The angular design is certainly no model of elegance but it is compact. It can print, scan, copy and fax. Its charger can take up to 150 sheets and ethernet connectivity allows you to share it in a network. We're only giving it two stars in this section however as there's no wi-fi, no double-sided and no card reader.
Mac OS, Linux and Windows compatible, HP are announcing it at a rapid 18 ppm.
HP have held to their word here. Rapid from standby or off position (see inset), this multifunction also gives good continuous speeds: with our test documents it manages a pretty good sixteen pages per minute (ppm).
Quality: excellent for office documents
There are two print quality settings: 600 or 1200 dpi. As always, we went for the default setting, namely 600 dpi here. This gives excellent quality for office documents. The letters are very clean and visible and, which is rare, you can make out the shading on the graph well. While print head lines are slightly visible on the image below, you won't see them when you've got a document in your hand, even when you hold it up close.
|Part of the graph at 600 dpi||Part of the graph at 1200 dpi|
Scanner and copier
The scanner isn't functional. The scan starts by default as soon as you import a document into Photoshop and the resize tool doesn't offer sufficient precision. It's not easy to select the part of the image you want to scan as the zone selection tool isn't very flexible. The dotted line marking out the area to be scanned (see below) can't be drawn manually around the area you want to select.
Preview takes up to 26 seconds and scanning a document takes 12 seconds, whether at 75 or 300 dpi. This is no big gun then and quality is only just okay. Colours are a bit pale and you lose a bit of detail. The contours around the child's face look a slightly blurred.
The quality of copes is good however, better than what you usually get. Let's not get too carried away though, as on our test graph, the colour shaded area is transformed into a uniform black. It takes 14 seconds for a copy, which is somewhere around average.
Energy consumption & Noise levels
Standby energy consumption was a nice surprise: 1.5 W for a laser is really very good. When printing, this goes up to 320 W but, once again, this is quite low for a laser. Not only does this machine not draw too much energy, nor does it make much noise (52 dB (A)).
Cost per page:
Note that the cartridge with which the M1212f is supplied will only give 700 pages in place of 1600 for the standard cartridge that you buy in stores. Cost per page (calculated with the standard cartridge) is 2.7 pence per page. This isn't particularly competitive for a laser.
||Cost per page|
|CE285A (black)||£42.50||1600||2.7 pence|