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HP LaserJet 6L, Discontinued Review


Compact Size, Durability, Speed

HP Support, Discontinued .  .  .

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Picture quality

Printing speed

Colour sensitivity

Ease of use

Value For Money



Range of extra features / functionsSatisfactory

Instruction manualVery useful

Manufacturer SupportSatisfactory

10 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (73%):
  1. torr
  2. Andy0304
  3. martint1983
and 8 other members
helpful by (27%):
  1. waga
  2. sandemp
  3. greatmum1
and a further member

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The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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-- HP LaserJet 6L in brief…

This printer has been working with me from ages. I know it’s considered a bit old at the moment and the last time I logged to HP website, I found it was discontinued; however it’s a great printer with great functionalities.
I bough this printer about 4 years ago, when It was a hit in the market and hp was just offering it to the people, I think it was one of the most successful printers to the HP company. Anyway, I am writing this review to the people who liked to work with this printer as I suppose its hard to get one at the moment because its not for sale anymore, and also because there is new models that offer many vast and more functionalities than this printer with a reasonable price. And by the way my model type is C3990A (by the way it’s a black/white printer for those who don’t know).

-- Product Specifications

• Environmental Specifications

o Operating Environment (printer is plugged and working):
 Temperature: about 10 degrees C to 32.5 degrees C (50 degrees F to 90.5 degrees F)
 Humidity: 20% - 80%

o Storage Environment (printer unplugged)
 Temperature 0 degrees C to 40 degrees C (32 degrees F to 104 degrees F)
 Humidity: 10% - 80%

o Noise Level
 During Printing: 5.5 Bels Sound Power Level
 During standby and sleep mode: silent

• Electrical Specifications:

o Power Requirements
 100-120v, 50/60Hz, 127v NOM, 6C
 220v, 50/60Hz
 240v, 50Hz

o Power Consumption
 During Printing: 120W
 During Standby or sleep mode: 5W

o Minimum recommended circuit capacity: 4.5A @ 115V, 2.0A @ 230V

• Physical Specifications

o Dimensions
 Width: 334.2 mm (13.2 inch)
 Depth: 312.4 mm (12.3 inch)
 Storage Height: 228.6 mm (9.0 inch)
 Operating Height (paper inserted height): 370.8 mm (14.6 inch)

o Weight with cartilage installed: 7.0kg (15.5 lb)
o Print Speed: 6 pages per minute (ppm)
o Paper Input Capacity: hold up to 100 sheets of regular weight paper or up to 10 envelopes.
o Paper Output bin: holds up to 100 sheets
o Front Output Slot Capacity: stack 1 transparency or up to 20 sheets of other media in front of the front output slot
o Minimum paper size: 76.2 x 127 mm (3 x % inch)
o Maximum paper size: 215.9 x 355.6 mm (8.5 x 14 inch)
o Base memory: 2 MB of ROM and 1 MB of RAM
o Upgradeable memory expansion: one slot available for 1-, 2-, 4-, or 8-MB, 70ns or faster, 5 V JEIDA card
o Print resolution: 600 dots per inch (dpi)
o Duty Cycle: 6000 single-sided pages per month.

-- Product Features

• Black and white printer with a reasonable speed of 6ppm
• 600 x 600 dpi resolution
• Different paper path with a path lever to indicate which path the paper will use
• Front panel with different light lids and a button for several functions (explained later)
• Paper support for the input and the output
• Single sheet input slot (mainly used for envelopes)
• Paper guides for precise printing

NOTE: There may be some other features that I forgot to include, so if you find any not listed here or in the printer’s specification, please be kind to send it to me to include it into my review. Thanks :)

-- Inside The Box

When you get the printer, and open the box you will find:
• HP LaserJet 6L Printer model C3990A
• Power cord for the printer
• HP LaserJet Toner cartridge (really I can’t remember if I got this when I got the printer or not, but I suppose they include one when u get a printer, any how if you didn’t get one, then I have the worst memory in the world).
• Sheet of printer labels in many languages including Chinese
• Some disks labeled drivers or something
• Some documents including some brochures and the user’s manual.

NOTE: I don’t know why HP doesn’t include an IEEE-1284 Compliant Parallel cable, but anyhow you must this cable because the printer is still wired connected, I hope it was wireless, but its not. Just for fun I wrote the next section about this cable…

-- IEEE-1284, what is that?!

I wasn’t going to write this section in the first place, but it I thought it’s funny to write a total section about this cable.

Anyway, this is the cable that connects the printer with the computer through the parallel port. I included a picture of the cable so you can get the picture of it. Anyway you must get this cable to be able to connect your printer to your PC, it’s around £ 7.25 in the market, but all depends on its length and its brand. By the way if anybody knows why HP doesn’t include this cable, I’ll be willing to know…
By the way HP has two models of this cable: HP IEEE 1284 Cable (a-b) 2 meter (C2950A) for $17.95 and HP IEEE 1284 Cable (a-b) 3 meter (C2951A) $22.95.

-- Installing the Printer, and the Cartridge

Simple and easy. Just put the printer in its place on the desk or something. Plug-in the power cable, and check that your printer is working, and then connect the IEEE-1284 cable. If you have Microsoft Windows XP or 2k, it’s no problem cuz they know this printer and you can start printing instantly. However you can refer to the “Software and Drivers” section to know more about its installation and stuff.
The cartridge installation is as simple as the printer was. Anyhow, the tricky part is that you have to remove the tape in the cartridge before installing it for somewhat reason I don’t know. You can also refer to your user’s manual page 1-2 to know how to install it in more details.
You can also get the printer manual from

-- Software and drivers

When you first receive the printer you get some disks. I hope you didn’t through them away, anyway if you do lost them you can go log into the hp website search for the HP LaserJet 6l printer (hope you can still find it!!!) and get the drivers, I do that all the time cuz I always forget where I put my disks. Just a second I’ll go get the link…

Here you can find all the printer drivers for all the OS, so you can download whatever you would like (I just how that hp doesn’t change the link or something, or if you find this link is broken or not found page, please notify me to update it).

-- Product Manual and User’s Manual

The user’s manual is very detailed and very into the problems. I use it a lot when I face any problem concerning the printer, so try not to lose it and put it “where-all-the-manuals-are-there” area, so you can use it and find it whenever you are in deep trouble with the printer. You can also download it form the location I specified, in case you lost yours.

-- System Requirements

I think the minimum requirements is for the software or the driver for the printer, cuz I don’t get what is meant for minimum requirements for a printer itself.

PCL Driver
• 386 Processor (if you can remember this name)
• 4 MB RAM (for windows 3.1x) or 16MB RAM (for Windows 95)
• 5 MB free disk space

Host-Based Driver
• 486 Processor
• 8 MB RAM (Windows 3.1x) or 16MB RAM (windows 95)
• 10 MB free disk space
• DOS 5.0
• Bidirectional communication (both directions, input and output, if you don’t know the meaning of the first word)

-- Printer Control Panel (Front Panel)

The printer as said before has 3 lids and a button on the front panel. I’ll try to explain the functions and the indicator of each button.

Lids (from up to down) Error, Data, Ready and then the button.
The lights has three status (on, off and blinking)

There is a complete front panel guide for each light description, please refer to it, it’s in the page 2-2. I’m sorry I can’t include it here because it is many states and I consider it very repetitive.

-- Product Support

HP gives full support to its product, however when the printer was discontinued, the support for this printer is only for the drivers and software included on the web, and there is no physical support.
I think it’s a bad point from HP not to give attention to old customers, I know the printer is a bit old and out of fashion, however the should consider customers who need fixing and service for their products.

-- Supported Media Sized (Paper)

• Letter (8.5 x 11 inch)
• A4 (210 x 297 mm)
• C5 Envelopes (162 x 229 mm)
• Legal (8.5 x 14 inch)
• COM10 Envelopes (4.125 x 9.5 inch)
• B5 Envelopes (176 x 250 mm)
• Executive (7.25 x 10.5 inch)
• DL Envelopes (110 x 220 mm)
• Monarch Envelopes (3.875 x 7.5inch)
• Other custom sized media

-- Device Benchmark Tests

Didn’t do any and don’t know how to make benchmarks for a printer…

-- Problems

There are a lot of problems concerning this printer; however I’ll try to put them in form of problem and solution style.

PROBLEM: The printer takes many pages or what is called multi-page feeding
SOLUTION: I have this problem after 2 years of using the printer, its now terrible cuz the printer takes all the paper that I put in the tray, so I just have to manual feed each paper, which is very annoying. I tried to search at the HPs for a solution, but it appears that “discontinued” product means “GET A NEW PRINTE”. They simply stopped supporting this type of printers, so I can’t get any help from them. Somebody here in Ciao in another review about the same printer said that there is a device or something that can solve this problem, but I really don’t know, when I know I’ll buy one and write a review about it to tell you whether It works or not.

PROBLEM: All the printer lids sometimes are on.
SOLUTION: This problem I face when trying to print a large pictures or

Pictures of HP LaserJet 6L
HP LaserJet 6L Picture 76257 tb
Pinter, Toner and Cable
drawings. It simple means that the printer is out of memory. Don’t forget that your printer (if like mine) has just 2 MB installed, so you can’t just print every thing you like. To clear this error, simply just remove the power cable, wait for 5 seconds and put it again.

PROBLEM: Dust and cleaning this printer.
SOLUTION: Since the parts of this printer is mainly open in the air, so dust is allowed to enter easily inside the printer, however consider cleaning your printer every month with compressed air or something and try to get a dust cover to avoid any problems.

PROBLEM: Paper Jams
SOLUTION: You will not face any paper jams, unless you put not good quality paper or its crambled a little. Any how you may also face some jams because of multi-feeding, and its all easy, just open the door, remove the jammed paper and continue printing.

-- Price

I don’t know the price of this printer in the market nowadays, but I think when I searched for some items last time, I just found its price £ 90 or something, but don’t depend on that because its only a guess not a real price of the market, and also I don’t know if you can get a new one or not, but I think not.

-- Why should you care?

If you don’t have this printer, then thank you for reading all this long review for just knowing about an old printer.
However if you do own this printer, it might be beneficial to you to know some problems bout your printer that you might faced or you might face.

-- Comments…

• Just only one comment, please if you have any thing that you want me to add or I totally forgot about in my review, please be kind to send me and tell me what is it to include it in my review.
• Something else, I included some pictures of the printer, the printer cable and the cartridge so you may like to take a look

-- Anything Else!

Ah, something I totally forgot to talk about which is the Cartridge, so here is it

• Toner Cartridge (sorry I forgot)
The printer can take the cartridge C3906A which is available (thanks god) until this moment. You can buy it on the net or you can buy it simply from a store nearby if you know one. Its price is in the range of £45 to £60 as I know.

The HP LaserJet C3906A Print Cartridge is ideal for business or home users who need professional-quality laser output. It is designed together to work together with the HP LaserJet 5L and 6L Series printers, and the HP LaserJet 3100 and 3150 printer/fax/copier/scanner. It can print up to 6,000 standard pages.

Full info about the C3906A can be found at

• Accessories for the printer
This section I didn’t want to write at all, but however since I wanted to include everything in my review, then here is a lit of the printer accessories.

o Toner Cartridge: the above section, it include what you need to know.
o IEEE-1284: go up, up, up… You will find a section on this cable, refer to it.
o Memory Upgrades: 1 MB C3939A (discontinued), 2MB C3938A (discontinued), 4 MB C3148A which you have to check the price with the retailer as stated in HP website.
o Paper: There are many paper types and models with different range of prices that I cannot include here, but you can go surfing and try to find the suitable for you. To get a general idea, go to the HP website and search there.

o HP Jetdirect External Print Servers:

1. HP Jetdirect 170x OfficeConnect Print Server (J4102B) for $143.99
2. HP Jetdirect 170x Print Server for Ethernet (J3258B) for $129.00
3. HP Jetdirect 300x OfficeConnect Print Server (J4101B) for $254.99
4. HP Jetdirect 500x Print Server for Fast Ethernet (J3265A) for $335.99

NOTE: All the price and info about the print servers is from the HP website.

-- Sources Used in this document

• HP LaserJet 6L Printer User’s Manual
• HP Website (
• Some other websites I can’t remember the names and for what
• My personal experience with the printer.
• Ciao

Thanks for reading the whole L……………..ONG review :) hope you found if beneficial

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Comments about this review »

jesi 18.12.2004 01:12

perhaps you can get one on eBay? jes ≈≈≈≈{; -)-{{::::: |||||<

Andy0304 27.11.2004 23:39

I have used this printer before and paper jams were always an issue. Great thorugh review tho. Andy

martint1983 26.11.2004 09:57

cheers for the info

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

The HP LaserJet 6L is the smallest and cheapest LaserJet that looks like an inkjet. Its unusual shape was first ado...


MPN C3990A#ABF, C3990ARL, C3990A#ABU, C3990A
Printer Type Personal printer - laser - monochrome
Form Factor Desktop


Print Speed Up to 6 ppm - letter, Up to 6 ppm - B/W
Connectivity Technology Wired
Interface Parallel

Show all Product Information

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Review Ratings »

This review of HP LaserJet 6L has been rated:

"very helpful" by (73%):

  1. torr
  2. Andy0304
  3. martint1983

and 8 other members

"helpful" by (27%):

  1. waga
  2. sandemp
  3. greatmum1

and a further member

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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