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Welcome to the HP LaserJet 4200-4300

24 Jan, 2003 By: Steve Geishirt imageSource

Welcome to the HP LaserJet 4200-4300

On June 25th, 2002,
HP made an announcement that they would roll out more than 50 new imaging and
printing products worldwide by early 2003. Many of us cheered at this
announcement and then braced ourselves for the coming onslaught. Nearly everyone
I have spoken with are very happy to see the new products, including the latest
introductions, the LaserJet 4200 and LaserJet 4300 printers.

The LJ 4200 is
slated to replace the very popular LJ 4100 and word has it, the LJ 4300 will
replace the LJ 8150. Both the LJ 4200 & LJ 4300 print on letter/legal size
paper, but neither utilize 11x17 size media. What I've found most interesting
about these two new printers is their similarity in parts, accessories, and once
you look at the paper path, how much it looks like the LJ 4100. In this article,
we will look at the interchangeability of accessories, some key parts as well as
consumable parts, and how similar, yet different the 4200 & 4300 are to the

Focusing on Features
Lets start by taking a look at the quick stats of the LJ 4100, LJ 4200 & LJ

Processor Max
Stacker 1500-Sheet Model ppm Speed dpi Option Feeder Option LJ 4100 25 250MHz
1200x1200 No No LJ 4200 35 300MHz 1200x1200 Yes Yes LJ 4300 45 350MHz 1200x1200
Yes Yes

Initially, the
printer speeds, ppm (pages per minute) stand out as the greatest differentiating
factor. Later, the options such as the stacker unit which adds a second output
bin (there is also a stapler option for these units) and a high capacity 1,500
sheet feeder option clearly separate the new printers from the old. If your
customers have the new higher page per minute printers, the extra input and
delivery options are a welcome addition.

Looking at these
features also prompts me to question whether or not the LJ 4200 & LJ 4300
stacker, stapler and 1,500 sheet feeder options are specific to each LaserJet
model or if they are built to work on both units and with the LJ 4100? Here is a
quick run down of the new optional accessories and which model of printers they
are designed for.

Accessory Name Part
No. Models 18,000 page Cartridge Q1339A: LJ 4300 12,000 page Cartridge Q1338A:
LJ 4200 500 Sheet Stacker Q2442A: LJ 4300 & LJ 4200 500 Sheet Stacker
w/Stapler Q2443A: LJ 4300 & LJ 4200 5000 Sheet Feeder Q2440A: LJ 4300 &
LJ 4200 1500 Sheet Feeder Q2444A: LJ 4300 & LJ 4200 Duplex Unit Q2439A: LJ
4300 & LJ 4200 Envelope Feeder Q2438A: LJ 4300, LJ 4200 & LJ 4100 * EIO
Hard Drive J6054B: LJ 4300, LJ 4200 & LJ 4100 * * also works on the LJ 4050
& LJ 4000 printers

By the looks of this
accessories chart, the LJ 4200 & LJ 4300 are truly in a class by themselves
as virtually all the optional accessories can be used on both models. The chart
also clearly points out that most of these accessories are not compatible with
the 4100 or older model printers, with the exception that the envelope feeder
and hard drive being downward compatible. Another interesting note not shown in
the chart is that the LJ 4200 & LJ 4300 do not have the capability to add a
fast infrared receiver (FIR) pod, but considering how strongly wireless
communication (802.11b Wi-Fi technology) is being promoted, I can't say that I'm

The consumable parts
have a similar story to the accessories in that many parts interchange between
the two models, but not down to the LJ 4100. The maintenance kits of the LJ 4200
& LJ 4300 are separate due to fusers which are designed to run at different
speeds. Both maintenance kits have a life expectancy of 200,000 pages. This is
interesting considering the LJ 4300 has a monthly duty cycle of 200,000 pages
per month, the LJ 4200 has a monthly duty cycle of 150,000. So theoretically,
you could be replacing the maintenance kit on a LJ 4300 printer once a month,
and once every month and a half on the LJ 4200. HP is promoting these as user
replaceable kits and is providing information about these kits as well as how to
reset the maintenance message in the User Guide.

Here are the
maintenance kit part numbers and breakdown of the two kits: Q2429A - LJ 4200
series, 110V Q2436A - LJ 4300 series, 110V

Qty Part No. Part
Name for model 1 RM1-0013-000 Fuser, 110V * LJ 4200 or 1 RM1-0101-000 Fuser,
110V * LJ 4300 1 RL1-0044-000 Transfer Roller LJ 4200, LJ 4300 1 NPN Transfer
Roller Removal Tool LJ 4200, LJ 4300 1 RL1-0019-000 Tray 1 Pickup Roller LJ
4200, LJ 4300 6 RM1-0037-000 Trays 2 - 4 Feed/Sep Rollers LJ 4200, LJ 4300 1 NPN
Pair of disposable gloves LJ 4200, LJ 4300 1 Q2436-90901 Instructions LJ 4200,
LJ 4300

The fuser would be
determined by the maintenance kit -- LJ 4200 or LJ 4300. Resetting the
maintenance kit is done the same way the new models of printers use and is
included in the maintenance kit instructions. None of these maintenance kit
parts are considered interchangeable with the LJ 4100 printer parts.

Going back to the
beginning of the article, I stated the paper path of the LJ 4200 & LJ 4300
printers look very much like the LJ 4100. While this is true, parts
interchangeability between these new machines and the LJ 4100 are pretty much
nil. Besides this, parts interchangeability between the LJ 4200 & LJ 4300
are not clearly defined without the Service Manual (part number Q2431-90912).
However, there appears to be a general rule of thumb when it comes to
interchangeability of parts: most of the mechanical parts do interchange while
most of the electronic parts do not. One other difference stands out between the
two -- the LJ 4300 has one more fan than the LJ 4200 - a right side cooling fan

Breaking It Down
Getting back to the comparison of the LJ4100 paper path to the LJ 4200 & LJ
4300 -- if you were to tear down the LJ 4100 side by side with a LJ 4200 or LJ
4300, the initial ten steps are pretty similar, but after that, the changes are
dramatic enough to know you are working on a completely different machine. As
always, I suggest getting the Service Manuals and training to do the job right.

It looks like the LJ
4200 & LJ 4300 printers should do rather well taking over the workhorse
positions of the LJ 4100 & LJ 8150. Considering these machines are faster
than their predecessors but cost the same, I'd say the consumers are getting the
best of this deal. And from the service engineers' standpoint, it doesn't hurt
us all that much either.

Geishirt has been providing laser printer training and technical training for
PARTS NOW! for over ten years. PARTS NOW! is a major printer parts wholesaler
for HP, Canon, Lexmark and Okidata. To contact PARTS NOW!, call 800/886-6688 or
visit www.partsnowinc.com.
Steve can be contacted at the above phone number or send an e-mail to sgeishirt@partsnowinc.com.

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