Laser printing mechanisms are generally more bulky than equivalent inkjets, so both printers and all-in-ones tend to be larger machines. HP bucks this trend with the LaserJet Pro M1212nf, as it has a very compact footprint for a mono laser multifunction.
Although it has a small size on the desk, it compensates for this by being tall. In most environments, though, the height won't be a problem. The machine is fitted with a 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) on top of its scanner lid and this lid hinges up as normal. The hinges do not extend, so you can't place books on the flatbed, and there's no recess for your fingers to make lifting the scanner lid easier.
The control panel, which can be locked in any of four positions, is neatly designed with a 2-line by 16-character mono LCD display, three indicator lights, a numeric pad for entering fax numbers and a collection of 11 other buttons to control menu navigation, scan and copy parameters.
The paper input tray folds down from the front panel of the machine and HP provides a paper stop extender in case you want to load short paper. The machine can take anything from 76 x 127mm up to something over A4. Paper feeds out to an angled paper rest above the input tray, which needs to be extended if you don't want documents to spill onto the floor
There's no cover to the input tray, which is a little odd, as you’re much less likely to remove paper and close up an all-in-one between print jobs, than you are a personal printer.
At the back are sockets for USB 2.0, Ethernet and for phone line and an optional third-party handset. To install the integrated drum and toner cartridge, you lift the scanner section, which is supported on a strong spring. This gives access to the top of the laser printer, which folds up to provide access to the cartridge. Given the compactness of the machine, installing and replacing cartridges is an easy process.
HP provides drivers for Windows and OS X and information for Linux users is provided at www.hplip.net. There's the HP Toolbox applet and a TWAIN driver for the scanner, but otherwise support software is fairly meagre.