With its automatic duplexer and standard 250-sheet paper tray, the relatively inexpensive Panasonic KX-P7100 offers some useful features for SOHO users. However, the printer's slow print speeds and subpar output hurt its overall appeal. With its automatic duplexer and standard 250-sheet paper tray, the relatively inexpensive Panasonic KX-P7100 offers some useful features for SOHO users. However, the printer's slow print speeds and subpar output hurt its overall appeal.
The $349 KX-P7100 is easy to set up and install. In addition to the 22-pound printer, the box contains the power cord, the toner, the drum, a driver CD, and an illustrated Setup Guide. The printer works with Windows 95, 98, Me, XP, NT 4.0, and 2000, but it's not Mac compatible. It connects via USB or parallel port (cables not included), but if you want to network the printer, you'll need to buy a separate print server. The driver CD also contains an electronic user guide, which covers basic operation, troubleshooting, and maintenance in more depth.
The boxy KX-P7100 is much like a standard desktop laser except for a couple of notable exceptions. The media tray can hold 250 sheets of plain paper (letter, legal, executive, and A4), 30 envelopes, or 20 transparencies. For thicker media, such as labels, the printer offers a straight-through manual-feed slot. The KX-P7100's most significant feature is its integrated duplexing unit, which lets you print on both sides of the page; it's a rarity in this class of printer.
In addition to the usual settings for paper size and media type, the print driver also offers some extras. For example, you can save your company's letterhead or logo as an overlay file and have it automatically print on any document you choose. You can also reduce or enlarge documents from 25 to 400 percent of the original size, print up to four reduced pages on a single sheet, and save your current driver settings for later use with the Profiles tab.