Review: HP CM1312nfi Color Laser Multi-Function Printer - Page 2

By Aaron Weiss | Posted April 24, 2008

Scans and Copies

Copying a single page on the CM1312nfi couldn't be easier: lay it on the scanner bed, and press either the "black" or "color" copy button. Scanning is fast, and the copy is output in seconds. Using the copy menu on the unit's LCD display, you can adjust the number, size and contrast of copies.

You can also stack up to 50 pages into the CM1312nfi automatic document feeder (ADF). If you increase the copy count, the printer will collate the output so that your output pages are in the proper sequence. Unfortunately, the ADF does not duplex. As with printing, the copy menu allows for two-sided copies, but only if you manually flip the page between scans.

You can also use the flatbed or ADF to scan documents, including thick books thanks to the lid's floating hinge. The HP software installs the CM1312nfi as a scanner accessible from imaging software like Photoshop. Optional HP software also allows you to initiate scans directly from the unit, to pre-defined destinations like e-mail attachments. Scans can also be saved directly to any of these memory cards—Compact Flash, Memory Stick, MMC, SD or xD.

When you initiate a scan either to a computer or memory card, it is saved in JPG format and no other formats are supported. Multi-page scans through the ADF are saved as individual JPG images per page. It would be nice to support added for scanning to PDF, or other uncompressed image formats.

Photo Management

Although the CM1312nfi is not expressly designed as a photo printer, per se, it can be described as photo-friendly. When you insert one of the supported memory cards, the printer automatically scans it for pictures. You can preview pictures directly through the LCD display.

You can also print photos directly from the card either by scrolling through photo previews and manually marking each one you want to print, or by selecting a numerical range of photos.

You can also print a proof sheet of images on the memory card. Using a pen or pencil, you can mark directly on the sheet which images you would like to print, and at what size and layout. You lay the completed proof sheet on the scanner bed, and the printer will read your markings and print the selected photos.

Fax Central

You can manage fax operations through included HP software or the unit's built-in Web server. You can add 120 phonebook entries and access eight via speed dial on the unit's keypad, and using the HP software lets you import entries from Microsoft Outlook. Outgoing documents can be sent through the 50 sheet ADF.

The CM1312nfi supports advanced fax management, including templates, dialing groups, fax polling, distinctive ring, and incoming number blacklists (to prevent junk). HP doesn't support third-parties fax applications, but offers one if its own should you want to fax from your PC.

Consumables

The CM1312nfi uses a black toner cartridge ($70) for monochrome prints with an average yield of 2,200 pages. The three color cartridges cost $64 each and yield approximately 1,400 pages apiece. Actual yields can vary considerably depending on the kind of material you print.

Bottom Line

The HP CM1312nfi provides a very capable scanner, convenient memory card support, comprehensive fax, and most importantly, excellent print quality in both monochrome and color. It may not be designed as a workhorse for a demanding environment, but its budget-friendly price tag prioritizes quality over quantity.

Aaron Weiss a technology writer, screenwriter and Web development consultant who spends his free time stacking wood for the winter in Upstate New York. His Web site is: bordella.com

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