HP LaserJet M1132 MFP review
mono laser, 18ppm print speed, USB, 250x415x265mm
HP's LaserJet M1132 MFP is based around a mono laser printer. While this rules out colour prints, it should mean that black text looks good and prints quickly. The M1132 is a small and reasonably attractive device that, like many home MFPs, is made from black plastic. Its price and specifications place it in competition with the Samsung SCX-3205W, but while that supports wireless networking, the LaserJet connects to only a single PC via USB.
This simple MFP has a basic paper input tray that projects from the front, exposing part of the paper stack to dust. It folds up neatly when not in use, but the output tray is formed with an extension that, once clipped on, can't be folded away. There's a very basic control panel, consisting of a two-digit LED display paired with up and down buttons. These adjust the quantity, exposure or magnification level of copies, depending on which of three nearby buttons is selected. The only other controls are copy and cancel buttons, and a power switch.
The controls work well enough, but we found ourselves using them quite a bit to try to fix photocopies, which were woefully dark at the default exposure, displayed as '0'. We assumed that adding to this would brighten the result, but confusingly the opposite is true. Only at '-4' did dark regions become correctly exposed, by which time mid- and high-tones were bleached of detail. While at 14 seconds, a single copy was fairly quick, we couldn't obtain satisfactory results.
Fortunately, things improved when we used the M1132 MFP with a PC. The print driver has a far better interface than HP's consumer inkjet driver, with the options grouped into five themed tabs. For most jobs, the default Paper/Quality tab contains most of the options you'd need.
Prints were quite rapid, with text or greyscale graphics both arriving at 16.5 pages per minute (ppm), and the results were good. Text was excellent quality, and while graphics were a touch dark they remained free of banding or obvious dither patterns – two common mono laser traits. The only hitch was a single blank page that snuck into the output after the paper feed failed to separate it from the page being printed.
We were pleased to see that HP ships this MFP with its business-orientated scan interface which, while not the best we've seen, is a huge improvement over the consumer inkjet interface. While there's no auto-marquee selection or auto-exposure, you can at least turn sharpening off, and the resulting scans didn't suffer from the odd artefacts that we've seen from HP's inkjet MFPs. Their focus was sharp and colours were accurately captured, but we noticed blockiness in our 1,200dpi test that suggested the scan had been upscaled from a lower resolution.
The M1132 isn't a bad printer or scanner, but its poor photocopying prevents it being a good MFP. That's a shame, as it's cheaper to run than some of its budget competitors, including Samsung's SCX-3205W. While the M1132 is also a slightly quicker printer than its main competitor, in most other respects the Samsung SCX-3205W is a much better choice.