, iPrint, Telnet, SLP, IGMP, BOOTP/DHCP, WINS,
SNMP V 1 and 2c, HTTP; LPD3, FTP Printing3 and IPP3
19" W x 17.6" D x 23.8" H
Printing: 400 watts max.
Powersave: 14.5 watts
ENERGY STAR compliant
HP Color LaserJet 3700dn Printer
By Joel Shore
Got an old monochrome laser printer at the office? It’s probably an
HP LaserJet, right? Well, find another use for it,
say, as a boat mooring. The HP Color LaserJet 3700 series is a great
reason to switch to full-time color printing.
Rated at 12 pages per minute in color or monochrome, the four printers
in the 3700 series are a step up from the more affordable 8 ppm 3500
series. There’s even an entry-level model 2550L Color LaserJet, a $499
unit that’s perfect for the home, home office, or dorm room.
The 3700dtn adds a
second input tray to the 3700dn’s network and duplex printing
The 3500 and 3700 series HP Color LaserJet printers are part of HP’s
Smart Office initiative for small and medium-size businesses. Through
Smart Office, HP aims to deliver products, services and solutions that
make technology easy to own for SMBs. Time will tell if they meet that
The 3500 models were announced at the same time as the 3700 series. The
printer we looked at for this review is the 3700dn. It features built-in
Ethernet network connectivity and a duplexer that allows for automated
printing on both sides of the paper.
The Color LaserJet 3700 is available in four different flavors. I
recommend shelling out the extra bucks for the network capability and
duplexer. That means either the 3700dn or 3700dtn models. Once you use the
duplexer to start printing on both sides of the paper, you’ll love the
savings. And two-sided output just looks more professional.
- Color LaserJet 3700
• 100-sheet multipurpose input tray and 250-sheet
tray; total input capacity of 350 sheets
• 64 MB RAM, expandable to 448 MB
Color LaserJet 3700n
All features of the 3700 model, plus:
• Jetdirect 615n Fast Ethernet internal EIO print server
Color LaserJet 3700dn
All features of the 3700n model, plus:
• Automatic two-sided duplex printing unit
• 128 MB built-in memory, expandable to 448 MB
Color LaserJet 3700dtn
All features of the 3700dn model, plus:
• 500-sheet tray for an input capacity of 850 sheets
The HP Color LaserJet 3700 series is positioned as single solution for
small- to medium-size workgroups. It offers intuitive operation and simple
network management and configuration. HP’s ImageREt 2400 technology
manipulates each dot of toner on the page, providing very good output
Set-up was straightforward. We did need two sets of hand to maneuver
the 70-lb. printer onto the lab’s counter, but I didn’t find that to be a
problem. The fact is, all color laser printers need four separate toner
cartridges (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) just the way an inkjet
printer needs four ink supplies, and all the supporting hardware makes
these devices heavy.
We like the front-facing access for inserting and replacing the four
toner cartridges. The entire front of the printer swings down, providing a
clear view inside. The black cartridge goes on top, followed by cyan and
magenta, and yellow at the bottom of the stack.
A nice touch is that the toner cartridges included with the printer are
not the half-filled so-called “starter”
cartridges that manufacturers
sometimes use to keep the product price down. These are fully filled and
will keep you going for thousands of pages.
The Myth of Dots Per Inch
What’s more interesting is comparing image quality and rated resolution
against other printers. These HP models operate at an actual resolution of
600 x 600 dots per inch. That’s 36,000 separate dots applied (as needed)
to each square inch of paper. But HP says that its ImageREt technology can
manipulate the size, positioning, and shape of each dot, yielding a result
equivalent to 2,400 dots per inch. Other manufacturers’ printers operate
at a true 1,200 x 1,200 dpi and claim their technology also yields a
result equivalent to 2,400 dpi.
So what does it mean? In my opinion, not all that much. The fact is you
have to look pretty hard to find a printer with miserable results. Unless
a particular unit is faulty, the results are likely to border on the
spectacular. To me, that means I pay no heed to the manufacturer’s specs
and concentrate on how the page looks. Pages from the 3700 look great.
Let’s go back to those four toner cartridges. In some low-end color
laser printers, the paper makes four trips around the inside of the
printer as one color, then another, and another, and another are applied.
While that method sounds reasonable, it often results in painfully slow
color performance and sometimes in colors being misaligned. The 3700 uses
single-pass technology, applying all four toner colors in a single pass.
That’s the way to go. But, curiously, that method slows monochrome-only
The Bottom Line
We liked the HP Color LaserJet 3700dn. It is more expensive to operate
than some competing models, but we can’t argue with the quality of the
output. Text was crisp and images shows no streaks or spots where toner
was applied unevenly. For a small office or department, the HP Color
LaserJet 3700dn is a good choice.<
Yeas & Nays
trays and toner cartridges all accessible from the front; no more
side panels to open
accessory enables two-sided printing
as much bang for the buck as some competing models
In The Box
• Color printer
• Toner cartridges (4)
• Getting Started guide
• Setup poster
• CD containing software drivers,
utilities, and user’s guide
• Power Cord