Product Type: Advent All in one Printer
Newest Review: ... means that it can print, scan and copy AND you can connect your PC/laptop to it wirelessly providing you have a wireless internet connec... more
A technophobe's multi function printer
Advent AW10 All-in-One
Member Name: Essexgirl2006
Advent AW10 All-in-One
Advantages: Budget price, easy to use
Disadvantages: Fairly basic, ugly
Looks wise it is a fairly ugly thing, it isn't shiny but matt black plastic with no contrast trim or any design details. There is a small menu screen (1.5" diagonally) that is fixed in an angled position on one side - it isn't adjustable. It has a few buttons on the top such as on/off, navigation keys etc. The minimum amount of buttons means there is less confusion for the technophobe and less phone calls to me when she has got her self stumped by something. The buttons are of a reasonable size and well spaced so not fiddly to use at all. There is a flap on the top that lifts up for you to put your paper in - it won't take a huge amount. There are adjustable plastic bars so you can print on paper smaller than A4 such as photo paper and envelopes. There is another flap at the front which opens downwards; this is where your finished printing will come out. If you have no paper in, and it is not in use you can fold the flaps in and it looks a bit neater.
The resolution of any printing is 'up to 9600 dpi'. According to the salesman this leads to more economical printing as the printer automatically decides the appropriate resolution (or revolution as my mum prefers to call it) depending on the type of document you are printing or copying i.e. black and white text document or colour photo.
I had to set up the printer for my mum as she was quite sure she wouldn't know how to do it, even though she hadn't tried (I think this is revenge for my insistence that I didn't like carrots for the first 14 years of my life, even though I had refused to try them). However the pictorial guide clearly showed the steps needed and initial set up was completed in a matter of minutes. Truly, it was very easy and great for technophobes. While this printer has wireless capabilities I elected not to set it up wirelessly through the home wi-fi (or 'whiffy' as it is known by my mother) as she prints quite infrequently and I also thought that it would minimise the phone calls I get asking me to remotely sort out why it won't print (i.e. she hasn't turned the router on). I inserted the disc into the laptop (it was a revelation to my mother that she even had a place to put discs) and away we went with the final stage of getting the software installed. This took a bit longer to do, and that time will vary depending on your own PC. It is fair to say that we didn't really have any problems setting it up, and I managed to make this her default printer. She tested it first, printing off Word documents she had on her laptop and it printed it clearly and neatly in a matter of seconds. It isn't the quickest printer on the market, but I don't think the extra few seconds are important if you are looking for a budget home printer and your printing needs are relatively low. Please note that although an Ethernet cable is included, a USB one isn't. I also thought it was fairly quiet for the price, certainly quieter than its predecessor.
Never having had a copier before, my mum used the photocopier in a local shop when it was needed. She was quite excited to have the option to do this at home and decided to copy her water bill for no discernible reason. We did just the one colour copy and I thought the detail and colour clarity was excellent for a printer of this price. My higher spec HP wouldn't do it any better. My mum actually finds this quite useful now she has it.
The printer comes with a manual that is really clearly laid out - each function starts on a new page, instructions are clear and easy to follow in a good sized font. Images of the icons on the relevant buttons accompany the text to make it easy for inexperienced user to follow. Thus my mum can use this to refer to should she get stuck, before calling me, and I am confident that she will be able to use it without getting too confused. I think Advent have acknowledged that most of the purchasers of this class of printer will have limited technological experience and have thoughtfully targeted their manual to this type of consumer.
My mum needed some photos taken of some items which I did for her. I inserted the SD card in the relevant slot on the printer (it takes SD/MMC cards, adaptors are required for any other type) and the latest image popped up on the little in-built screen which you can easily scroll through. The laptop was connected, so at the same time, a pop up box appeared on the laptop for easier viewing and saving onto the hard drive. You could also view and print directly off the card without a PC it seems. The printer came with 3 10x15cm sheets of premium Kodak photo paper, and it is clearly marked on the paper tray where to place it. The images printed out quite impressively, I don't think many would be dissatisfied for the price. If you print a lot of photos then you will no doubt prefer to buy a special photo printer of a higher quality, but I think this is more than adequate for her use. My mum was thrilled with the pictures which I printed for her using both photo paper and regular A4 paper.
The printer takes Advent's own inks and they only do one type (are you listening HP?!). The black retails at £12.99 and the colour for £18.99. The single colour cartridge holds cyan, magenta and yellow. They are easy to put in, just make sure they click down. The colour cartridge did leak a small amount of blue ink on my fingers though. They have a solid plastic 'lid' that needs to be snapped off - it was not as fiddly as some I have used. Pictorial instructions are on a sticker just under the lid of the printer to help guide the novice user in changing the inks. The 'introductory inks' are never full size but it took my mum two months before she started to get "colour ink is low" pop up messages, and that was only after printing some colour pictures. I expect her to get good value from these inks. I was with her for the first ink change and she managed to read the simple instructions and follow the diagrams by herself and changed them successfully. There is a little icon on your task bar of your PC that (when connected) shows you what percentage of ink is actually left in each cartridge when you hover of it with your mouse. It presents the information in numerical form rather than an ambiguous diagram which doesn't really tell you how much is left. However since she is now a whizz at printing colour pictures and photocopying the entire week's post, the inks are declining faster.
This was another feature that my mum had never used before, and I don't think she has really grasped why she would actually need it. For the purposes of my own curiosity and this review I scanned in a document using this printer. Placing it face down on the glass, I selected 'Scan' from the little screen and it duly scanned the letter and it popped up on her laptop screen. If I was being picky I think the image could have been sharper, but was pretty satisfactory over all. I imagine if you did a lot of heavy duty printing and scanning you would be looking at a higher spec nodel anyway.
Overall I think this is an excellent printer for those looking to purchase their first multi-function printer and unsure if they will get much use out of it. The easy to follow instructions are good to get nervous people started and the price won't break the bank. Obviously it is too soon to talk about long term reliability (4.5 months), but it seems to be a sturdy and reliable product thus far (three months in) and I have had no phone calls asking me to sort any technical problems (touch wood this remains so!). Most importantly my mum is trilled with it, and has found it simple to use and noticeably quieter then its predecessor.
I see no reason not to recommend this printer, it isn't as clever or as good looking as some, but it is likely to meet many people's home printing needs.
Summary: Great multi-function printer for technophobes and first time users