Product Review – Hewlett-Packard LaserJet M1210 Series laser multi-function printer

Here, I am reviewing the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet M1210 Series laser multi-function printer which is a network-enabled monochrome laser printer with integrated scan, copy and fax functionality.  It will also be the first review where I will be providing a “functionality table” for each of the printers that I review

HP LaserJet M1210 Series multi-function laser printer

PRINT SCAN COPY FAX Document Feeder Paper Trays Connect
B/W Colour B/W B/W Single-side 1 x A4 USB
Laser Xerographic 1200 dpi         Ethernet

 Setup experience

This printer was the second printer that I had come across which didn’t need me loading a CD or finding a file on the Internet for me to set it up. Instead, I could find the file on a separate “drive letter” in Windows Explorer if I connected the printer directly. In the case of network connectivity, the printer lit up in the “Network” folder and I could right-click on its icon to open the printer’s Webpage. Then I clicked on the “HP Smart Install” tab on this Webpage and clicked on the “Download” option to start downloading the drivers that I needed.

My test setup involved the unit being connected via a HomePlug powerline network segment and it has performed equally well with this setup. This has also again proven for me that the HomePlug powerline network can work well where flexibility is desired such as temporary networks.

Printing and Copying

The unit was very quick when it came to yielding the printed output. It could come up from a “cold state” and start printing 5 seconds after receiving a print job and could start copying within 10 seconds of you pressing the “Copy” button. The pages then come out fast and furious at about 4 seconds per page.  Another thing that has impressed me is that if the printer needed to be restocked with paper during a copy job, it will keep scanning the rest of the originals in the document feeder while you load the paper tray.

I have noticed that the pages come much warmer that on the HP LaserJet Pro P1560 due to the fusing rollers (the rollers that use heat to bond the toner to the paper in a xerographic printing setup) running at a higher temperature. This may be a need that is required for the toner that this machine uses but some papers like certain recycled papers may be affected more by this with extra curling. From my observations, there hasn’t caused been any jamming problems with this unit caused by the extra curling with the paper.

Fax

The fax functionality was able to match the requirements for a small or medium-size business. These included operation on the same telephone line, with support for distinctive-ring (Faxstream Duet) or auto-fax-detect operation as well as the ability to send many fax jobs from memory at a later time. Another feature I was impressed with was the “private receive” mode where the machine will receive all the fax jobs to its memory and print them when you enter a “release code” that you define yourself. This can ensure that the faxes that you receive remain confidential by avoiding the situation where received faxes lie in the output tray for anyone to pick up and read.

Scan

The network-enabled scanner has the ability to scan in colour and at 1200 dpi. It can work as part of Windows Image Acquisition or HP scan software primarily on a PC-initiated scan option. There isn’t an option for control-panel-initiated scanning, whether direct or via the network.

Reliability.

I have tested this printer on a large print job and it has worked properly without jamming. I also did a copy job with many pages and had found that the automatic document feeder is reliable with 20 A4 sheets of regular paper. When you are copying documents, the automatic document feeder can make a loud “grating” noise as it handles documents and make the machine sound more noisier during this process.

Limitations

There are a few limitations with this machine. The main one is that the control panel can be improved ergonomically. It has a small alphanumeric LCD display that could benefit from a backlight and the buttons on the keypad could be made larger or spaced further apart. This would allow for increased useability when it comes to “walk-up” copying, scanning or faxing.

HP LaserJet M1210 Series control panel

Small control panel and display

Like the HP LaserJet Pro P1560 laser printer that I reviewed in this blog previously, there isn’t a “disc-free” setup option for the Apple MacOS X platform. This could be facilitated by the provision of the necessary software files in the same storage area which is presented as a USB Mass-Storage device and available over the network as a Web download from the same HTTP server.

Conclusion and Placement Notes

I would recommend this unit as being useful as an all-in-one printer/copier/fax where quick document turnout is desired and colour printing is not necessary. This would be as a main “reception-desk” unit for small legal offices or medical practices or as a workgroup fax / scanner / printer. It could work well as a highly-functional replacement for a low-end laser or thermal-transfer fax machine that has reached the end of its useful life.

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