* Prices may differ from that shown
We brought this HP deskjet 3050A all-in-one printer a few months back after getting sick of always having to bother my husbands parents when we needed something printing.
It is extremely easy to set up with an easy navigating disk and can be connected via wireless or usb. We opted for the wireless connection so that we could setup both of our laptops to the printer.
You can do numerous jobs on this printer including scanning, printing, sending files to the laptop, photocopying and photo printing.
The printer isn't too loud either. Previous printers I've had have sounded like a train coming through our home office but this is reasonably quiet.
The printer is quite fast with no delays and a massive bonus is that it comes with ink when you buy it! Brilliant!
The ink is also well priced at around £11 for a black ink replacement.
Overall, this is a nifty little printer with all the features you need at a brilliant price and I couldn't recommend it more!
I try to keep or household appliances to a minimum but having a printer became quite essential after a while of being self employed as I needed to keep track of invoices, outgoings, etc. I spent a while reading reviews of printers but couldn't decide what to buy, so I asked my husband to pick an efficient model for under £50.
The HP Deskjet 3050A e-All-in-One printer sounds complicated, and unfortunately it can be, but it doesn't have to be. Let me explain. The 'All-in-One' label means it can print ordinary documents and pictures, as well as copying ad scanning documents. The 'e-' in the title stands for 'e-printing', a relatively new technology that means the printer can print anything directly from the internet, which I have used and can attest to as being just as straightforward as printing from a Word document.
HP is a well known and trusted brand and this is one of my husband's main reasons for choosing this printer, and I'm glad he did as their customer service has been very good in my experience so far. The other reasons he chose the HP Deskjet printer is because it has a scanning function and because it uses very little energy in standby mode, whereas some appliances use a lot of power even when they are not being used. I also like that the printer automatically prints double sided unless asked not to, which again is something I might forget to do normally but is really useful for saving on paper usage.
The printer software is easy to install and printing is easy to set up. You only need to do it once for it to work every time, but you do need to have a good internet connection so that the printer can access the web for the 'e-print' option.
The HP 3050A takes an average amount of time to print documents. Colour documents take longer but not exceptionally long compared to other printers in my experience. The paper feeds into the top of the printer and it doesn't tend to get jammed like with some models. The printer claims to be able to handle different types of paper, but I have only used it with ordinary plain printer paper so far, so I cannot attest to this. However the paper feed says it can hold 60 sheets at a time which is useful as you don't have to keep topping up the printer paper and can just leave it to print long documents, and although I haven't tested 60 pages exactly I always put a big wad of paper in the feeder and this has never become jammed in my experience. In fact I''m sure I have put more than 60 pages in the feeder, but this has never caused the Deskjet any problems.
The left hand side of the printer has the main buttons on it for using the printer, which consist of a cancel button, a back button, and a button for other settings. There are more buttons for other settings at the bottom of the printer, and all of these are easy to access and use, although I mainly use the printer for printing invoices and only occasionally for scanning and e-printing. We tested the copying function once and it does indeed create copies of documents that are as clear as photocopies would be.
The printer is quite heavy despite being small in size, but it's ideal for a small office or spare room as it doesn't take up much room. On the other hand it would not be useful if you have to move it from room to room in order to use it, as it is heavy and not easy to grip when you carry it, which I have had to do once and would rather not have to do again.
The main drawback of this printer is that it runs on ink cartridges that are fiddly to set up. I admit to trying to change them a couple of times and becoming very frustrated that although they look as though they have clicked into place easily, the printer has then not registered that they have been put in correctly. This is when I have had to access HP customer services and I have found them to be useful and patient with explaining how to change the ink cartridges successfully, but still the cartridge replacement experience seems to be hit and miss. This seems to be an acquired knack however as I often get it wrong whereas my husband can usually change the cartridges easily, so I usually leave the job to him.
The other negative of the printer is that it is quite noisy, which doesn't bother me as I usually leave the room while it is printing, but if you were using it all day at your desk it would almost certainly annoy you.
The printer also has a memory card slot so that you can print photos directly from card instead of having to connect them to a printer using a lead. I have a camera with a lead however so have never used this function and cannot say how useful or efficient it is.
We paid £35 for our HP Deskjet printer and I do think it was worth the price, as it serves our basic needs in this household, and is rather dynamic with all the things it can do if needed. So to conclude, all of the listed 3050A's functions work well, but I must admit that the printer itself does have a significant drawback, which is that it runs on two ink cartridges which are both fiddly to replace. It is also quite noisy. On the other hand the cartridges do not cost much and I have been able to get them on offer before for less than £6 per black and white cartridge from the Staples store in town. I also really like that the printer has a low energy usage when left on standby mode. For all these reasons, the HP Deskjey 3050A gets a overall 4 stars from me.
That William Caxton's got a lot to answer for. If he'd left the Germans to get on with it, the printing press might have stayed in Germany along with sauerkraut and bratwurst. Then again, perhaps I should blame Sir Walter Raleigh. If he'd been a bit sharper getting out to the new world, Caxton could have contented himself with doing potato prints. Either that or smoked himself to death.
Why the anti-printing vitriol? My printer packed up, didn't it? And the problem, essentially, is that I'm not only CAPABLE of using my home as an office, but I'm EXPECTED TO. In this modern world, how many times are we told to "SIMPLY print off the attached coupon/ticket/voucher/receipt/contract/ instructions" as if it's taken for granted that we have all this technology?
Having a home printer is almost a requirement of modern life and truth be told I have been well served for about ten years by my Epson three in one (oh yes, we need to scan and photocopy too, don't we?). However, continued use of compatible inks has led to streaking and blocking of the print heads. So I've recently been wishing that Caxton had left the business of producing books to the monks with their fancy handwriting, as looking for a new printer means a return to the consumer jungle.
I realised I might have been able to fix my Epson by installing manufacturer's cartridges and using them to flush and lubricate the print heads. It soon became apparent, however, that for what that would cost me I could possibly buy a new printer.
I did. It's the Hewlett Packard Deskjet 3050A All In One
Why Choose This Model?
I don't put my printers to heavy and sustained use, so I didn't need anything too robust or capacious, yet of course I wanted something that would be reliable. I was expecting to look at Epson, Canon and Hewlett Packard as they are the three brands of printer with which I am most familiar and I was happy to make the assumption that one could expect decent quality across their ranges.
Another reason that I was happy to move on from my existing printer was that it didn't have wi-fi capability. These days the printer stays in one place while I roam the house with my laptop. Not having to lug the laptop to the printer and make a physical connection was an attractive prospect.
What I also had in mind was the cost - both of the printer itself, but also of replacement cartridges, as I had resolved to at least alternate between manufacturer's own and compatibles to try to avoid the problem that had built up with my Epson.
Browsing through my local Tesco Home Store, I came across the Hewlett Packard 3050A. It offered the three functions, which I wanted, it was small and smart, was wi-fi enabled and it cost only £39.50. I checked which cartridges it took, noting that it came with a set included, which impressed me further. I saw that I could buy the HP 301 inks together for about £20.00, which in this day and age isn't so bad, and I knew that I could get the Tesco compatibles for much less (Tesco guarantee the quality of their compatible inks, although I've never tested the value of that guarantee). There was also a usb cable included, which I might not need, but again I'd noticed that some of the other printers didn't come with one, so I appreciated the fact that HP were making sure that this was as ready for use as possible.
Mad, impulsive fool that I am, I decided to buy it there and then. So far I'm glad that I did.
Setting It Up
It was well packaged, but soon removed from cardboard, polystyrene, polythene and tape to reveal a smart little black box that was:
Height 156 mm (6.14 inches)
Width 427 mm (16.81 inches)
Depth 306 mm (12.05 inches)
Weight 3.6 kg (7.94 lb)
I connected it to the power supply then lifted the control panel that can lie flat or stand angled for use. Switching on, I selected English as my preferred language (seemed sensible) and installed the ink cartridges: one for black ink and one for the colours. The paper holder and tray were then folded out and the printer was ready to produce a test page for me, which it did. The control panel then invites you to scan and photocopy this print out to demonstrate that all three functions are working properly, which they were.
The next step was to install the software on my laptop, which once more was very straightforward, with on-screen prompts at every turn so that in no time at all I had a wi-fi printer and celebrated the fact by printing a document downstairs on the laptop, then sauntering nonchalantly upstairs to collect the hard copy. Good eh? (I know, I know, simple things.....)
So What Else Does It Do?
It will take paper up to 8.5 x 14 inches, including envelopes, index cards and photo paper, but obviously in limited quantities - it's a home printer, not an office printer.
Black ink/Plain Paper printing at fast draft will produce up to 20 sheets per minute, 16 per minute in colour. Obviously it's slower for higher quality printing.
Scan resolution = 1200 x 1200 ppi. Maximum scan size is 8.5 x 11.7 inches.
Something else that I found marvellous, but I'm sure everyone else already knows about it, is that my printer has its own email address, so that I can set it up to e-print and then email documents to it, even from my smart phone. How good is that? I could print something out at home even though I'm on the other side of the world! Mind you, I've yet to identify the practical advantage of that, unless Hewlett Packard have also trained my printer to fold the documents, put them in an envelope and then toddle round to the post office with them.
If you search for "HP Deskjet 3050A J611" you will find the technical data online. Windows users are unlikely to have a problem and Mac users just need to download some extra software I believe. There's a very handy, text-free set up poster as well as a handbook in 24 different languages, so you should be ok. If I can follow it, you can!
Another word about the ink - there are the basic cartridges and then the xl cartridges, the difference being that there is more ink in the xl versions, so they last longer. I'm not yet convinced that they are better value, given that you can buy dual packs of the ordinary quite cheaply, but I'll see. I'm pleased that the printer came with a set of the standard cartridges supplied because it gives me a chance to make a judgement on how well they last.
Is William Caxton Forgiven?
Yes, he is. I relent completely. What a nice chap. I won't hear a word said against him. Not only do I now have more functionality in my printing, but I was able to make the transition very quickly, very easily and very cheaply. I'm pleased with the quality of the printing that I have seen so far and have no reason to suppose that it won't go on serving my needs for some time to come.
If, like me, you want all the functions, but you're not a heavy user, this could be the printer for you.
I bought this printer just over a year ago from Argos on an offer for £39.99, my old printer had finally given up the ghost and needed to print out some photographs. I always loath buying low budget printers as there is a trend of offering the printers at a low cost and then stinging you when you come to refill the ink, but for the amount printing that we do I just could not justify paying £100's.
HP market this model as an All In One Wireless printer, which is an affordable solution to your printer needs. Hmmm !
The HP 3050A is not a bulky piece of kit at only 42cm wide and 30cm deep it fits nicely on to my computer desk, although once the paper loading tray at the top and the bottom printed pages tray's are open it can be make the printer a lot bigger in size.
The top of the printer is finished in a glossy black colour whilst the main bulk of the printer in a dull grey. The top lid can be lifted up to allow you access to the scanner / photocopier, whilst to to left of this lid is a small fold up display which give access to the settings, internal features of the printer. This is a handy little feature as it from this display that you can check that your printer is connected to your WiFi to allow wireless printing. The casing for the printer is made from plastic resin so I'm not sure it would survive any accidental falls, but what you expect for the price.
One of the main selling points of this printer is the wireless connectivity, which in reality means that you can connect to the printer from anywhere as long as the printer is connected to the internet. This comes in extremly handy when you are using a device such as an iPad, all you have to do if download the AirPrint software from the app store, enter you HP email address (Which you set up on the printer) and print away. The Wireless connectivity also can come in handy when you are in another room on a laptop and you either can't be bothered or don't have to time to connect the printer via the supplied lead to your device. This feature works very well although a few times it has stopped mid-print, but I put this down to my internet connection and not the printer.
Another handy feature of the printer is the one touch copying feature. If you are in need of a copy of a document of photo, all you have to do is life the top cover of the printer, put the document on the scanning pad and then press the copy option on the previously mentioned lift up display. And Voila you have a copy printed out in about 30 seconds.
The printer comes with a CD disk which once installed gives you access to HP's photoshop software, although fairly basic it can come in handy when you need to adjust the colour, contrast or size of the image you are printing.
HP Claim that the 3050A has print speeds of 4 pages per minute on colour, and 5.5 pages per minute on black and white, but in reality you are looking at 30 seconds on a colour page and 7 second on black and white. The black speed is acceptable but on colour it feels like an eternity to print out a number of colour pages, this can be even slower when printing wirelessly (sometimes over a minute for a colour page).
The main problem with this printer is the ink though, to refill both the cartridges with genuine HP ink you are looking at a total cost of around £35. Which when consider the initial cost of the device it seems a remarkably high cost, although cheaper alternatives can be found on the internet. Bewarned though this printer drinks ink, recently I changed a cartridge (Using a genuine cartridge) and with 25 colour pages the printer was stating that the ink was running low again, for a £20 cartridge I was surprised as I would have expected a lot more.
The charger for the printer is quite a large unit, but the lead is long so you should easily be able to hide it under your desk or compute unit.
A quiet, small printer that for the money this is a great device, print quality is sharp and the initial cost is low. It is only when the ink runs out that the printer can become expensive to refill, so don't buy the genuine cartridges shop around and you will save a lot of money in the long run. The Wireless connectativity is very useful especially is you have an Apple product that you sometimes need to print from. The pop up display makes installing and using the printer quicker and easier, and is a very useful addition to previous models.
For a cheap budget printer you will not go far wrong.
I've had this specific printer for over a year now after a string of inept printing devices, all of which were very close to being thrown in the pond. At first I was hesitant in getting a HP printer as stereotypically (at least near me) the ink is a fair amount of money with respect to other brands and friends of mine had recommended other models but this model suited just what I needed; a small(ish), compact, simple but more importantly didn't need any excess "dongles" to enable the wireless functions - this was my main selling point.
Anyone who has ever had a printer before will know what they do so I won't rabbit on with respect to that but I can safely say that each and every piece of paper that's rolled through the printer has come out as a good quality piece. I have not and am yet to become concerned about the print quality, which is quite a feat for me. However, a small negative for me, but a negative nonetheless is the printing speed, I've found that it can take a fair amount of time to print off 20 pages even when they aren't particularly ink-heavy which the other machine in our house is capable of doing in half the time. I'm willing to put this down to age and print complexity but in a perfect world the printer would be a little quicker.
On the occasions that I have used the in-built scanner I've found the quality of scans to be top-notch, even when scanning potentially problematic surfaces such as a shiny card the scanner seems to handle it quite well delivering the finished image straight to a convenient location on your computer without any irritating "Crop here!?!" programs popping up, that seem to accompany a large proportion of printing machines.
Another handy and completely unexpected feature was the "E-Print" function which you sign-up to for free when you setup your printer. This assigns an email address to your printer and provided it remains connected to your wireless router and as a result internet connection you are able to send print jobs remotely to the printer and they'll rattle off as though you were sitting next to it. Granted I've only used this function as a test and out of pure curiosity but perfect for people who may have to run in and straight out again clutching your newly printed documents.
To conclude, I am more than happy with my HP Deskjet 3050A printer, it has more than exceeded my expectations for a fairly reasonably priced piece of office equipment without giving up basic functionality and print quality. There are some interesting and helpful (more importantly) add-ons which all add to the customer experience. Certainly one I would recommend!
We bought this printer when it was on offer in WH Smiths for £25. After using it for around 6 months, we would definitely have paid full price for it.
It was easy to install the software and set up the printer for it's first use. It has a built in screen, allowing you to access printer settings, scanner and copier. The screen can lie flat, or you can stand it up so you can view it easier. The menu functions are Copy, Scan and Quick Forms. Within the Quick Forms menu, there are sub-menus for Office Forms, Paper Type, or Games. I have only just discovered the games, and have become quite addicted to Sudoku! There is also a settings menu, with sub-menus including Wireless, Ink Levels, Auto Power, Tools, Language and Region. The touch buttons and menu layout are very easy to use, and the screen itself is bright and clear.
The printer has WiFi connection, which is very useful if you do not want to keep your printer right next to your computer. We have 2 computers and a laptop, so the WiFi is very useful for us.
Print quality is excellent. I have used more expensive printers, and haven't noticed a difference between prints. It takes about 30 seconds or less to print a full A4 sheet of text, and longer obviously for photos etc. It is quite noisy in my opinion, and I don't like to use it too much in the evening when my son is asleep for fear of it waking him up!
It can also be used as a scanner and copier, but unfortunately I cannot comment on this as I've only used it as a printer.
The printer is grey with orange lines, and a silver HP logo on the top. It feels sleek and smooth, and looks very nice next to my computer. It is quite big and bulky so wouldn't be very practical if you only had a small desk.
The ink cartridges are quite expensive. It takes 1 multicolour one (which is so much easier than having to mess about with 4 different colours!) and 1 black one. I have found that they last quite a long time though, especially considering that I print quite a lot of photos!
Overall I'm very happy with this printer!
This is one of my most used printers, particularly at home. The printer cost a low £35 on offer in Tesco, but I believe it costs in and around £50 on Amazon at the moment.
It is a very good printer, suited to everyday use.
The printer is an all in one, printer, scanner and copier. It is a nice size and will fit comfortably either on or under your desk. One problem with the design I noticed, was that the scanner lid seems quite flimsy or of a low build quality. I actually broke mine after a few months, but perhaps I was being too rough with it!
It does not hold many pages, perhaps under 70, but this should be enough for most people using it at home, when you are not printing long documents.
One design feature I found very neat was the flip up screen on the bottom left hand corner of the printer lid. It allows you to change settings and monitor the print status.
The printer is great, because for such a low price, it still has WiFi network capabilities. This means you can print from multiple devices and the printer does not have to be locked to one computer.
A handy little function that I use is the Paper print. You are able to print a number of different black page types, for example graph paper, lined refill or other office forms. It's very convenient when you don't have a leaf pad to hand!
The printer speed is reasonable; most black and white documents will print for you in a few seconds. However, it takes considerably longer when you need to print large photographs or perhaps PowerPoint presentations.
INK AND PRINT QUALITY
The printer needs just two ink cartridges, a standard black and colour, however HP have a range of reasonably priced X-Large ink cartridges which are better value. The printouts always are very crisp, particularly the black. There are a lot of modes available, so you can choose a fast draft if necessary, which allows quick speeds, but still good quality.
This is a great low cost, budget printer, suitable for all household situations. It is easy to use; however WiFi setup will take a few minutes to understand!
Having had an Epson printer(Was supposed to be wireless, but couldn't connect it wirelessly at all for some strange reason), I decided to look for a more compatible printer. I wasn't looking for anything too flash, I didn't want the printer to perform miracles, I was just looking for a printer that could connect to my laptop without the need for any wires.
I have an HP laptop and I figured an HP printer would connect without any problems, I read other reviews and the majority of them connected their printer on a wireless network within minutes...this is too good to be true I thought...then the doubts started creeping in, this is me we are talking about, the last wireless printer I owned couldn't connect at all. Anyhow, I decided to purchase this little beauty, after all, I thought it was cheap enough and if it didn't work then it wasn't too much money down the drain.
It arrived very quickly and I kept looking at the box, putting off the inevitable. Eventually I plucked up the courage to get this baby connected....Oh how I was impressed with it, it configured all the ink and aligned it all automatically, good start I thought(I had always hated shading in those boxes to align and configure the ink). Well that was the first painful step out the way without a hitch, now to pop in the CD....connect wirelessly button clicked...searching..found(How quick was that??? Surely a printer at this cheap price cannot work this quickly with me??). Sure enough it connected within a minute.
Another little bonus this printer has is the ability to perform remote printing, set yourself up an hp eprint account and now you can be at your work place, an internet cafe or anywhere other than where your printer is set up and send files to your printer to be printed. When you get home, you find all your print work has been completed...what a bonus, not only is this printer quick and easy to set up, but you can print remotely!!
Another added bonus of this printer is the size, it doesn't take up a lot of room so can be stored almost anywhere out of the way...I mean the whole point of wireless connection is so that you don't have any wires, so why not stash the printer out of sight too.
I cannot rave about this printer enough and I recommended the same one to a friend and he was impressed with the set up time too and at the moment I am recommending it to another one of my friends.
It does exactly what it says on the tin and in my eyes it does perform miracles!
My HP 940c DeskJet recently stopped working after over 10 years of loyal service! I had been thinking about replacing it with a more up to date model and its demise hastened the decision! I also decided that it would be useful to have a printer that could also scan and photocopy. I don't do a huge amount of printing but do sometimes print maps, articles and recipes. My children need a printer for homework assignments on a regular basis. They also like to print things like party invites .It is surprising how much you miss a printer when it is no longer functioning!
I had a fairly limited budget and so set about doing a bit of online research to find the best model for my budget of under £50. I rejected some models as they were labelled as ink guzzlers and others due the high cost of ink cartridges. I finally decided to buy the HP DeskJet 3050A. Having chosen the model I wanted, I price checked and found it was available in Argos for just £19.99! A saving of over £15. However it was sold out in nearly every store! I eventually bought it from Tesco for £36. If only I had bought it a few weeks earlier!
What's in the box
Inside the box is a sleek grey printer enclosed in its own black shopping bag. It is much lighter than my old model weighing 3.6 KG. It is also quite compact measuring 42.7 cm wide x 30.6 deep and 15.6 in height. It looks quite stylish and has an orange band underneath the lid. There is a USB cable plus all the leads you need to connect to the power supply. Also included is a CD with driver software and instruction poster. There is also a booklet with more comprehensive instruction plus some troubleshooting tips. The printer comes with 2 full ink cartridges - 1 black and 1 tricolour. The printer comes with a 1 year warranty.
Setting up the printer.
I am not very techie and so chose this model partly because most reviewers promised the set up process would be simple. I had been led to believe setting things up would take around 5 minutes. However my experience was a different one!
Getting the printer out of its little cloth bag and connecting it to the power supply was simple enough. I found fitting the ink cartridges into their slots a bit tricky as the opening is a bit small. However once clicked into place a message appears in the LCD telling you they are correctly positioned. The printer will next print a test sheet for you to scan to enable the printer heads to align. The drivers are installed via the supplied CD; so far all was going well! The problem came when I selected to connect wirelessly. For some reason the code I needed didn't appear on the LCD screen as the instructions claimed it would. I struggled for over an hour before deciding to connect using the supplied USB cable. In the end a friend managed to get the WI-FI working but it still took him about 30 minutes! I really don't know what he did, but suffice it to say I had problems and so can't say this model is * easy* to set up!
The printer., scanning and copying
The printer has a small 38 mm LCD black and white display window that folds flat when not in use. You can select print, scan or copy using buttons at the side of the screen to navigate through the menu options. To the left of the display are icons for set up- allowing you to check ink levels, change the auto power on/off setting, perform maintenance tasks and set language. I only use this feature to check the ink levels. There is a cancel button and a back button to allow you to return to the pervious screen.
At the base of the LCD screen is the on button, wireless status light and e print light and button. The wireless light glows blue when you are connected and flashes when it is not connected to a network. The print function allows you to end documents and pictures through an email address to the printer. The printer supports Google cloud so you can connect to the printer from other devices such as mobile phones and laptops.
The flip up paper tray is at the back of the printer and will take 50 sheets of A4 paper. The paper is fed into the printer vertically. You will need to open the front pull down flap to receive your documents.
When the paper tray back rest is open, it would probably make this model unsuitable for positioning underneath a desk. I have mine to the side of my computer so this is not an issue.
Scanning and copying are really simple to do and both produce excellent results. All you need to do is lift the plastic lid and place the document or photo to be scanned or copied on the glass tray. Select the operations you require using the LCD menu, press the button and wait!
I have been using this printer for several months and so feel able to give a balanced opinion. My oldest son has used the printer extensively for homework and has also scanned pictures and files. I am a keen photography and have scanned old photos to email to friends. I also use the printer regularly to copy letters before posting for example. I recently copied a letter sent to the council appealing a parking ticket!
Firstly let me say the print quality is really excellent for both colour and black and white. Documents are printed quickly and without the level of noise produced by my old model! The colours are bright and true and text sharp. Photocopied documents are also excellent and as good as the ones I received using my library copier. It is possible to enlarge and reduce documents for photocopying. However you can't enlarge photos with this model.
Photos are satisfactory with good colour. However they can appear a little grainy and sometimes black areas have a reddish tint. I really wouldn't recommend this model for serious photo printing!
The manufactures claim that it costs around 4p to print a black and white sheet and 5p for a colour copy. The printer uses HP 301 ink cartridges and these are available in XL size that will save you money. Tesco are selling black and white XL cartridges for £17.70 and tri colour for £22. We are still using the original cartridges are they are about half full after several months medium usage.
I would really struggle to find anything negative to say about this printer! It was a pain to set up and I am not sure what the problem was! However once it was functioning I have had no further problems. I was grateful that a USB cable is included as you can set the printer up using this method and then set it up wirelessly at a later date.
The printer looks stylish and isn't too bulky. It is fairly quiet and is very easy to operate. The results produced for printed documents are excellent with bright colours and sharp text in black and white. The quality is also excellent for scanned and copied documents. However it struggles with photos.
When not in use the power switches off and the plastic paper tray back can be folded down as can the stand up LCD panel. If you like to have your printer under a desk then remember the paper tray sticks up so it may not fit when opened.
I think this is an excellent printer, scanner and copier for light to medium use. It would be perfect for a student too!
Following the untimely death of my last Brother inkjet all-in-one, I went on the hunt for a replacement and came across the HP 3050A on sale. It had a few features that tempted me and a brand name I was fairly confident in so I made the reasonably-priced investment. So far it's been a decent home printer and one I'd recommend if you want decent, simple and reliable printing.
... General ...
HP is a very popular, well-known brand and one with a range of tech/computer products that's continually expanding. I have a fair amount of trust in their relatively positive reputation, so I was confident in giving this printer a go. Reviews will vary depending on what you want the printer for and what you expect for your money of course, but my needs were fairly basic. I wanted something easy to set up, that prints well and reliably, where I can buy ink cartridges that won't need replacing with ridiculous frequency at an extortionate cost, and that has a scanning/copying function too.
... In The Box ...
I wasn't too bothered by the wireless function at first, but given the price and having looked at various alternatives, it was a good buy. I'm very glad to have it now because it really does make things easier and it means one less cable too! Upon opening the box, the first thing I noticed was that the printer came in a bag. In an attempt to be more eco friendly, there seemed to be less waste and packaging and that's always a bonus, plus the bag is quite funky. It's easy to remove and doesn't feel as heavy as I'd expected, weighing in at less than my old Brother printer. Also included in the box are instruction guides for the printer and how to initially set it up, ink cartridges (one black, one tri-colour), a mains wall plug and a USB cable. I was very happy to see the USB cable after reading the most other printers I'd looked at didn't seem to have one. Despite it being wireless, having the option of USB is still important as a 'just in case' measure, especially as I needed it to set up the wireless in the first place.
... Looks ...
The printer looks smart with a black and grey plastic finish and red trim around the top. The paper tray is at a vertical tilted angle at the top, and the paper-out tray can be pulled down from the front to become horizontal. This does mean that you need to factor in the height required to insert paper when thinking about where to store this, especially as the printer itself is quite deep, but being wireless may provide more options considering it can be moved around to anywhere you have a plug socket. I was able to fit my snug in the downstairs desk where the desktop is, close to the wifi router. However, I've actually enjoyed the fact that I can easily move it upstairs if I want to print in my room where I use my laptop because it's quite lightweight and only requires the one cable for the electricity. It does feel quite plastic-y, but that doesn't bother me because it's just about sturdy enough that I don't feel too worried anything will break off unless I'm really clumsy with it, and it helps make it lighter in weight too which I consider to be a good thing.
The Deskjet 3050A is a 3-in-1 machine, meaning you can print, scan and copy in one, with all of the functions being wireless to your device. You'll notice on the top is a screen that lies flat; this is a small square to the front left hand side which you can lift up to make more visible. Using a light touch to one soft-ish button, you can turn the printer on and it will show you that it's warming up. It will then give you options, which you can choose using other light-to-touch buttons (not exactly touch screen, but I'm happy with these buttons for their ease of use). This monitor, at around 5cm, has a mono LCD display that's clear to read and is far more innovative and ergonomical than my last printer. The display on that lay flat and I could never see what was on the tiny screen as words scrolled past!
... Paper ...
The paper is inserted in to the top and comes out horizontally towards the front, using a tray that you can fold down. The tray holds around 60 pages, which is just right for a home / small office printer. When using colour, the machine can print up to 16 pages per minute, which again I find to be adequate for the purpose of the printer.
... Inks ...
This uses two ink cartridges, one black and one coloured (tri-colour). My last printer actually had all separate ink cartridges so you'd only change the one colour that ran out, however they all seemed to disappear pretty quickly even when tending to print only black! I'm therefore not too bothered by this and it makes it more straightforward to just have to change one black or one colour, and the compatible cartridge you're looking for is the HP 301.
... Compatibility ...
The compatibility of the printer is all good if you have a newer version of Windows, with Windows 7 and Vista being fine. Windows 98 / ME and Linux systems, however, don't seem to work with the HP 3050A. I run Windows 7 on my laptop and haven't experienced any problems (touch wood) with software, setting up or general use in terms of glitches, which I'm happy to report!
... Set Up ...
Setting this up was, luckily, made quite self-explanatory and straightforward. You get a basic set up guide sheet, which I would advise using because you need to set a few perameters on the scanner, a factor I hadn't really thought about. So, you get it out of the box, set it up and plug it in, and then wait for the LCD to guide you through it. You will need to scan a sheet of paper to set the size guide on the scanner, which was easy enough to do. You will also need to insert the CD in to the device you need to set up in order to install software and get the wifi up and running. This is the bit that could have gone very wrong and I wasn't much looking forward to it because you think it should be simple enough, and yet wifi set ups can often be a bit of a hassle. I attempted mine first completely wirelessly using the 'HP Auto Wireless Connect' that automatically loads when you've inserted the CD. Unfortunately my laptop and printer weren't getting the wireless connection, so I aborted that (as per the CD) and connected my laptop and printer via the USB that came in the box. A few minutes later, the settings were located so I could take out the USB and, hey presto, it was working! I was a very happy bunny!
... Use ...
The printer takes a few minutes to warm up and you can see it's loading on the small LCD screen. When you go to print something, for instance, wirelessly on your laptop, once the WiFi has been set up your computer should pick up the printer straight away. It's then a few moments before your goods start printing. It is quite loud, and almost clonky sounding, but this doesn't really bother me because it does a decent job. I've mainly used this for text printing and have had no problems thus far. The smaller amounts of images / photos I've printed have come out with reasonably good quality, considering I'm using a home printer and normal paper, so I wasn't expecting top notch quality. All around then, in terms of printing, I'm happy enough. Copying is a doddle by selecting the copy option on the LCD, and again, no problems there.
Scanning is equally easy; you select the scan option and your wireless device's name will come up. You press okay and it starts whirring to life. This part does seem very loud and quite slow to me, but again, it's not something that particularly bothers me. Items are scanned over to my laptop without a problem, as long as the laptop is on that is, and the download file will pop up with the document(s) in there.
On the CD you also get some HP software, so the CD is useful not just for installation but for doing 'stuff' with your stuff afterwards. You get a program called 'HP Creations' which is a nice little bonus if you're looking to create something with your photos.
... Overall ...
All in all, this is a decent printer for use at home if you're looking for something wireless, easy to use and modern in terms of looks and functions. Don't expect anything too extravagant because, like I've said, some aspects like scanning do seem a little slow and noisy, but it's not given me any problems thus far and prints well for my purposes. At the price (£36), I'm glad I bought this one and would give it a thumbs up for anyone considering it.
RRP £49.99, currently selling at Tesco Direct for £36 (and various other places for a similar price)
Printers, everybody must have used one at some point in their lives, probably owning at least one and using it until it has stopped printing, and , if like me, you've probably been through several printers over time.
The printers I have used over time have come from many different companies, such as Kodak, Epsom, canon, and, my favourite of all, Hewlett Packard, or HP as it's also known as. And it is one of those HP printers, nay, three in one, or All-in-one machines that is not just a printer but also proudly presents you with a scanner and a photo copier as well.
The name of this one is the HP deskjet 3050a all in one and I was quite happy when I was using it, getting some rather nice results from the printer until it's final days on this planet.
Firstly, I have to tell you that this 3050a is the updated version of the 3050, without the 'a'. The main visible difference being that this one has a little screen that controls the machine, where as the one without the 'a' is controlled via switches along the side.
So, now we've got that out of the way with I can tell you a bit about this printer, (although I call it a printer as is saves me having to keep writing printer/scanner/copier).
The look of this printer...
It's not massive, compared to some all in one systems, being about 400mm high by 430mm wide and 250mm deep, weighing in at around 3 and a ½ kg, which is a bit on the heavy side considering the size, but as it should just be sat on a solid surface the weight shouldn't really matter should it? I mean, it's not like you're going to carry it about on your head is it?
On the top there is the 'control' panel, which can be used lay flat on the unit or pulled up slightly so that it looks more like a tiny monitor with the 2 inch screen. This is pretty basic, making it simple to use. It has three icons on the left...
A bent arrow, which returns you back one step
A red cross, which cancels the command your using
A spanner, which opens up the setting options where you can basically run the printer from.
Then, along the bottom there is a power button, a wireless status light and an 'eprint' light.
Finally, down the right, there are the selection buttons which go together with the setting buttons and menu.
All this is so easy to understand and most tasks can be done with the touch of one or two buttons.
Also on the top there's the paper in tray near the rear, which folds flat on top when you don't need it, this tray has what is called an adjustable paper width guide to help guide the paper into the printer.
On the front there is the paper output tray which has a lovely little extendable arm to keep the paper from flopping over the edges.
Behind the paper output area there is the ink cartridge housing, which is accessed by pulling the cover gently forwards, revealing the cartridge so you can change them.
How do you use it then..?
Simple, but first you have to make sure that the software that comes with this is installed on a PC, or for better wireless results and ease, install the software on all computers that you want to use this printer with. The installation takes a matter of minutes and getting it connected to a router so that you can use the wireless feature takes no time at all either.
Your PC will have to have a few minimum requirements, such as running MS windows XP SP2 and above, including windows 7. And it also claims o work quite well with Mac OS X 10.5 and above. (although I can't promise about the Mac claim as I ran mine on windows only).
Then, once you're installed and you're up and ready it's then a matter of browsing through the menu on the little screen or using the software on your PC to send files that you want printed to the printer.
Some technical bits to browse upon...
* It has a maximum copying resolution is up to 600dpi for standard black and 4800 x 1200 dpi for colour.
* The paper tray can hold up to 50 sheets of paper without real danger of jamming up.
* The printing speed is something like 20 pages per minute, depending on whether there is enough paper in the tray of course.
* Then there's the scanning, which has an Optical resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi with a colour depth of 24bit
* It has a USB hi-speed port so that you can connect it directly to your computer, but it is also wireless, using a standard IEEE 802.11b/g/n
* The bits that the environmental people might like to know is that this one consumes about 9watts when running and about 2.5watts if left on standby.
I like HP printers, or all in one systems as this one is, with maybe only one or two of there printers being a bit of a let down.
This one for me is one of the better ones in its price range, offering the basics of what an all in one should offer without over doing the complicated bits too much.
It can print many things, including standard letters, pictures, both colour and black and white. Plus it can print such things as addresses on envelopes, images and texts on cards and more, although some of these things can depend on the software on your computer of course.
The little slider on the paper input tray really does help when printing different size paper, such as the envelopes, as it helps guide the paper into the machine without gripping it as all.
The menu options are great, giving you lots to choose from, such as printing certain pages instead of the entire project, or even printing just odd or even number pages if you need to. This option helps you out so that you don't have to keep turning the paper over, you just print out the odd numbers first, then turn the entire lot of papers over, put back into the paper input tray and then select the 'print even pages only' option.
I like the function of the copier as this can be used without having to turn on any computers. You just put what ever you want to copy onto the scanner part, select the number of copies required and press the copy button. This will then print out the amount of copies you have chosen, as long as there's enough paper in the tray.
Or if you do want to scan something so that it stores onto a HDD then you will need to turn on your computer after all.
The wireless system is a bit of a god send really, allowing me, and the rest of the family, to simple send what ever we want printing to this system over the 'airwaves'.
Setting that up was not too bad either, although to be honest I did have two attempts at it before it would connect, basically 'wiring' the laptops together in the house, (without the wires of course) so that no one was restricted to the printer.
All I will say is that you do need to install the software on every system you want to connect to this printer, but that takes no time at all and doesn't affect your computer at all.
It offers something called 'eprint', which is basically a system that allows you to print anything from anywhere using the internet... the saying goes something like "if you can email it you can print it..." but as I haven't actually used this system on this printer as yet I can't make any comments on it. But if and when I do I will surely update right here.
It's a good size too, not to small as to run around the surface it's on when it's printing but not too big as to take up your desk, and for the size of it it offers quite a lot too.
The speed of the printing varies, depending on what you're printing of course, but it can print 15-20 pages of text in a minute without too much trouble. With maybe around 10-15 pages of coloured printing, although again, this depends on the complicity of the print itself.
In other words, it's not a slow printer so you won't have to keep standing there for too long, waiting for that important document.
As I mentioned it runs on only two ink cartridges, which is good for some people, but may not be good for others who like to have four ink cartridges to play with. I know many people who tend to actually argue about which is better? The two cartridge systems or the four cartridge ones... (yes, they actually argue about that???... maybe I should find new friends???)
So how much does this all in one HP system cost then..?
This one sells for around the £50.00 region, which is not bad at all for a HP all in one.
The only downside that I can see is that the ink itself can be a bit on the pricier side, compared to other inks, but if, like me, you go for the 'XL' cartridges, they should last a bit longer and seem better value for money.
In all, a fine, good size all in one printer/scanner/copier that does exactly what it's supposed to do, without taking up all the room on your desk.
© Blissman70 2012