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7/10

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HP LaserJet M1120 MFP

All-in-one machines have outstripped sales of single-function printers in the ink-jet market, but have been slower to appear with laser engines. HP has started to redress this balance and the LaserJet M1120 MFP, an entry-level, mono laser all-in-one, is designed for home and small office use.

For anybody used to working with inkjet-based all-in-ones, the LaserJet M1120 MFP is surprisingly tall. The laser engine in the lower half of the machine takes up quite a bit more room than an ink-jet engine, but the machine has a look of solidity, with its slate grey columns down either side.

A 250-sheet paper tray has a 10-sheet multipurpose tray - HP calls it a priority tray -set above it. This is useful, as you quite often need to load more than one sheet of special media at a time. Paper feeds out to a ‘balcony' projecting from halfway up the device, giving the whole machine a rather piecemeal appearance.

Quite a way above the output tray is the flatbed scanner section and this hinges upwards to around 30 degrees, to provide access to the toner and drum cartridge. It's supported by sprung hinges, so stays where it's put, when open.

On top of the unit is a two-line LCD display - with no backlight - and a set of eight buttons which, though a little dowdy, are enough to control all the device's functions. The only connection at the back is a USB 2 socket and there's no internal option for a network interface. However, a network version of the machine, the LaserJet M1120n MFP, is available for around £20 more.

When you lift the scanner section of the M1120 MFP up, it's easy to slot in the drum and toner cartridge, though it does slide away right into depths of the machine. The cartridge in the box is also only good for 1,000 pages, half the standard capacity.

This is a bad trend with many printer makers. By putting in special, low-capacity, ‘starter' consumables, the companies ensure you start buying toner or ink sooner after buying the printer itself. Since consumables are where they make a lot of their money, you can see the marketing logic, but it's both an annoyance and an extra expense for the customer. There's no plausible benefit for you or me.

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