HP LaserJet M2727nfs review

Price when reviewed

HP has always been top dog in the SMB multi-function printing market and the latest LaserJet M2727 family extends its reputation even further. Two models are on offer and on review we have the higher-end M2727nfs which adds a second 250-sheet lower paper tray and integral stapler to the mix. And a good mix of features there is too as the printer combines a 26ppm mono laser with copier and automatic document feeder (ADF), fax modem and colour scanning as well.

Aimed at SMBs and small workgroups, the M2727nfs is a compact box of tricks that’s up to HP’s usual exacting build quality. The combined scanner and ADF sit comfortably on top of the printer and a comprehensive control panel stretches across the front where it offers local access to all key features.

The 20-page integral stapler doesn’t automatically bind pages together during printing as you just take out your printout when it’s finished and shove it in the slot at the side. The only consumable is the combined toner cartridge and photoconductive drum and HP provides two capacities offering 1.5p or 1p per page.

The M2727 is a fair performer with it despatching a 30-page Word document in 67 seconds for an average of 27ppm. However, our 24-page DTP style document was cause for contemplation at the top ProRes1200 setting as its heavy mix of photographs, graphics and charts slowed the printer down to a pedestrian 6ppm. Only at the FastRes1200 setting could we get close to the quoted print speeds with the test print delivered at an average of 23ppm. Shop around for a memory upgrade as HP charges a staggering £380 for a 256MB 144-pin DIMM – we found a Kingston compatible module at Dabs.com for a snip at £9.

Overall print quality for text is acceptable although close scrutiny reveals a tiny amount of smudging. Photographs are where HP falls down, though, as our tests prints at all resolutions revealed excessive banding and a grainy washed out effect. Scanning proved to be more satisfying with it delivering quality images with good colour balance and minimal banding.

The installation routine loads TWAIN and TWI drivers so you can scan and acquire images to your PC directly over the network. Using the latter option we were able to scan and insert pictures directly into Word documents. There are plenty more features as you scan and email as a mail attachment and scan directly to a local or network folder. Note that you must run a full software install on an XP system to get the HPToolBoxFX utility needed to configure the Scan To button on the printer.

it_photo_31739For scan to email you select this option from the Scan settings on your PC where it’ll load your default mail client and attach the image to a new message. Faxing operations can be carried out directly from the printer’s control panel or by using HP’s Send Fax driver at your PC. An address book is maintained by the printer which can be accessed from the control panel and updated from the web management console.

The LaserJet M2727nfs has versatility as its middle name as it’s capable of handing most office printing tasks. Overall output quality is a real let down but is it offering a heap of features for the price plus reasonably low running costs.

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