HP pretty much invented the multifunction printer and has made mono and colour machines with inkjet and laser engines for many years. The LaserJet 1217nfw MFP is a mid-range, mono laser multifunction, designed for small and home office use and as such comes with fax functions, as well as print, scan and copy.
The all-black machine has a conventional look with a 35-sheet, near-horizontal Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) on top of a traditional flatbed scanner. Below this is a laser engine with a rather scanty paper tray, which folds down from the front panel. A cover for the tray would be nice, but instead the paper is left to pick up dust and spills. The output tray is a clip-on ‘balcony’, with a telescopic extension and flip-up paper stop.
There’s a strange little plastic end stop for the paper feed tray, which you can clip into place if you need to use paper shorter than 185mm; A5 in landscape mode, for example. Oddly, this is the only piece of the machine that’s grey, rather than black.
The control panel is small and set on the left-hand side. It contains all the expected control buttons, including a fax number pad, and a 2-line, 16-character LCD display, but everything’s rather crowded. The small control panel does enable the machine to be lower profile, but makes it more fiddly to use, too.
The scanner section hinges fully out of the way with a strong counterbalancing spring to give access to the cover of the laser engine. This lifts and the drum and toner cartridge slots deep down into the machine. It’s easy and quick to maintain.
HP has incorporated its SmartInstall feature, which downloads drivers from the printer itself and means you don’t need a driver CD, though one is supplied, anyway. Ethernet and wireless connections are also supported, with WPS setup to make WiFi installation simple.
Software includes ReadIris OCR, as well as HP driver software and a downloadable copy of SmartWeb printing, for neat printing of Web pages.