HP LaserJet: First Laser Printer for the PC

Xerox invented the laser printer, but Hewlett-Packard made it a commercial success. The LaserJet, introduced at Spring Comdex 1984, used the same Canon CX print engine as Apple’s LaserWriter. Unlike Apple, HP developed its own Printer Command Language (PCL) rather than Adobe’s PostScript.

Source: HP, 1984

The LaserJet was much faster and quieter than other printing technologies of the time, and it produced better output. HP claimed it was eight times faster than a typical daisywheel printer with an eight-page-per-minute print rate.

As with the AppleWriter in the Apple market, the LaserJet led the way for laser printers to become the technology of choice for high-end printing applications in the PC market. Unfortunately, laser printers came with their own set of quirks to frustrate users, including driver and application compatibility issues. The printer destroyed in this famous scene from the movie Office Space was a laser printer.

Introduced: May 22, 1984
Original Retail Price: $3,495
Print rate: 8 ppm
Print resolution: 300-by-300 dpi