What do you need from a mono, laser multifunction device in an office? Good quality print, obviously, and a quick turnaround, but it would also be nice to have built-in duplex printing, a fast scanner that doesn't take ages to warm up, two paper trays and a multi-purpose feed, probably built-in fax and, hey, what about a stapler to hold documents together? If these are your thoughts, HP has been listening.
There's nothing too remarkable about the design of the LaserJet M2727nfs, in fact it has a slightly dated look, with the flatbed scanner sitting high above the laser engine on two plastic pillars. The 50-sheet feed tray for the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) also arcs away high above the lid of the flatbed and the second, 250-sheet paper tray lifts the device still higher, so, if it sits on a desktop, you'll need to operate it standing up.
The control panel has a pretty standard layout, with 16 preset fax number buttons at the left, together with access to the phone book, resolution selection and redial, as well as a button to start faxes. Next to this is a number pad for phone dialling and in the centre is a 2-line by 16-character, backlit LCD display, with menu navigation buttons in front. To the right of this are copy controls, including tray select, reduction and enlargement and the option of two-sided copying - though the scanner is only single-sided. Finally, at the extreme right, are Scan and Scan To buttons.
Below the control panel is the pull-down panel, which becomes a 50-sheet multi-purpose tray for special media and below this are two identical 250-sheet paper trays. To the right of the multi-purpose tray is a slot into which you can slide a bundle of up to 20 sheets which will then be stapled via a built-in, powered stapler. This is quite an innovation and the first time we've seen a stapler built into a multifunction printer. The cartridge holds around 100 staples, we reckon, and appears to be of a proprietary design, so will need buying especially for the LaserJet.
At the back are sockets for USB 2.0 and Ethernet, both of which are standard connections on this machine, though there's no wireless option.
Fold down the front section of the laser printer casing and you have access to the drum and toner cartridge. This consumable, which is the only thing you have to buy to keep the machine running, is available in 3,000 and 7,000-sheet capacities, so you can balance usage and cost.
Software includes HP utilities for scanning and fax and a copy of ReadIRIS software for OCR. This all installs pretty painlessly and you can have the machine up and running within quarter of an hour or so.