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Printers

HP LaserJet 3050: Tech Lego

A laser printer that scans, faxes and copies? It must be the all-singing, all-dancing, really tedious to assemble LaserJet 3050!

When HP's representatives contacted us about a new all-in-one laser printer, we glanced at our watches, stifled a yawn and got distracted by a shiny thing. Who could blame us, as that shiny thing was the Shuttle SD36G5M DIY Viiv PC -- one of the prettiest home PCs available.

We eventually managed to tear ourselves away from it and have just had a gander at the printer in question, the LaserJet 3050 -- HP's latest mono all-in-one. Our first twenty minutes with the device involved reading the manual, connecting implement A2 into receptacle D and cursing its Ikea-like, Lego-esque installation procedure.

To HP's credit, the LaserJet 3050 isn't quite as difficult to assemble as a flat-pack wardrobe (it only took about five minutes) and it prints, copies, scans and faxes better than any wardrobe we've ever seen. HP reckons it can print 18 A4 pages per minute (PPM) and in our test it managed 17PPM at the default 'Fastres' quality setting. It only took about five seconds to spew out the first page and 13 seconds to copy a single sheet, all of which is impressive.

Our only gripes were its average-at-best scanning ability and the fact the unit lacks a network port. Still, it's not a bad investment for £230. Check out the HP Web site for more information. -RR