The HP Neverstop 1202w is one of their latest low cost monochrome laser printers. Copy, print, and scan are standard with this B&W laser printer.
In this review other similarly featured and priced printers are compared with the HP Neverstop 1202w. Weaknesses and advantages are covered as well. Hopefully this will inform any decision on which printer to buy.
Service calls are very rare on new printers so I usually rely on customers to let me check out newer models like this one while servicing nearby printers. Most are glad to let me know what they think as well.
Why This Printer?
Why someone would want this printer is because they want a no frills, low cost, B&W printer. The HP Neverstop 1202w is the lowest cost B&W laser printer available.
If you need a simple dedicated black & white printer, this is one printer to consider. Some inkjet printers aren’t up to the task of B&W documents. If you’re looking for a companion printer for your inkjet printer, this is a great printer to consider.
You may find yourself suddenly in need of a B&W document printer. If you’re not sure where to start this printer is a good place to start.
HP’s are easy to setup in my experience and HP’s printing apps are a cut above most other brands bundled software.
Installing the toner bottle isn’t difficult, just remember to shake the bottle. Toner tends to clump up during shipping or sitting on a shelf for a long time.
The toner tank holds 5,000 pages worth of toner. Which is two bottles worth.
The HP Neverstop 1202w can easily handle the recommended print volume of 2,500 pages per month. It maxes out at 20,000 ppm.
From my experience servicing related models, this one will hold up well.
If you’re shopping for a monochrome printer in this range the Canon imageCLASS MF232w, Brother HL-L2390DW, and Lexmark 2236i are probably printers being considered also. They have a similar price point and features.
The Canon has a nice control panel for scanning and copying. It’s slightly faster than the HP. Printing costs for the Canon run at ~3 cents a page, which is on the high end for a B&W laser printer. To put that in perspective, a HP Neverstop toner bottle cost ~$15 and yield 2,500 pages. Compared with Canon’s ~$70 toner cartridge which yields 2,400 pages.
The Brother is also faster than the HP. It’s printing costs are 2½ cents a page, compared with less than 1 cent a page for the HP Neverstop 1202w. While I generally can’t find any faults with the Brother, between the two installing a toner bottle is simpler than a toner cartridge.
The Lexmark 2236i is one of their new go line series printers. It is also faster than the HP and has a nice control panel. Operating costs for the Lexmark run at 2½ cents a page. This MFP has a document feeder and duplex, which is reflected in the price.
All the printers listed are good printers in my opinion. The Lexmark is probably the best contender to the HP as far as reliability and security in my experience. HP’s control panel is lacking compared with the other printers listed. Though the HP can be operated through a mobile phone app.
What sets the HP apart from these printers are its printing costs. Regularly adding a ~$15 toner bottle vs a ~$70 toner cartridge will definitely be noticed in the long run. This printer will be easy on the wallet.
Another comparable HP printer is the HP M234dw. The main differences between these two HP printers is the Neverstop takes a toner bottle while the M243dw takes a toner cartridge.
The Neverstop printer also needs a drum cartridge. Which is rated for 20,000 pages so won’t need replaced very often. It costs about the same as most toner cartridges.
This toner bottle system runs less than a penny a page while the M234dw runs at a penny a page.
Both the Laserjet MFP M234dw and Neverstop 1202w are based on the same basic design. Many HP printers I work on share similar feed and fuser systems.
A fuser will be identical except the connectors are keyed differently due to the heating elements rated at different wattages. The 10 ppm speed difference is enough to rate different wattages.
Many brands, such as Canon and Ricoh, also use similar designs across models. Sometimes they make two versions of a small printer. One sold through authorized dealers and another version sold at stores.
The business class printer will have service items (drum, developer, etc). Then all the customer is responsible for is adding toner. While the retail version has the customer responsible for everything.
HP made both versions available at stores with the M234dw and the Neverstop 1202w. The Neverstop operating costs are definitely lower while the M234dw is faster and has auto duplex. Deciding between the two depends on whether lower costs or things like auto duplex are more important. Both are good reliable printers.
Quality and Speed
HP rates this printer with a speed of 21 ppm. To test this I printed emails and tax forms. They were much less coverage than a standard ISQ/IEC 19752 B&W test page but that doesn’t matter for speed.
My test pages clocked in at 19 pages per minute. Which is a below average speed for a laser printer. It’s twin, the HP Laserjet MFP M234dw is much faster. Which makes me think HP is punishing people with slow printing for wanting to save money.
Text from my test pages initially looked faded. However, I turn off toner saving on every laser printer I work on. Which made a huge improvement on this printer. Text was much darker and bolder. Toner save settings are for marketing, the actual amount of toner saved is insignificant in my experience.
To be thorough, I tested the weight and dimensions with a standard scale and ruler. My tests revealed the 1202w weighs 20 lbs. I measured the 1202w width at 15 inches, the depth at 12 inches, and the height at 11.5 inches. A below average size and weight for a laser printer.
Benefits and Drawbacks
This is a simple printer to use and maintain. It takes a toner bottle and paper loaded in a single tray.
The single drawer may inconvenience a few but the only drawer can be adjusted to accommodate smaller paper sizes and weights.
It’s small enough to fit on a desktop. The weight isn’t bad in case it needs moved to access the bottom or rear doors.
This is one of a few models that has a bottom access door. It may be something you only need once or twice over the life of a printer but is a very handy feature.
HP (and Lexmark) have robust built in security. Although, there may not be as great of a risk in the typical environment a printer like this is placed. It’s built in though, whether you need it or not.
Although I’ve not had an occasion to put their new “self-reset” Wi-Fi to the test, I assume anything to help with Wi-Fi issues is an improvement.
The HP Neverstop 1202w doesn’t come with a document feeder or have auto duplex. Scanning is done one page at a time. HP assumes most B&W laser printers are going to be used for single sided printing with an occasional copy or scan.
HP’s overall ease of use and their printing apps are worth mentioning as well. HP Smart app has nice templates, calendar stuff, and common signs.
What sets the HP Neverstop 1202w apart is the lower printing costs, ease of use, and reliability. In my experience servicing HP laser printers over the years they are top notch. They use quality components and materials in their clutches, rollers, sensors, etc. HP has been making and improving their printers for a long time. The software and circuits are well designed with few issues.
In my opinion HP’s small inkjet printers aren’t any better than what Canon or Epson has to offer. HP’s wide format inkjets are another story. However, their laserjet printers do stand out.
HP’s smart app also stands out among the run of the mill printing apps. The setup utilities by HP are better than average in my opinion.
This printer isn’t a good candidate for instant ink. The monthly subscription will winds up costing much more than just buying toner bottles yourself. Stocking up on the inexpensive bottles won’t take much space or money.
There’s a window to see the toner level at all times.
It winds up costing less than a penny a page to print on the Neverstop 1202w. Which is better than any B&W printer I know of.
If you’re looking for a simple, low cost, reliable B&W printer the HP Neverstop 1202w is a good candidate.
The Copier Guy, aka Dave. I’ve worked on scanners, printers, copiers, and faxes since 1994. When I’m not fixing them I’m writing about them. Although, I’m probably better at fixing them. I’ve worked with every major brand. As well as several types of processes. If it uses paper I’ve probably worked on one.