IT Pro Verdict
Low running costs
High quality output
Speeds could be better
While tank-based printers now have a significant presence in the inkjet market, so-called “refillables” have yet to make much of a splash amongst lasers. The HP Neverstop Laser 1202nw is one of the few, with toner that’s refilled from a bottle, much like the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 and Canon Pixma G7050 ink tank printers.
The main downside is that, for the moment at least, this bottle-based approach is only available on a mono printer. Its prints work out to around 0.7p each, meaning it doesn’t match the phenomenally cheap printing of the inkjet models, but at less than a penny per page it significantly undercuts its laser rivals.
It’s a good thing it does, because the Neverstop Laser 1202nw seems expensive for what you’re getting. To be fair, it’s a multifunction device, so it can also copy and scan, but spending this much elsewhere would buy you a colour printer.
It also lacks some key functions, the most inconvenient of which is double-sided printing. It can only scan up to 600dpi and the control panel is back to basics: it offers a copy button and a mono 1.8in LCD display. As the “nw” suffix indicates, however, the 1202nw includes both an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi (along with the usual USB).
The paper tray looks like it should pull right out but it’s actually just a cover. You remove this to access the paper tray, which is a cavity in the bottom of the printer you can slide paper into. This isn’t as convenient to refill as a tray that can be pulled right out, and we found the cover fiddly to replace.
Nor is this the quickest machine, falling behind the other lasers and, in some tests, failing to trouble the fastest inkjets. Print quality is good, with text documents appearing clear and sharply printed. Graphics and photos are inevitably printed in grey, but they come out well.
For anyone who simply wants lots of affordable black prints, this HP laser is a very sensible option. It comes with enough toner for 5,000 prints, meaning that if you’re after laser sharpness but don’t want to fork out laser prices on a page-by-page basis, the Neverstop 1202nw is a worthy choice.
HP Neverstop Laser 1202nw specifications
|600 x 600dpi A4 mono laser
|USB, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, Android, iOS
|150-sheet input tray
|Recommended monthly duty cycle
|381 x 294 x 287mm