Despite their unsexy reputation, mono printers remain the best option for many consumers, small offices and home businesses. The compact HP Laserjet M1319f multifunction device is ideal for producing text documents quickly and can affordably perform many duties necessary for a small business: copying, faxing, duplex printing, and scanning.

The laser-based HP LaserJet M1319f is about as wide and deep as a conventional ink-jet multifunction device, but is about twice as tall. At 10kg, it's one of the lightest laser printers we've tested.

The HP LaserJet M1319f's exterior is a standard plain gray hue, and its interface is riddled with simple buttons and a small LED screen. While you can modify certain settings for the fax and copier, most functional adjustments will have to be conducted via your computer - the menus on the interface aren't particularly user-friendly, so you'll want to do most of your modifications on your computer screen anyway.

The HP LaserJet M1319f doesn't have PostScript (important for some graphics applications) nor does it have Ethernet or an Ethernet option. The device connects via USB 2.0, and you can share the printer over the network.

The obvious drawback of the HP LaserJet M1319f is that its black-only toner is not well suited for photo printing. One of the printer tests we usually run involves a 22MB colour Photoshop image; we exempted the M1319f from this test. Colour copying was similarly not tested, and there weren't any memory card slots for us to fiddle with in case we wanted to load photos.

The HP LaserJet M1319f is meant to produce business documents quickly and with great quality. Fortunately, that's exactly what it does.

In our time trials, the HP LaserJet M1319f produced some strong scores. The M1319f finished our 1-page Word test in 7 seconds. Our 10-page Word document test finished in a little over 40 seconds, putting it among the fastest times we've seen for a consumer laser printer.

In addition to being fast, the HP LaserJet M1319f produced some strong image quality results in our jury tests. According to our jury, the text was of Superior quality and thus ideal for a business environment seeking professional-looking documents.

However, the HP LaserJet M1319f was not as well suited to graphic printing. Our jury was not impressed with the four-page PDF document produced by the M1319f. On the fine lines and gradient test, the printer was only awarded a Good score, with a loss of detail in certain areas and an inability to print smooth gray gradients.

Although the HP LaserJet M1319f can't print colour documents, it can scan them. The absence of a flatbed scanner - documents to be scanned are instead drawn through an automatic document feeder - really hurt the HP LaserJet M1319f in our scanning tests, which are primarily graphics tests. We scanned our standard colour test photo using the automatic document feeder and then printed the file on an Epson Stylus Photo 2200.

The colour appeared greenish to our jury and only earned a Good rating. The clarity was similarly only Good. Frustratingly, white streaks appeared when we scanned certain colour documents; this led us to believe that the HP LaserJet M1319f's automatic document feeder, while handy for printing and faxing, was a poor instrument for graphic copying and scanning.

Replacing the toner cartridge in the HP LaserJet M1319f is a lot cheaper than competing laser printers because you only have to replace one cartridge rather than several colour cartridges. HP claims that you can get a full 2,000 pages of printing from a single cartridge.

HP LaserJet M1319f: Specs

  • Mono laser printer, copier, scanner, fax
  • serial - RJ-11, USB connectivity
  • max printer resolution: 1200x1200dpi
  • Internal Scan Depth: 16.7 Million Colors (24-bit)
  • Optical Scan Resolution: 600x600dpi
  • Fax Page Memory Capacity: 500
  • Max Fax Speed: 33.6Kbps
  • standard input capacity: 260 sheets
  • 240MHz processor
  • 32MB memory
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 8000
  • 467x439x460mm
  • 10kg
  • Mono laser printer, copier, scanner, fax
  • serial - RJ-11, USB connectivity
  • max printer resolution: 1200x1200dpi
  • Internal Scan Depth: 16.7 Million Colors (24-bit)
  • Optical Scan Resolution: 600x600dpi
  • Fax Page Memory Capacity: 500
  • Max Fax Speed: 33.6Kbps
  • standard input capacity: 260 sheets
  • 240MHz processor
  • 32MB memory
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 8000
  • 467x439x460mm
  • 10kg

OUR VERDICT

Monochrome printers don't get a lot of attention these days, but businesses can still take advantage of their specialised features. If you don't require a printer for colour photo printing, colour copying, or creating brochures with detailed graphics, then why bother spending money on a multifunction device with these attributes? The HP LaserJet M1319f will quickly produce high-quality text documents, and also offers faxing and passable scanning abilities. That's all some businesses need.

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