Having wanted a printer for some time, and after extensive searching through the internet, magazines and newspapers, I decided to purchase the HP Deskjet 2540 Ai0 It seemed ideal because it was inexpensive, compact, neat and pleasing to look at and also the dimensions were perfect to fit snugly under my keyboard next to the computer. It arrived well packaged and with full operating instructions, which I found nice and straight forward and easy to understand. I must say it took me a little time to feel comfortable using it but, unfortunately, the reason for this is because I am not very good with new gadgets. Although, once I got use to using it, I found it easy to use, fast and dependable. I find the printed word coupled with illustrations to be very clear and quite delightful to look at. The copying aspect is also very quick and clear. I feel that this printer is more than adequate for the needs and requirements of the private and small business user. I am sure over the long term this item will save me money and time in my everyday work experience and this can only be a good thing. Because of the inexpensive price tag, the cost should, in my estimateion, be recovered within a very short period of time. This benefit is of major importance, at this present time, when we are all experiencing very competitive pricing structures, Therefore, I feel, owning this product can only be an advantage for anyone looking for a cheap priced printing machine for their office/home use.
After using many printers in the past I had to get one for a new job I got in the New Year and this is the printer I chose as a cheaper option.
== Design ==
This printer is designed by HP so instantly your mind makes you think quality and on first viewing that is how the printer looks.
The printer is designed in a white colour with plenty of grey around various import sections such as the paper tray and ink draw.
On the top of the printer face you have the scanner which is quite evident and on the left hand side is the buttons to turn on the device and the Wi-Fi function to let you know it is wireless.
On the back is where the power location is stored and also the printer cable as well should you need it.
== Key Information ==
This printer is wireless which is the biggest appeal overall. When turning the device on and installing the various drivers to use it the printer then asks you to go wireless on your own network which is pretty good.
You can use Apple Airprint with this device which means in theory you can just simply print pictures and everything else you have on your Apple devices without the need to have drivers on the device.
You get with this printer some decent software which helps you make various amendments to your pictures to improve the overall quality and this is free.
This printer has high capacity cartridges which mean you're able to do more with them such as printing more documents and pictures then you would with normal cartridges.
Included with this printer is the scanner which enables you to read at 1200 dpi in enhanced mode. The overall quality is pretty good.
The paper tray can support up to 60 sheets of paper and you can easily put different sizes inside with the measurement chart included on the paper tray.
The printer weighs in at 3.5Kg so it is pretty light and durable and size dimensions are 42.5cms x 30.5cms x 15.6cms.
== My Experience ==
When I first got this printer I did plenty of research on some review sights scattered around the internet and in my view I was led astray.
The installation was very simple to do you just had to insert the disk into your computer and download the required drivers which is pretty standard and easy to do.
When it comes to the wireless section of the setup again this is quite easy to sort out and when done you're given a nice blue light on the device to let you know.
I wanted to experiment at first how to do photos because this printer would be used a lot of the time for scanning and copying various images and I wanted to see how it would do.
The scanning is absolutely brilliant I have to admit it is perhaps the best feature overall. My brother has recently found out he is expecting his first child and brought me a scan picture and I wanted to scan the image and the results were amazing.
I have used the scanner on a range of pictures from top quality ones with so much colour and depth and the printer has managed to pull it off superbly.
The biggest fault for me has been printing. It is perhaps the biggest flaw you can have in a printer but some of the issues I have experienced have been rather weird but common faults.
I wanted to print 10 pages of writing which was just normal black and white text you would produce on Microsoft Word. I told the printer to print and it was doing okay the speed was consistent and the overall end product good except sheets went missing.
If you want to print more than 7 sheets in one go the printer misses pages or it prints half a page and sends it out like it is complete so you have to reprint documents which are time consuming.
Not only that but on the screen in the corner you get an error message saying HP could not print the document yet it has and the end result is right in front of you. It is confusing because most of the time you're either checking your end results to check everything is there or your making sure the printer is working okay.
Using the software was pretty easy you have your own program on the computer and you can instruct the printer to scan documents in to PDF files and see the end result right in front of you, this is all done wirelessly as well.
When printing a photograph the overall results have been pretty good the speed is slower than I like but the end results are good especially on proper photo paper.
I was very unimpressed with the printing part and the ink seemed to disappear in the meter rapidly. I found printing 50 sheets of paper with perhaps 500 words on each sheet made my ink disappear by half and yet when I take the cartridges and put them back in they tend to go back to the top again on the level metre.
== Apple Products ==
A good and perhaps key selling point to the printer was the fact you could use your iPad and any Apple product and not need to install the time consuming drivers which enable you to print items wirelessly.
I am slightly over the top when taking images of gardens or pets and most pictures end up getting deleted but the annoying problem I have had in the past is taking pictures and having to load them on the pc to print off.
This printer has on there this ability to let you print pictures without the drivers. I had to test it for myself and on my iPad I got a picture up and went to click on print. The iPad found my HP printer within seconds and began printing the image.
There was no problem with colour at all and perhaps the biggest problem was the speed was slower than expected but it did produce a decent end result.
This feature was a key part to me getting this item and it proved to be the best overall part about the printer.
== Good Points ==
The Apple products being able to print without any fuss and this is very good news if you like to print photos.
You get great scanning results and overall quality is superb. You can scan virtually anything you want and the end result sometimes looks better than the original so that is very good.
The installation is quick and hassle free and the good part is you can just follow the instructions if you're not the best with just going at it alone so everything is clearly marked.
== Bad Points ==
The printer giving false information on a regular basis and this is just extremely frustrating. Your printing out a document and the printer displays an error message telling you that there is an error and the document has not printed. However you see in the paper tray the document has printed and you're left confused.
The fact the printer will sometimes print out half a page of a document and might print 5 out of 7 pages you need as well, this is extremely poor.
== Final Thoughts ==
I think if I was getting a printer this is one I would avoid. I have spoken to a few people with them and some of the problems I have experienced are the same as they have had.
Printing is a problem if you're attempting to print many documents all at once because the printer tends to forget sheets and this is not good.
I would avoid and go for something more expensive. I got this printer for £40 and that is too high.
For a long time a printer was one of those things that I could make do without (I could just print at work) but now I have started doing a lot of sewing and crafting I find that a printer is something that could actually save me money (thanks to free card making papers etc and sewing patterns off the internet).
Therefore, I decided to finally take the plunge and buy myself a printer and decided that it would be a good idea to go for an all in one scanner, copier and printer as they are not much more expensive but are a useful addition as that way you get far more use out of your printer. Therefore, after reading good reviews on the Argos website I decided to purchase the HP Deskjet 2540 AiO Printer.
***What's in the box?***
The printer comes with two power cables (one for USA plug points and one for UK plug points), a USB cable for attaching to your computer, a CD rom to download the software needed to run the printer as well as two cartridges (one black and one coloured)
***How it works***
When you get the printer you need to plug it in before installing the printer cartridges (this is pretty standard - remove the clear plastic tag and insert into the cradle, although I did get it the wrong way round when I first tried so pay attention to how they are supposed to go in - and it didn't do any harm to the printer).
You then need to install the CD Rom supplied onto your laptop but that was really painless and simple to do. When you first print you will also need to do a cartridge alignment test but that takes 3 minutes maximum and uses about 2 sheets of paper so overall it didn't take long to set up as after that the hard work was done.
From there you need to plug in the USB cable into your laptop and into the printer if you want to print a document - you can print wirelessly but I have tried to work out how to do this and for the life of me can't figure that out. If you need to photocopy or scan something then there are buttons on the front of the printer which are all fairly self-explanatory and it is also simple to photocopy or scan making it a truly multi-functioning printer.
In terms of cartridge use - well on day one I printed a lot of ink heavy fliers and tickets and since then have printed off odd bits here and there and it seems to be fine (the printer tells you what it's ink reserves are so you can pick up supplies before they run out which helps) and I have now had the printer since October so I am pretty happy with that usage.
Currently this printer retails at £49.99 in Argos but I bought it for £39.99 which seems like a good price for what you get and it's functionality (the photocopy function has been really useful). However, I am going to knock a star off as I can't get it to print wirelessly.
Please note this review also appears on Ciao under username SamanthaL82