HP LaserJet 3100 Review
The 1998 HP LaserJet 3100 top-feed all-in-one offers faxing, copying, scanning, and printing to consolidate four machines mandatory for businesses and putting them in a single package.
At 23 pounds, the all-in-one copier has a footprint of only 15 x 15.5 inches, allowing for this copier to be right at home sitting on a desk or a table.
The control panel allows for scanning, faxing and copying controls to be performed without the need for a computer interface. Features include 10-number address book, redial, and a phone keypad for manual dialing of fax numbers.
The automatic top-loading document feeder allows for 30 single-sided originals up to 8.5” x 118’ at up to 28-pound paper weight. The LaserJet 3100 can produce up to 99 copies at the rate of 6 pages per minute. Copy magnification ranges from 50% to 200%. A special carrier sheet is provided for scanning and faxing of small documents, such as business cards and receipts.
As a printer, the 3100 connects to your Wintel machine only through a Parallel port—no USB support is available. Having a maximum resolution of 600 x 600 dpi and max speed of 12 ppm, the multi-function prints decent monochrome text and graphics. The resolution isn’t the best for highly detailed photographic prints.
The Fax mode has all of the features an office needs. Auto-redial, ad-hoc group faxing, speed-dialing, 100 number distribution lists, delay faxing, and polling can all be performed using the controls on the front panel of the LaserJet 3100. Faxes can be sent and receive grayscale images up to 300 x 300 dpi resolutions at 6 seconds per letter-sized page. Using the automatic document feeder, banner pages up to 39 inches in length can be faxed. If the 3100 is printing or copying while a fax is being received, the LaserJet will store the fax in memory.
Being a printer manufactured in 1998, the LaserJet 3100 will be behind on several features. There is no support for USB or Ethernet. No options for increasing paper capacity. The 6 monochrome pages per minute print speed is slower than even current color laser printers.
While similar multi-function machines have at least 8MB, HP equipped the 3100 with only 2MB of memory. This size is sufficient for fax machines and for small text print jobs, but any PDFs or full-page graphics printing will take longer to spool up before printing. It is not recommended to use the LaserJet 3100 as a shared printer. Unfortunately, HP wouldn’t deign the 3100 with an extra RAM slot to add your own additional memory.
HP does not offer PCL or PostScript print emulation with this model. Instead, the 3100 relies on emulation from the host computer itself. For most printing, users won’t notice any difference in performance and considering the low resolutions of this all-in-one it’s unlikely any high-end Adobe graphics will be sent to this multi-function anyway.
The 100-sheet paper tray is woefully undersized for making prints or copies. It’s typical for even a small office to go through a ream of paper in a single day. And it’s also common for offices buy paper in 500-sheet reams, if not a 10-ream case. For personal and home use, a 250-sheet tray is sufficient, so long as you’re not someone whose home is their office. Having a tray that you can dump an entire ream of paper into would be something any office would invest a few more dollars for.
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