A generic monitor not specifically designed for photography isn’t going to deliver the colour quality we seek. Processing images on the BenQ SW271 gives the user a stunningly vivid colour range.
HP LaserJet M2727nf monochrome laser multifunction
Quality mono printing
- Fast print speeds, great quality, expandable memory, LPI settings, relatively cheap consumable costs
- Memory is expensive, inadequate media output tray, no secure print function
Scanning certainly isn’t a strong point of the M2727nf, but this is more than made up for by its print quality and speed.
Price$ 1,149.00 (AUD)
HP’s LaserJet M2727nf is a significant step up from the mid-range LaserJet M1522n in quality, performance and overall functionality. For those who need excellent quality black-and-white printing for a reasonable price, the M2727nf certainly does the job.
The M2727nf is 50mm taller than the LaserJet M1522n, so it certainly isn’t small. Along with the standard copy, scan and print functions, the unit also offers a fax function and USB and Ethernet connectivity.
Media support is fairly standard, with a 250-page paper cassette and a supplementary 50-page media input tray for specialised printing. A 50-page automatic document feeder sits on the top of the scanner for copying and scanning. The media input capacity should be enough for most small and medium businesses, although the 125-page media output tray will fill up if the printer is unattended.
Toner replacement is easy thanks to a quick release button situated underneath the M2727nf’s control panel. The printer is capable of printing 3000 pages with a low-capacity toner cartridge and 7000 pages using a high-capacity toner cartridge. At $128 and $236, respectively, they aren't exactly cheap but the high-capacity cartridge delivers a reasonable cost per page of 3.4c.
Out of the box, the multifunction has 64MB of internal memory. This is enough for standard use but it can be upgraded to a maximum of 320MB via an easily accessible panel. Don’t expect this memory to come cheap, however; we did a quick search of local stores and found that 256MB of compatible memory cost as much as the unit itself.
Although there are only two dots per inch settings — 600dpi and 1200dpi — there are also 132 lines per inch and 180lpi text density settings, something we’ve only seen on the much more expensive LaserJet P4015n. Comparing this printer's best possible output to the LaserJet M1522n and LaserJet P4015n, the quality difference is immediately noticeable. The M2727nf’s output is extremely accurate, with no aberrations or signs of over-darkened text. While the P4015N managed to produce significantly darker text without sacrificing quality, the M2727nf's output is perhaps a little too pale for our tastes.
Despite the brilliant quality, the M2727nf performs at a pace that is hard to come by in cheaper models. At standard 600dpi and 1200dpi quality levels, the multifunction prints at 27.2 pages per minute, with the first page out in 17.9 seconds. When printing at 1200dpi pages using the 180lpi setting it slows quite dramatically to 8ppm, a result of the printer having to readjust its toner between each page.
The M2727nf doesn't scan as well as it prints. Image scans are highly saturated, with exaggerated colours distorting the reference image. Image brightness levels are also generally disproportionate, causing the image to become largely unusable. The unit will fare adequately with text documents, but image scanning certainly isn’t a strong point.
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