Panasonic KX-MB2061 review

Multifunction mono laser printer and phone system
Photo of Panasonic KX-MB2061
£250

The Panasonic KX-MB2061 mono laser printer was designed with practical considerations in mind. If you’re setting up a small business or home office, it’s crucial to keep the amount of equipment you need as minimal and as compact as you can manage. And that’s exactly what the Panasonic sets out to do.

All in one box
Panasonic’s idea was to effectively merge the attributes of a multifunction printer and a telephone networking system into one machine. Styled in mostly low-key matt black (apart from the glossy front control panel), the KX-MB2061 measures a fairly conventional square-shaped 304x419x431mm, and weighs a not-too-hefty 11.8kg, complete with built-in carrying handles.

The device offers four principal printer operations – scan, print, copy and fax – with a 250-sheet paper input tray at the bottom and a 20-sheet Automatic Document Feeder on the top. Internet connection is possible via Ethernet (there’s no Wi-Fi capability), as well as hooking up directly via USB 2 to your PC or Mac. Notably absent, however, are any signs of a memory card holder or USB input for flash drives. Two-sided duplex printing also has to be done manually.

Receive answerphone messages via e-mail
One corded handset is supplied, and fits neatly in to the lower left side of the printer. You also receive an additional DECT cordless handset (which you can expand to a maximum of six), complete with recharging cradle.

Where the KX-MB2061 clearly scores over its rivals is by also incorporating a digital answering service which not only records up to 30 minutes of voice messages and memos, but then converts the messages into WAV files which can be transmitted to an e-mail address. Perfect, in other words, for keeping up with your clients while on the move.

Similarly, the KX-MB2061 provides high-speed Super G3 fax transmissions, taking up to 4 seconds per page – which can automatically be forwarded as PDF attachments to your e-mail account. It also enables you to send faxes direct from your PC without having to print them out first. The control panel has especially large buttons and the operational menus are accessed via a clear two-line, 16-character LCD Display (though maybe we can have touchscreen technology next time?).

Printing good, speeds better
As far as printer quality is concerned, we were impressed by how virtually indistinguishable the draft and standard black text documents were, although tones overall seemed slightly lighter than we’d expect. This was more evident in printed web pages, but we were pleasantly surprised by the print speeds, which ranged between 22 and 24ppm.

A4 scans took around 30 seconds for both colour prints and colour documents, and using the excellent software provided we were able to preview and produce high-quality scans with marginally warmer tones than the originals. Another useful office application was the ability to merge, say, Word and Excel documents, rearrange the layout and print out the results. Shame the KX-MB2061 doesn’t make the tea, though.

Company: Panasonic

Contact: 0844 844 3852

Positives
  • Answer phone messages converted to WAV files.
Negative
  • No automatic duplex; no input for memory cards or flash drives.

Verdict

The Panasonic KX-MB2061 is an extremely useful addition to a small office, thanks to its expanded phone/fax functions allied to good-quality print and scan results - even if it does lack a few standard features you'd expect for the price.