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The all-in-one machine has been the big hit in printing over the last five years, but nearly all of these have been in ink-jet machines. HP’s Color LaserJet CM1017MFP is only the second generation of all-in-ones based on colour laser technology. Although it appears to have a heavy price premium, this is a new model and you can expect street prices to come through considerably lower than quoted here.
Vaguely reminiscent of Old Bob and Vincent, the droids in Disney's The Black Hole, though without the big round eyes, this is a Color LaserJet 2600n (£210 inc VAT) with a flatbed scanner stuck on top and a set of memory card readers slipped in at the side. It's been done rather more neatly than with earlier models, though the paper output tray, sticking out from the front, still looks like an afterthought.
HP has always been good at scanners, and the flatbed on top of this one is suitably shallow in profile, while still being a very effective device. To the right of the flatbed is a small control panel, complete with a 61mm LCD display. This can be used for previewing photos from any supported memory cards and for navigating the device's menu system.
The array of buttons in front of the LCD display is well organised, with green highlights to start photo print, scan and copy and an orange highlight on the Cancel button, which intercepts a running job immediately.
There's a 250-sheet paper tray at the bottom of the machine, with a second tray of the same capacity available as an option. There’s also a single sheet feeder right at the bottom, which is a little awkward to use, as you have to run the sheet up into it, by sliding it along the desk. At the back of the right-hand side are sockets for USB 2.0 and Ethernet connections, both of which are standard.
Pull open the curved front panel and you have easy access to the four toner and drum cartridges, which slide in from the front and are the only consumable. You need to take care not to touch the photoconductor transfer belt, which sits on the back of the front cover, but otherwise this is a very simple machine to maintain.
The Color LaserJet CM1017MFP comes with a good suite of software, including ReadIRIS OCR and basic scanning, copying and photo transfer in HP’s Solution Centre. The Solution Centre is also good at providing decent estimates of how many pages are left in each of the toner cartridges.