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HP LaserJet 4240N Review
Though it was discontinued several years ago, the LaserJet 4240N may still be a viable printer for many office applications. It has a large paper capacity, is fast, and includes a network card, making it among the easiest, most efficient, and most expandable older printers to get up and running in a more modern environment.
The 4240N measures 14.6" by 17.8" by 16.5" and weighs 45 lbs. With all doors and trays fully opened it measures 19.5" by 29.2" by 21.8". Accessories add onto this considerably, as the 500-sheet feeder adds 4.8" of height and 15.4 lbs, the 1500-sheet feeder adds 11.3" and 28.6 lbs, and either the stacker or the combination stapler/stacker add another 8.3" and 9.3 lbs. Both the envelope feeder and the duplex printing add-on add 5.5 lbs to the printer's weight. Given all of this, the printer will likely need its own credenza unless used in its most basic mode all of the time and not upgraded.
The 4240N prints letter-sized paper at 40 ppm and A4-sized paper at 38 ppm. This is well above the standard 20 ppm and quite good even many years after the printer's introduction. The printer can handle paper between the sizes of 3" by 5" to 8.5" by 14".
The 4240N prints at a default resolution of 1200 dpi.
The 4240N includes one 100-sheet tray and one 500-sheet tray by default, making it suitable out of the box for small offices that go through around a ream of paper each day. If necessary, this can be expanded to a total of 1600 sheets by adding the 1500-sheet feeder, readying it for larger office use or for individuals who regularly need to print large quantities of larger documents.
The 4240N includes both a USB port and an embedded HP Jetdirect print server with 10/100Base-TX network support. Unlike earlier models in the HP 4000 series, this effectively means that the printer will be usable with almost all contemporary printing equipment and in most work environments without having to purchase a number of upgrades, an issue many users would have with earlier models that only featured now long out of use legacy ports.
The 4240N includes 64MB of RAM, which can be expanded to 512 MB by adding two 100-pin DDR DIMMS at 256MB each if necessary. A minimum of 48 MB of RAM is required to use the LaserJet's embedded web server, which will allow for remote maintenance and administration and will help users bypass the issues associated with dated manufacturer's software on newer operating systems.
Features rarely available on single-function devices, such as automatic stacking and stapling, are optional purchases, as is automatic duplex printing. However, like additional memory, all of these add-ons will bring up the costs of a used 4240 considerably and many parts are no longer being manufactured, making them potentially difficult to find, especially new.
HP discontinued the 4240N in June of 2005. Receiving support and replacement parts for out of manufacture devices will likely prove more difficult than for comparable printers currently being manufactured. If purchasing the printer used, make sure that its gear and swing plate assemblies have either been fixed or that you have the means necessary to fix them.
Some users have report issues with the 4240's main gear assembly and swing plate assemblies failing over time. Later models corrected this by installing a different style gear assembly, but earlier models will produce loud grinding noises and produce paper jams if the gear assembly has worn down and lost its teeth. Several third parties sell fixes for this with instructions and replacement gears, and HP has allowed for a number of authorized repair centers to perform this fix on their own.
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