HP quotes surprisingly realistic figures for the LaserJet Pro M1212nf, with a top speed of 18ppm. Our five-page text document returned 11.1ppm and the five-page text and graphics, which requires less rasterisation as it's a repeat of a single page, recorded 13.6ppm. When we printed the 20-page, long text document, the speed rose still further to 16ppm, within a smidgen of the claimed speed.
A single-page copy from the flatbed took 15 seconds, though the original was difficult to position because of paper curl, and a five-page copy from the ADF took 50 seconds. Finally, a 15 x 10cm photo print on A4 paper came through in an impressive 11 seconds.
Virtually all page printers use a heated roller to melt the toner and squash it into the fibres of the paper. This means that all pages passing through a laser or LED will be subjected to momentary high temperatures, which can cause the paper to curl. This paper curl is particular pronounced in the HP LaserJet Pro M1212nf and sheets end up on the output tray with multistage bends. Paper also feels decidedly hot to the touch, if you remove a document straightaway.
After a few hours, most of the curl has disappeared, but using this machine could still be awkward if you are printing several copies of the document just before a meeting.
Text print quality at the default 600dpi is more than adequate and there are no signs of jaggies or toner spatter. Switching to Economode, which saves toner but very little print time, still produces readable text and could save you money on consumables.
Greyscale graphics look a bit blotchy, particularly in mid-greys, but there are plenty of different tones to distinguish between colours in originals. A photocopy of a greyscale print, as with many all-in-ones using Contact Image Sensor (CIS) scanners, produces horrible blotchiness and takes many dark greys to black, thus rendering superimposed text unreadable.
We measure all-in-one noise levels when printing, so you can compare them directly with single-function printers. This machine clocked up peaks of 65dBA, which is noisy, but it's still louder when copying.
There's just a single consumable to consider with this machine and it's available in just one capacity of 1,600 pages. The page cost comes out at 3.6p, which is reasonable for this class of machine and is slightly better than average.
The LaserJet Pro M1212nf is a good, general-purpose, mono laser all-in-one. It's neat and effective, and priced well considering it includes fax. While fax may not be the business necessity it once was, it can still prove very handy when you need printed evidence of transactions and contracts. The print quality could be better on greyscales, particularly in copies, but speed is good and the machine is very easy to maintain.