HP LaserJet 1320

Whether you're looking for black laser-text perfection or two-sided printing, the HP LaserJet 1320 does the trick and then some.

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There's a reason Hewlett-Packard dominates the market for business-class laser printers. The company knows what business users want: solid performance, no-fuss design and good manageabilitt. The HP LaserJet 1320, a compact home and office monochrome printer, may not be the cheapest small-office laser available, but it delivers on the essentials and then some. It prints sharp, clean black letters and good graphics that suit professional manuscripts. And unlike modest lasers such as the Brother HL-5140, which costs half the price, this HP offers options your growing business will need, such as a built-in duplexer, a high maximum resolution for greyscale graphics and the option to buy a model with wired or wireless networking preinstalled. Aside from the single-user 1320, which we reviewed, you can pick from three networkable versions, including the 1320nw with bundled 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. The HP LaserJet 1320 makes a great business investment, whether you work in a one-person shop or a corporate office.

The design of the HP LaserJet 1320 screams "made for your cubicle," from its two-tone grey casing and teal- and salmon-coloured buttons to its compact, cubic shape, which makes it look like a massive workgroup laser shrunk down to desktop size. Given the clutter on most desks, we appreciate the self-containment of the toaster-shaped 1320. Printed pages come out of the top panel of the printer, and the 250-sheet input drawer slides neatly into the printer's body. This machine has a 350 x 355 x 262 mm (W x D x H) footprint and weighs 11.2 kg.

The 1320 also features a single-sheet multipurpose input tray, which you can access through a door on the front panel to quickly print letterhead or envelopes one at a time. In case you're printing on heavy media and need a straight paper path, just open the output door on the back panel, and your prints will exit there without curling.

The HP LaserJet 1320 includes both a contemporary USB 2.0 port and an old-fashioned parallel port, but as usual, you'll have to buy the cables separately. If you need to share the printer in a workgroup, you should pay AU$200 more up front for the network-ready 1320n (AU$1099).

The HP LaserJet 1320 merits applause for including a feature that's rare in such a small machine: its built-in duplexer lets you print on both sides of a page without making you flip over the sheets one by one. Given that the advent of e-mail and the Internet have ironically created more paper waste, duplexers are a cost-effective, environmentally friendly must-have for any office. You'll be hard-pressed to find a duplexing desktop laser printer in this price range. The similarly priced Samsung ML-2152W, for one, includes a duplexer but eats up more space on your desk. And whereas most duplexers are noisy, slow, and bulk up the printer's rear end, the 1320's uses a unique approach to cut down the clatter and clutter. Once the machine finishes printing on one side, you'll see the paper slide halfway out of the machine, then get sucked back in for side two.

This printer comes with a 250-sheet input tray. You can feed this machine paper up to legal size as well as card stock, envelopes, and transparencies. The HP LaserJet 1320 includes 16MB of RAM, which you can expand to 144MB.

You can hook this printer up to computers running Windows 98 on up or Mac OS 9.1 and above. Installing the 1320 on one computer is simple. The printer also comes with the option to create and deploy a custom-installation utility across the network. The utility can put the drivers on an office intranet so that users can hook themselves up to the printer. You won't use this unless you add a print server or buy one of the network-ready 1320s, but the option is there. The 1320 also comes with HP's Toolbox software, which uses a Web interface to troubleshoot problems and manage the printer's status, configuration, and supplies. This program will even send you e-mail alerts if something goes wrong.

The 1320 has the control languages HP PCL 5e and HP PCL 6 for basic printing tasks and PostScript Level 2 emulation for users who create or work with more complex desktop-publishing and graphics documents.

The HP LaserJet 1320 printed sharp, bold, black text in CNET Labs' tests. Text became faint and spidery at 2.5- and 3-point font sizes, yet the letters didn't glob together. The text looked excellent at normal, readable sizes. At the default setting of 600x600dpi, our grayscale-graphics test document produced impressively smooth, evenly stepped shading from dark to light. The graphical and photo elements of our test document were short of perfect -- a little grainy and lacking in detail. We noticed extraneous white dots on the border between a dark grey object and its black background, but when we bumped the quality setting up to ProRes 1200 (with a high 180 lines per inch), the finer halftone dots greatly improved the detail and clarity of photos and graphics.

The HP LaserJet 1320 performed well in CNET Labs' tests, averaging 17.4 pages per minute (ppm) for text and 13ppm for graphics. While it didn't rip ahead of every laser machine, the 1320 ranked among the top small laser printers in its class, such as the Brother HL-5140, which printed text at 15.97ppm and graphics at 16.46ppm. We found no glitches with the reliable and quiet performance of the HP LaserJet 1320.

CNET Labs' laser printer tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Black graphics speed
Black text speed
Lexmark E332n
HP LaserJet 1320
Brother HL-5140
Samsung ML-2152W

CNET Labs' laser quality
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Graphics quality
Text quality
HP LaserJet 1320
Samsung ML-2152W
Lexmark E332n
Brother HL-5140

Click here to learn more about how CNET Labs tests printers.

Performance analysis written by CNET Labs project leader Dong Van Ngo.

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leo posted a comment   

The Good:slow on graphics

The Bad:incredible with vector format (text) printing

This machine works wonderfuly. I bought it off someone who thought it was broken- but it was just that it had a non brand name ink toner.
It's a great machine, the double sided printing is a great timesaver! Graphics are slow- as stated.


arnold posted a review   

The Good:Perfect,suitable for customers

The Bad:Thanks

All the products are of extreme speed .they are superior than one another.
HP Q5949a

Sanjay Kumar

Sanjay Kumar posted a review   

Bad printer, it takes long time to print word file containing even small size of picture e.g appended signature


Pacey posted a review   

The Good:Very good quality text, high print rate, double sided prints, fast and quiet. Compact form factor.

The Bad:None found

Excellent printer, I've now done about 25,000 pages with mine with no problems. Seems to be bulletproof.


Bumbar posted a review   

Small bad printer and Company is good


"Trouble From The Start"

Jim posted a comment   

Running Win98 installed this printer printed fine. Turned off computer, then turned on had to reinstall driver. Did so printer started to smell like burning electronics. finially got it to print. Now two weeks later and less than 100 pages it say it has a fatal error and must be returned. Not my idea of a quality product. I hope the next one is better, returning is such a hassle.


"Not for Graphics"

Anonymous posted a comment   

This printer just doesn't work with Graphics or bigger files. Probably because of the smsall (16mb) memory. So, if you want to print small Word or Excel files, it is good, but for say large PDF or Visio files, this printer would not work.


"Manual feed is a joke"

Anonymous posted a comment   


"Good for text, terrible for graphics."

Celso coslop posted a comment   

Do you want to print text? Great, buy this machine. Very good text (really good!) and nice duplexer.

Do you want to print graphics and photos?
DO NOT buy this machine. The graphics qualitu is below expectation and takes long time to process graphics image. Only give acceptable results at 1200 dpi, but at slow speed and below average quality.


"Ideal for Small Office or Home"

Anonymous posted a review   

I've been using the HP1320 printer now for a few days. First impressions, it's a very well built printer and it's very quick. For pictures I had to dump the resolution up to the maximum (1200x1200) otherwise they looked blurry. No problems so far. One hint though, use the PCL6 driver and not the 5e which is limited to 600dpi max.

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User Reviews / Comments  HP LaserJet 1320

  • leo


    "This machine works wonderfuly. I bought it off someone who thought it was broken- but it was just that it had a non brand name ink toner.
    It's a great machine, the double sided printing is a..."

  • arnold



    "All the products are of extreme speed .they are superior than one another.

  • Sanjay Kumar

    Sanjay Kumar


    "Bad printer, it takes long time to print word file containing even small size of picture e.g appended signature"

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