Pros:Typical HP Tank-Like Construction. It could take a few bullets and still keep printing.
Cons:The bargain price of the printer is eventually outweighed by the cost of ink cartridges.
The Bottom Line: At the $197 we bought this for, it has proven to be a blessing. For those who will be using this for heavier volume than 1250 Pages Per Month--look elsewhere.
We've had this printer for roughly 8 months now, and I daresay it lives up to most of the hype, but does fall a little short in a few of its claims. I like the fact that it is the typical HP Tank-Like construction. Reliable as the day is long. She is convenient, thanks to the wireless capabilities, and she prints a very good though not exactly stellar picture. The Fax capability is a handy feature as well. But let's cut to the chase on this item. What did I pay? Was it really worth it? How hard was it to set up? These are all valid questions amongst many others. So please read on.
Recommend this product?
The Price--5 Stars
We got this thing for $197 so there are no complaints in this department. We didin't even have to buy a floor model, or a dent and scratch version either. We use notebooks and laptops around the house after retiring our rather old and jaded Sony Desktop. We decided to convert our front office of the house into a sitting room, so the rather large behemoth of a computer desk, and boat anchor of a printer were the first things to go. At less than $200, this thing seemed like the best answer to a lot of questions and problems as regards remodeling, and technology. Sometimes the two words seem mutually exclusive. The wireless capability still seemed to make this a no-brainer.
Set Up and Customer Service--3 Stars
I'm not sure if it's just this printer, or if it's the absolute suckiness of Windows 7, or a bad combination of the two. We were able to get the printer up and working just fine in manual modes, but wireless was not an option for a couple of weeks. Numerous calls to customer service and the help desks resulted in absolute zero headway. It's not as if the customer service reps are idiots ( at least I hope not), they certainly seemed polite enough, and more than willing to help. It just seems like every suggestion they had was something that we had already tried, and we even got transferred all the way up the line to supervisors, Eventually we figured out that this thing was snagging one of the computer's IP Addresses and throwing the modem for a loop. Seems to me, maybe I'm just being rough here, that "A Customer Service Supervisor" would have at least thought that that would have been a possibility.
Ink Cartridges and Pictures-- 3 1/2 Stars
Okay, the ads ramble on about 1/2 the price per page of a laser printer. Well there's a reason for that. Ink Jets will never replace the laser for accuracy. 1200 X 1200 DPI is very good for an ink jet. It prints out my music manuscripts like a charm, and it does a great job on anything involving text, whether it be colour or grey zone. The problem arises for those who bought into the hype expecting "Photographic Quality". If you use photo paper it does more than a reasonable job of recreatng a good basc print, but my wife is into digital photography. The type of minuscule details some people might want and receive from a high quality laser printer just aren't there. However, I can say that it prints off assembly diagrams and manuals quite well.
Self Check--4 Stars
Sometimes when she runs a self-check on herself, she can be a little slow coming out of the gate. A few minutes might seem like an eternity to some folks, but when I hear all the noise and mechanical wheels and pinions turning, it sounds as if it is a very thorough self-diagnostic test. Because of our experience with HP's I am assuming that all that is necessary. We have had their printers last a lot longer than the production runs of the specific ink cartridges for those respective models. We have yet to toss a single HP because it stopped working.
At less than $200 I am a very happy camper, but I really don't expect the same response from everyone. I have a strong bias towards reliable products, and will even put a lid on my cheapskate attitude when they prove as reliable as all of our other HP's have. The biggest problem for those unfamiliar with HP is that they practice The Gillette School of Marketing. (Give away the razor, but charge a premium for the blades.) That's kind of the story with these ink cartridges too. Fortunately, in the past 8 months we have only had to buy one black ink replacement cartridge.
Here's the rub for people who paid more for their printer than I did. The 940 XL Black Ink Cartridge is $36 a throw and good for 2200 pages. The individual colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow) are $26 a throw and only good for 1400 pages. If you pay $300 for this printer and use it constantly and heavily on a day in day out basis---those ink cartridges are going to make that initial "bargain" price fade away in your memory banks while your wallet experiences much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Keep in mind, that though HP advertises it as a small business printer, they only recommend it see a usage level of 250-1250 pages a month.
This thing, once you make sure to establish it's own IP Address, and check every now and than to make sure it's not snagging one from a wayward i-Pad or laptop, is shear greatness. I love being able to sit in the living room watching Animal Planet with the dog, while I print out business proposals and manuscripts in another room with the click of a button. People can send me faxes, and vice-versa. The fax quality on these is quite good by the way. The printing speed is plenty fast for us, as the letter and draft quality is really about all we need. At 34/35PPM, we're good with that. The claim of 15/15 seconds to crank out the first page is also true. Some business folk might also take note that once you try and hit "LASER QUALITY", the speed tanks on down to 11 PPM for colour and 15 PPM for Black. Those numbers aren't exactly the equivalent of greased lightning, but they are good enough for us.