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HP Printer Model Numbers Explained Deciphering HP Printer Model Number Lettering


HP Started naming there printer’s in a logical way. The HP Laserjet or HP Laserjet I series based on the Canon CX print engine. I believe there is one in the Smithsonian (not in use though). Moving forward with the next model was the Laserjet II series,based on the Canon SX print engine. This series was also available with two input cassettes. The was the Laserjet IID, based on the Canon TX print engine.

HP Printer Model Numbers Explained Deciphering HP Printer Model Number Lettering
HP Printer Model Numbers Explained Deciphering HP Printer Model Number Lettering

The (D) was now the identifier for the duplex (double-sided) printing feature or option in the model name. Next in the series was the Laserjet IIID, based on the same canon TX print engine but had now incorporated HP’s Resolution Enhancement Technology or RET. In a nutshell taking a 300x300 d.p.i. (dots per inch) printer and giving it 600x600 d.p.i. quality output. Basically just splitting the dot with software (firmware) on the formatter.


Still only a true 300 d.p.i. printer. This RET technology is still being used today with true 600 d.p.i. printer’s producing 1200 d.p.i. quality output. In keeping with using the Roman numeral numbering there was the Laserjet IIP and IIIP, based on the Canon LX print engine. The (P) in the model was used to designate the printer as a personal printer. Next in line was the the Laserjet IIISI based on the canon NX print engine. The (S) was used to designate that a paper stacker was resident in the printer.


As printer models evolved and different print engines were being used HP started using plain numbering instead of the Roman numerals. In keeping with the alpha sequence the Laserjet 4 series was next. The Laserjet 4M was introduced for use with the Macintosh operating systems. Incorporated into the printer was a Postscript module and possibly some additional memory as well to support the more complex printer language.


The (M) was now used to designate for use with Mac’s or Postscript printing. Another model in the 4 series was the 4L, the (L) was used as the designation for light duty ( only 1 paper tray). The series continued moving up to number 5. The Laserjet 5N, where (N) was now used to show a network option was installed. The single digit model numbers ended with the 6 series.


HP then moved to a four digit model numbering system. This would enable the same product or model to be expanded within the series, such as the Laserjet 4000 series. The 4000T model incorporated two trays . The (T) would now be used to show that two or more paper trays(cassettes) were present. Models would use the same print engine, but with some added features, such as a faster processor or different firmware. They were able to increase the pages per minute.


HP also introduced a wireless printing feature. This would require a wireless network on the host or computer as well. It seamed to be a short lived option. The (W) was used for this wireless feature. A stapler/stacker option was also introduced, notated by (SL). For example: a 4250 DTNSL would have a duplexer,network capabilities and a stapler/stacker device as well. The latest printer models are now using the (X) for the combination of duplexing, network capabilities along with additional input and output options. For the most part HP has continued to use a lot of there option notations.

Alpha Description

d Duplex

dn Duplex & Network dt Duplex & Extra Tray f Fax h Hard disk (drive) i Imaging/Card slots m Mailbox n Network nw Wireless Network ps Postscript s Stacker sk Stapler & Stacker t Extra Tray tn Extra Tray & Networking wf Wi-Fi x Duplex - Extra Tray & Network (formerly dtn) xh Duplex - Extra Tray, Network & Hard Disk xm Duplex - Extra Tray, Network & Mailbox xs Duplex - Extra Tray, Network & Stacker xsk Duplex - Extra Tray, Network & Stapler Stacker



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