The HP LaserJet 1300 monochrome laser printer is a throwback in many ways - it doesn't produce colour prints, it looks like a mid-90s inkjet printer, and its print quality looks like it came out of the last decade. HP gave a solid effort, but this printer should get comfortable in its box, on the shelf.
There is good news to share about this printer. Its printing speeds are above average for monochrome printers. HP rates the printer at 20 pages per minute of text, and it managed to churn out a respectable 16 pages per minute in tests. When printing those low-quality images mentioned earlier in this review, the LaserJet 1300 logged just under 12 pages per minute, which is by far one of the best rates in the industry. Of course, while these numbers are impressive, it's likely that most users would exchange a slightly lower page per minute rate for higher quality text and recognisable images.
Where the LaserJet 1300 improves upon its predecessors is in the area of wireless networking support. Previous models simply did not support this feature, so it's good to see HP finally integrating it into their entry-level monochrome lineup. This makes the printer a good fit for home or small office users, and maybe even some business users who don't mind its occasional textual printing glitches.
Hewlett-Packard produces many affordable, high-quality, great-value printers, and this is not one of those printers. Trying to follow up on the success of its LaserJet 1200 series, the HP LaserJet 1300 makes some inexplicable sacrifices on print quality; at the default (and highest) setting of 600 x 600 dpi, this monochromatic printer's text tended to smudge a little, and could look "shaky" on some prints, as if the paper had shifted in the process of printing the page. This wasn't a consistent problem, but bad enough to be noticed. Its image quality is even worse - bad enough that users shouldn't bother with printing images at all. And, with this being a monochrome laser printer, it's quite likely that most people don't plan to print images anyway.
Hewlett-Packard could have done better with this printer; faint, distorted text on a page is simply not acceptable in the home or small office environments for which this printer was intended. The low quality is unprofessional and will cause many users to return it or simply refrain from purchasing this printer.