Multi-function Workgroup Printers

If this were a competition based solely on design, the CM1017 would win; it's compact enough to sit on a desk without dominating. The detail and colour accuracy of its output is also impressive, besting the similarly specced Epson, and being only just pipped by the Konica Minolta.

The CM1017's control panel is the cleanest and most intuitive on test, both in terms of button configuration and menu design. However, the playing field isn't exactly even here, because this printer is the only one to lack a fax, so a number keypad and other fax features do not clutter the panel.

On speed, the CM1017's claimed time for first page to print is 'less than 20 seconds' but for our test text file it took 23 seconds, and for the killer test file this increased to 2 mins 18 secs. One bonus with the 1017 is its Instant-on Technology means there's virtually no wake-up time coming out of power save, giving it an edge here on the other models.

HP's stated speed is 8ppm for both print and copy (in colour or mono), and this is accurate, regardless of file type. Its time-to-first-copy figure of 9.6 seconds is also accurate for low-coverage text documents. However, it took 36 seconds to colour-scan the printout of our killer file, and 22.5 seconds to do so in mono.

Those for whom scanning is a regular job might baulk at the fact it took a ponderous 4 mins 6 secs to scan a 4x6 inch colour photo. Admittedly this was at 1,200dpi, but the Epson took a lightning fast 41 seconds at the same resolution.

The cost per page of 1017's consumables compares favourably with the other colour lasers (Epson and Konica Minolta). Its CMY cartridges cost 50.32, and have a 2,000-page capacity, giving a CPP of 0.025 pence. The 2,500-page black cartridge costs 46.20, giving a CPP of 0.018 pence.

The connectivity offering is 10/100 Base TX, and USB 2.0, and network settings can be controlled from within the bundled HP ToolboxFX software. There's also an embedded web server for managing print settings from a workstation rather than the printer's control panel. This can be accessed from ToolboxFX, but also via any network connection, by typing the printer's IP address into a browser.

There's no easy way to macro manage CM1017s across a network. Standardising optimal settings, for example, involves saving the settings from one machine to the desktop via HP Toolbox, and then loading this onto the other printers.

Warranty deals on offer for the CM1017 include: three-year return to HP; three-year next business day on-site response; one-year post-warranty, return to HP; and post-warranty one-year next business day on-site response.


Looks great and performs well, but lack of fax may prove deal breaker for some.