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Hewlett-Packard Makes Business' Best Friend

Replacement laserjet ink cartridges run a reasonable $90-ish, which should last the average business close to a year, or about half the cost of inkjets, and for some paper types, in-line with true laser printers. Again, impressive stuff.

And while far from perfect, the 1212 took all of 12 minutes to set up and has worked dead on since. What's not to love?

What you don't get: Don't misinterpret my enthusiasm to expect the 1212 is a full-featured imaging device.

The 1212 solves a problem, not all problems. It only prints black and white. And image quality, while perfectly fine, is nowhere near the best printers on the market. And $199, and $90 for the cartridge is, believe it or not, a lot of money for a printer. And sophisticated network- and document-sharing is beyond this unit.

Listen up: You will be wasting your money if you expect the 1212 to do anything more than to create moderate-output, black-and-white business documents.

Bottom line: Yes, it's a sad world, indeed, when a well-done, black-and-white printer rates as newsworthy. But such is the state of small-business documents. If you want a a simple, good value imaging device, the 1212 is the one to consider.

Now, if someone could figure out how to kill off the rest of my piles, I'd be all set.
Jonathan Blum is an independent technology writer and analyst living in Westchester, N.Y. He has written for The Associated Press and Popular Science and appeared on FoxNews and The WB.
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