The Hewlett Packard LaserJet 4L printer is a monochrome laser printer that embodies the term workhorse. HP designates the Macintosh-compatible version the LaserJet 4ML, but they are essentially the same machine. Unlike most printers in the LaserJet 4 series, the 4L and 4ML are relatively small and HP intends them for personal rather than corporate use. The other small LaserJet 4 series printers are the 4P and the 4MP, which HP intends for small businesses. However, in many cases, the 4L meets the needs of the small office just fine without the additional cost of the 4P model.
HP introduced the LaserJet 4 series in the mid-1990s, and the fact that so many are still in use is a testament to their impeccable design. That performance and quality are still there today. Nevertheless, the HP LaserJet 4 series has begun to show signs of age visually. In both the home and office, the HP 4L is a dinosaur with a dull, boxy design that has too many pointed corners. It also boasts leaden buttons and an out-dated LCD screen. But if you can get past these eyesores, then the LaserJet 4L still has a very functional and easy-to-use design.
The fact that so many HP 4L printers are still chugging along is their greatest advantage. Whether you buy one new, used or refurbished, you can be sure that you are getting a powerful machine at a great price that is going to last. So while it may not have the flair that so many modern printers do, it does offer cost-effectiveness in spades. This carries over to maintenance as well since HP 4L toner cartridges are less expensive than the toner cartridges for most other laser printers intended for home use are. It is also very easy to install replacement HP 4L toner cartridges thanks to the printer's design.
The biggest disadvantage to the HP 4L is that this machine is slow, incredibly slow by today's standards. It prints at a rate of approximately 4 pages per minute at 300 dpi. That is too slow for business use and it can be infuriating for home use if you need to print out many pages. In addition, the HP LaserJet 4L does not have a USB connection. In fact, its only connection is a parallel port. The good news is that most computers still have these old printer connections, but keep in mind that the industry is in the process of phasing them out.