Friday, November 25, 2005

Beware of New HP LaserJet Printers!


As part of a Thanksgiving project to make my parent's home "fully" wireless, my Dad and I picked up a new HP LaserJet 1022 and hooked it up to a D-Link DP-G321 wireless print server.

Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get the damn thing to print. After doing a bit of searching online, I came across this and this (english translation) information.

It seems that the new lower-end (ours was $200) HP LaserJet printers are using a host-based printing system. The printers must be directly attached to a Windows or Mac computer, and thus aren't compatible with most print servers (I think HP sells their own compatible wireless print server for over $200 - but forget that!).

Note that this restriction is not explicitly called out in the above HP support document entitled "Explanation of Host-Based Driver", which of course focuses more on the "benefits" of host-based printing (*eye roll*).

Here are the printers that are currently crippled by host-based printing:

  • HP Color LaserJet 1500 series printer

  • HP Color LaserJet 2600n printer

  • HP Color LaserJet 3500 and 3550 series printer

  • HP LaserJet 5L and 6L series printers

  • HP LaserJet 1000, 1005, 1010, 1012, and 1015 series printers

  • HP LaserJet 1020, and 1022 series printers (by default a host-based driver is installed for both of these products. A PCL5e driver is available for use with the HP LaserJet 1022(only))

  • HP LaserJet 1150 series printers (The PCL5e driver is the default driver for this printer.)

  • HP LaserJet 1160 series printers (The PCL5e driver is the default driver for this printer when performing a typical installation. The PCL5e print driver is available on the CD-ROM and for download from the HP Web site.)

  • HP LaserJet 3100 and 3150 series products
If you're thinking about setting up a wireless or other home or small-business print server, or use an OS other than Windows or OS X, be very careful about choosing one of the above printers.

D-Link also provides a list of servers they have successfully tested with their DP-G321 wireless print server.

Also, for what it's worth, the D-Link DP-G321 is a great device. I bought a similar device last year made by a company called Hawking Technology that was a total piece of crap and is now a brick taking up space in the bottom of a drawer. I've actually been pretty happy with D-Link in general. I've had 2 Linksys APs die on me recently, and a Netgear fry (literally -- the thing burned up). D-Link seems to be on the ball when it comes to making great products and posting up-to-date firmware and support info.

Anyhow, the HP is going back to Fry's. I've hooked up Dad's old HP LaserJet 6P, which is compatible with the wireless print server. HP lost the sale, incurred the cost of the return, and earned a bad review posted on the 'net for others to read. Hope they get a clue soon.

(The Caution Image was made by warninglabelgenerator.com - doesn't this site rock?)

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