Most multifunction printers stick a flatbed scanner on top of either an inkjet or laser print engine, producing quite bulky, if very useful, office machines. There's another way to go, though, if you have little need for scanning books. An extension of the humble fax machine, these multifunctions use a feed-through fax head and take up a lot less space on the desk.
HP's LaserJet M1319f MFP uses this approach, with a feed-through scanner mounted on top of its mono laser engine. It does have a small desktop footprint, but to achieve this there are three flimsy input and output trays. You need to position the machine where you can be sure no one will knock it as they walk past.
At the bottom is a mono laser printer with a 250-sheet paper tray sticking out the front and a 10-sheet, multi-purpose feed set in the tray lid for special media. Output from this print engine feeds to a projecting plastic tray, with a telescoping extension and flip-up paper stop to take finished pages.
Now, think of a typical desktop fax machine which feeds paper from a tray at the back to another at the front and fit this on top of the laser printer. The scanner input tray can take up to 30 sheets and the output tray fits directly above the output from the printer.
The control panel is largely based on its fax function, with 10 quick-dial memories, as well as a number pad for less regularly used calls. There's a two-line by 16-character LCD display with a backlight and, on the side of the machine, a telephone handset supplied as standard. The only connection is via a USB socket at the back, though there's another for a fax phone line.
The scanner section of the machine folds up to provide access to the slot-in drum and toner cartridge, which slides a long way into the depths of the machine. Software installation is straightforward and includes IRIS OCR software, as well as HP's own scanning and printing utilities. The scanner is an LED-lit, colour device, with a resolution of up to 600ppi and can be used for direct scanning of images or text.