Product Type: Hewlett-Packard All in one Printer
Newest Review: ... double sided unless asked not to, which again is something I might forget to do normally but is really useful for saving on paper usa... more
Cheap and cheerfull just don't run out of ink
HP Deskjet 3050A e-All-in-One
Member Name: cragle
HP Deskjet 3050A e-All-in-One
Advantages: Inital cost, wireless and compact printer
Disadvantages: Expensive refill costs
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.
Summary: Good low budget printer