Hewlett Packard Color LaserJet 4500 Printer

"State-of-the Art Color Laser Printer!"
| Type of Product | User Level | Features |
| Product Analysis | Final Comments | System Requirements |
Type of Product



While laser-quality monochrome output is still the standard in most homes and businesses, color is the next frontier as users are starting to use color in a variety of ways to make more of an impact with their customers, improve internal communication, and evaluate data more quickly. For instance, small businesses are trying to look more professional, while still saving time and money, by printing their own color documents. And the Internet and the advent of affordable scanners and digital cameras have accelerated the move to color. Plus, users now want to print photos, charts, graphs, and color text. Rather than sending jobs out to graphics houses and copy shops, users are starting to demand color printing and copying capabilities right in the home or office. The benefits of this are obvious--local copy shops may charge as much as $1.00-$1.50 per page for color output, and it takes time and effort to deal with outside vendors. And although first-generation lasers had some issues with speed, reliability and color quality, current models have addressed many of these concerns.

Now, Hewlett Packard has provided a solution for these users who want a printer that is cost-effective while delivering exceptional color print quality. When people think of laser printers, they think of Hewlett Packard machines because HP has such a long history in producing printers that are durable and dependable. The new Hewlett Packard Color LaserJet 4500 Printer is no exception. It is designed for general home and office use and to support the trend of bringing color document creation and production for both PC and Macintosh environments. There are three models: the 4500 standard; an "N" model which can be plugged directly into a 10/100 network; and a "DN" model which also offers duplex printing by slotting on another unit. The printer is definitely designed to support multiple users producing many different document types with minimal printer intervention. Three input sources handling a variety of media types, sizes, and weights; autoduplexing; and improved ease of use and color matching make this a great printer. At the same time, the HP Color LaserJet 4500 provides the lowest cost per page in printing compared to other color printers.

The printer offers the following new and enhanced features: sRGB, Image REt 2400, optimized printing processes, expanded control panel help, job cancel from control panel, and high capacity consumables. Unlike competing color printers, the HP Color LaserJet 4500 can do it all: robust performance, wide media flexibility, superior print quality, and Hewlett Packard's support. It comes with a one-year onsite warranty. Price for 4500 Color LaserJet Standard: $2,499. See the Hewlett Packard Web site for more information: http://www.hp.com.

User Level
Beginners, intermediate, and advanced computer users. The printer is appropriate for just about any home or business user, especially graphic artists, engineers, and web designers who need color fast with an excellent quality.


The HP Color LaserJet 4500 series provides the following features in all models:

  • 16 ppm rated engine speed for monochrome letter and A4 documents; 4 ppm rated engine speed for full-color letter and A4 documents;
  • HP PCL 5c and PostScript level 2 emulation;
  • Auto language switching;
  • Print Quality: HP Image REt 2400 and ColorSmart II;
  • Engine Resolution: 600 x 600 dpi;
  • Paper size support: A4/letter, Legal, Executive, JIS B5, A5 and Custom: 76 x 127 mm (2.9 x 5 in) to 216 x 356 mm (8.5 x 14 in);
  • Paper weights from 16 to 36 lb.

HP Color LaserJet 4500 comes standard with:

  • 32 MB RAM
  • A 150-sheet multi-purpose tray (Tray 1) that supports paper (plain and glossy), transparencies, labels, heavier media, and envelopes;
  • A 250-sheet tray (Tray 2) that supports paper (plain and glossy) and transparencies;
  • Face down output tray with 250 sheet capacity;
  • Straight through paper path with 100 sheet capacity.

HP Color LaserJet 4500N--In addition to all the features found on the HP Color LaserJet 4500 printer, the HP Color LaserJet 4500N comes standard with:

  • 32 MB additional memory (64 MB RAM total);
  • EIO HP JetDirect 600N Internal Print Server for 10/100base TX for network connectivity.

HP Color LaserJet 4500DN--In additional to all the features found on the HP Color LaserJet 4500 printer, the HP Color LaserJet 4500DN come standard with:

  • 32 MB additional memory (64 MB RAM total);
  • A 500-sheet paper tray (Tray 3) that supports paper (plain and glossy) and transparencies (for 900 sheet total input capacity);
  • An automatic duplexer;
  • EIO HP JetDirect 600N Internal Print Server for 10/100base TX for network connectivity.
Product Analysis

Image REt 2400--The HP Color LaserJet 4500 printer output provides 2400 dpi color laser class quality. HP Image REt 2400 uses a proprietary toner on toner process that varies and blends precise amounts of four toner colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to create millions of solid colors. This process creates more accurate details and photo realistic images.

ColorSmart II--The HP Color LaserJet 4500 uses ColorSmart II which analyzes the image sent to the printer, breaks it up into continuous-tone, flat color or vector graphics (such as text), and turns these elements into object tags. ColorSmart then makes a decision about how to print each object in terms of color saturation and density, smoothness, and detail (for example, by using different lines per inch resolutions for text and photos). It worked well in our tests.

sRGB--ColorSmart II uses the sRGB color space. sRGB is a monitor standard that's fast becoming the universal model for desktop color, and while it delivers less gamut than RGB, sRGB is here to stay because it's a more straightforward way to match printing, scanning, and digital camera outputs to your monitor. It's already enough of a standard that Adobe Photoshop uses it as its default color space.

Pantone and ICC Support-- If your color application requires the use of an established Color Management System (CMS), HP has provided support for this application as well. The HP Color LaserJet 4500 supports industry standard Pantone and ICC color management systems. These systems save you the hassle of tweaking to get the right color, giving you accurate color matching.

Automatic Color Calibration--The HP Color LaserJet 4500 automatically tests and adjusts the color density to provide excellent color consistency over time on a single printer and when comparing engine to engine. A manual calibration is also available.

Quality--The quality of the output is excellent with laser text bold graphics, and photo-realistic images. Even on ordinary plain paper, photos look good. They look even better on the slightly more expensive HP LaserJet paper. The laser output is waterfast, fade resistant, durable (can't be scratched or peeled off) and the output can be easily fed through copy machines.




Multi-Purpose Trays--With the 4500 printer, there is no switching trays or purchasing extra trays to support specific media sizes. Tray one is a universal multipurpose tray that is adjustable to any supported media size. Trays two and three are adjustable for A4/letter, legal, Executive, JIS B5, B5 ISO, and A5.

Media--The printer handles a wide variety of media. It supports plain, heavier (up to 36 lbs.), envelopes, labels, glossy, and transparencies. Plus paper sizes ranging from executive to legal (A5 to legal).

Media-by-Type--This feature allows input trays to be assigned a media type. You can select a media type and the printer automatically will find and use the wanted media. This also prevents printing on special, more expensive, media (i.e. overhead transparencies or glossy).

Auto-Duplexer--If you have the auto-duplexer, you can select "Print on both Sides (Duplex Printing)" in the driver and the printer automatically duplexes on demand. No more hand turning and manual collating.

Quality--We tested the printer on glossy laser paper, and transparencies, all of which delivered superb results.

Control Panel



Cancel Job Button--The Cancel Job button clears unwanted jobs without affecting other jobs in the print queue and without cycling power on the printer.

Go Button--The Go Button serves as the traditional "On-Line" button and can override printer states (like A4/Letter override).

Expanded Control Panel--The printer has on-line help with step by step instructions on the printer's control panel for: consumables, media issues, tray/job configurations, hardware failures and memory low or out.




HP Web JetAdmin--HP Web JetAdmin network printer management software makes it easy to install, configure, manage and troubleshoot network printers right from your desktop. It's an easy network utility that can be accessed with your favorite browser from any desktop on the network. It allows a network administrator to install and configure a network printer in minutes. You just assign the HP JetDirect print server a name, attach the client, and users can begin to print. This utility also provides remote diagnostics.

HP JetDirect 600N--HP JetDirect 600N (EIO) Internal Print Servers provide a simple, reliable connection to all major network operating systems and network types. This is an auto-sensing, 2-in-one interface card at a low cost. It provides high performance, manageable, easy-to-install solution that allows multiple users to use the printer.




High Toner Capacity--The printer has a high toner capacity that reduces interactions with the printer. The printer has a toner capacity of 6,000 pages at 5% coverage for cyan, magenta, and yellow and 9,000 pages at 5% coverage for black.

Replacing Toner--Replacing toner is easy. Toner cartridges are used for all colors and are replaced quickly by utilizing the same "snap-in" design that is used in other HP monochrome machines. The toner cartridges are recyclable too.




The HP Color LaserJet 4500 printer is a dream to work with. The only problems we have seen are with improper use of transparencies, labels, toner cartridges, and the drawers. The solutions are easy, and if you follow the manufacturer recommendations for these, you should not have any problems.

Problem: Transparencies jam.
Solution: Using the wrong type of transparencies can jam up the printer but if you use the approved transparencies, you should have no problem.

Problem: Labels stick to the fuser.
Solution: Follow manufacturers specifications when using labels since the fuser requires that labels be able to withstand temperature of 397 degrees Fahrenheit for a tenth of a second.

Problem: Toner cartridge jams when putting in replacement.
Solution: Let the printer guide the replacement. The printer is well designed though the printer does need to be handled with some care when servicing user replaceable parts. Replacing the color cartridges is simple, easy, and quick to replace if you let the printer guide you through the replacement. A common mistake many users make is to try and replace the cartridges without the printer's help and the cartridges get jammed. The cartridge only goes in one way. The cartridge points this out, and the printer, if you use it properly, will set the position of the toner assembly in its correct position.

Problem: Drawer is shut but the printer is not recognizing it.
Solution: Close the drawer without slamming it. The printer is very sensitive and has micro sensors that when closing the drawers can look shut properly and yet not be in the proper position to cause the microswitch to recognize that the drawer is closed. Closing the drawer gently and not slamming it shut will do the trick.

Final Comments

Overall, the Hewlett Packard Color LaserJet 4500's easy connectivity and manageability, high capacity output, 32 MB of memory, and built in typefaces makes this printer a most welcome addition. The rapid printing with automatic color calibration ensures consistent, high-quality printing and color over the life of the printer, in diverse environmental settings and between printers.

The printer is obviously more expensive than an A4 inkjet. However, you must take into account the running costs are much less. The cartridges although more expensive than in inkjet printers, last a lot, lot longer. You won't be disappointed with this machine.

Final word is this printer is dependable with good color rendition and nice crisp fonts, and definitely worth the investment. It enables you to turn out a very professional product without going to an outside print shop.

System Requirements

Can be used with both the PC and Mac.

Graphics: Adobe Photoshop 6.0
Web Page Design: Macromedia Dreamweaver 4.0
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