HEWLETT-PACKARD has kept the best for the latest in its LaserJet 4 series of printers - the LaserJet 4P and 4MP are the cheapest 600-dots-per-square-inch printers in the range, at $9,998 and $13,958 respectively. The HP LaserJet 4P is designed for business and home office users who want a low-cost printer that can produce high-quality, professional-looking documents. The 4MP is HP's recommended printer to use with a Macintosh. The 4P can print documents at 600dpi and four pages a minute on paper of any thickness, from 7.5 centimetres by 12.5 cm to 25.5 cm by 35.5 cm of high or draft quality. HP said that because many laser printer users placed a high value on media flexibility, the new printers were designed with a paper-path design that supported smaller and heavier paper. This and its new fusing technology, reduced edge curl and creasing. The printer comes with an adjustable 250-sheet input tray, 100-sheet top output tray, a paper-low indicator, a priority manual feed and a back-lit front-panel display. It comes standard with 45 scalable typefaces (35 Intellifont and 10 TrueType), enhanced HP PCL 5 printer language, and two MB of memory, expandable to 26 MB, and has an optional Adobe PostScript SIMM (single in-line memory module). The standard two MB of memory should be sufficient for general document printed at 600dpi, although more RAM would be needed for full-page or complicated graphics because, while 600dpi improves print quality, it also creates four times the amount of data. HP LaserJet 4P is fully compatible with the LaserJet 4, which is a higher-end 600dpi printer. Using a 16-megaHertz 80960 Intel RISC processor, it can print four pages a minute, as compared to LaserJet 4's eight. HP said its own tests showed 4P was, on average, 30 per cent faster than LaserJet IIIP, the model it was to replace. The printer comes with a Bi-Tronics parallel interface for high speed, two-way communication with its host computer. Users who do not mind it losing almost five MB of hard disk space, can also enjoy ''talking'' to the printer through Windows with its Window 3.1 printer driver. This enables Windows software applications to support all the features of their printer. They can then change the setting of the printer through the Windows driver. The windows environment allows users to print text and graphics faster and easier with its automatic WYSIWYG through a new, one-step-installation windows driver with matching TrueType screen fonts and ROPS (raster operations, a new windows graphics mode). The result is printing of a higher quality. Similar control is also available for DOS users who install their own printer drivers or use the TSR program Explorer provided by HP. The Macintosh version of this product, LaserJet 4MP, is meant for Macintosh or Windows users who need a 600dpi PostScript printer. It offers complete LaserJet 4M compatibility and has auto-language switching (genuine Adobe Level 2 PostScript and enhanced PCL 5), 80 scalable typefaces and six MB of memory, expandable to 22 MB. Listed at $13,958, it comes with a 20-MHz RISC processor with cache, two slots and hot I/O switching. LocalTalk, serial and parallel interfaces also are standard. Both printers come with environmentally friendly features. HP claims the printers use a third of the power of earlier models and can conserve electricity by dropping from 180 watts to less than 15 W when they slip into standby mode. A new feature, EconoMode printing, helps halve the amount of toner used in printing drafts and proofs. The printers also support Novell NetWare, IBM LANserver, Microsoft LANmanager, Microsoft Windows NT, Windows for Workgroups, UNIX, TCP/IP and Apple EtherTalk if used with HP's JetDirect EX network interface.