* Prices may differ from that shown
This printer is great - good print quality, light, affordable, compact - you name it. There are, however, a few things that just get on my nerves.
This printer lacks a top feeder and scanner for photocopying. This wouldn't annoy me so much if the lid actually opened more than 85 degrees. But it doesn't so if one wants to have quick, continuous access to the glass stage, you literally have to stand there propping open the lid when you could be doing something else.
Also, this printer is supposed to be eco-friendly and ink-savvy, yet the cartridges are no more useful than the ones hp made six years ago. Being a musician, I print sheet music on a weekly basis, making it rather expensive to churn out only 60 pages and then having to find that my black cartridge must be replaced.
This printer is noisy. When I say noisy, I mean it. It starts of a print session by grinding for 5 seconds and then finally starts printing with loud, annoying swiping sounds. Especially on draft, printed documents have become the biggest disturber of peace in my house. And to top it off, the machine then spends another 10 seconds making more grinding noises once it is finished with the print job.
What I do like about this printer, is the image quality that it renders on 'best' mode. Also,being an art student, I often need to print high-quality colour pictures which, thankfully, do look superb from this printer. The images do gain lines across though, but only when the ink level drops to 20 percent or so.
The wireless printing is a big plus. When a house has more than one computer, it becomes a bit of a mission to lug a printer across to each pc, then wait for it to load, find a stable place to sit the printer down and then repeat the process an hour later. Although this printer is light enough to do so, the wireless function just makes things easier.
Double-sided pages are the bomb. Thanks to this printer, I don't have to print one page of a document at a time, flip then printed page over and place it head first back into the paper tray.
This printer also prints rather rapidly, which is a big plus when in a hurry. Long documents can be a pain though, especially if you don't watch your printer as it prints as the pages are expelled with such force that after ten or so have been printed, the next few start spilling out onto the floor.
Cons aside, this printer is great value for money and I haven't yet regretted spending the small amount on it.
Printers, they come in all shapes and sizes, from humongous factory ones that feed us with our daily news in the mornings, to small household ones that your average chap uses to print a few letters off for one reason or another. But what ever the size printers are only designed to print so when it comes to scanning and copying then printers are about as useful as chocolate tea pot.
This is why, many moons ago, the boffins came up with an invention that combined the printer, a photo copier and a scanner, moulding the three separate devices into one, creating something that is now called an All-in-one.
These days there are many many of these all in one devices on the market from many well known manufacturers, such as Brother, Canon, Epson and, one which I have used for a while, HP, with this one I am looking at being the HP 3520e, which is not to be confused by any other HP modal, even if the names are similar.
* So what does this printer, or I should say All in one look like..?
It looks like most other printers, being the not so eye catching rectangular shaped box. With this particular box being about 365mm wide by 440mm deep and 144mm high, weighing in at less than 5kg.
There is a lid on the top which opens up to reveal a section that is the scanner/ copier with what looks like a glass screen with a light stick that slides from one end of the screen to the other. The lid has a what looks like a white pad of soft material on it which is what weighs down the paper that you want to scan, without damaging anything.
Underneath the glass that you place you paper onto when you want to scan it there is the access area to the printing cartridges. You simply lift up that cover and you will see the inner section. But you really only need to open this section when you need to replace the cartridges, which there are four of them, instead of two.
On the front we have the controls, which consist of a small LCD screen and a few 'buttons' around it, those being...
On the left of the screen there is the 'return/back', 'cancel' and 'selection' buttons, then, on the right there are the 'directional' buttons and an 'OK' button. Further along to the right of the screen there are two icons, 'wireless' and something that HP like to call 'eprint', with the power button being further to the right, glowing when the machine is turned on.
As we look down from the controls, still on the front, there is the paper tray, which has a lovely little extension bar that hinges out slightly so that it can hold an A4 size piece of paper without any hassles.
And that's what the machine looks like, almost, as if you turn it around and take a look at the rear, you'll see that there are two slots, one is for the USB connection, the other being the power port. The only other thing that you can see on the back end is the hinges of the lid and cover.
* Is it easy to use..?
Yes, pretty much really, and if you've used any other all in one before then you'll find this one a breeze to use.
The LCD screen is simple to understand, having a few words on it, such as 'copy' 'scan' 'quick forms' 'settings' and 'ink levels'. you simply use the up and down cursor keys on the right of the screen to choose which option you want, then press 'OK' in order for the machine to know what you want to do.
All you have to remember is to make sure that you put enough paper onto the tray so that this can continue printing.
When it comes to scanning and copying you simply place what ever you want to scan or copy onto the glass screen that hides underneath the lid, then use the weight of the lid to flatten the piece of paper that lies on the glass so that there are no creases as these crease will show up twice as clear when it has scanned.
Then you simply press the required button, be that scan or copy, and the machine goes into that mode, rumbling through the process as the light under the glass rolls from side to side, scanning what ever has been placed there.
That's it really, you just have to wait for the scanner/copier to complete its process and then you can take what ever you were scanning/copying off the glass screen.
As it is doing what ever you have asked it to do, be that printing, copying or scanning, the lights tend to do a lovely little dance to tell you what's happening.
For instance, when you are using the wireless feature there is a little blue light next to a standard 'wireless' icon. This light glows when the connected is successful and a device is at work using the wireless feature.
This light also has a couple of other little lightshows, those being a slow flickering when the wireless feature is on but can not pick up a router or other device to connect to.
Then flickering like a nervous chap in a job interview at McDonalds when there is there is something wrong with the wireless connection and something need to be done.
Another button also gives a lovely little lightshow to let you know that something is happening, this is the power switch, which has a few different flickers to show you.
If it is 'pulsing' then it means that the printer is on stand by mode. When it is lit up permanently then it means that the machine is switched on and ready to use.
If it is flickering faster than your eyes can keep up with then there is something wrong with the printer and you need to have a go at resetting it.
If it is flickering slowly then all is well and the printer is doing exactly what it is designed to do, it is either printing, copying or scanning.
It can be used either via a wire, the old fashioned method, or more up to date methods being wireless, using good old fashioned 802.ll b/g/n
You do have to install the CD onto each wireless PC in order for that PC to be able to use the printer, be that wireless or through a wire.
* Is it fast..?
Remember that chap that can run a bit fast? The one that ended up advertising something with that hairy bloke who has a few balloons? Well, this is almost as fast as that bloke can run.
It can print out an A4 picture in about 40 seconds and can give a full A4 paged letter in less than 15 seconds.
The paper tray can hold a fair amount of paper at once quite comfortably, (50 sheets they say, but watch out for paper jams), so that it can continue printing even if you're not at its side, which comes in handy for wireless printing.
But, as it's an all in one, it offers more than printing speed, it offers scanning and copying speeds, although these aren't really as important, speed wise, as printing is. Copying and scanning is done in seconds, although when the scanning light first starts up it does seem as though the whole system has frozen for a few seconds, until the clunking noise begins and the scanning/copying light does its business.
Over all its speed is good enough to keep you smiling as you get your tax forms printed well before the April dead line and that dreaded fine from our lovely Government and their crazy tax system.
* How about the image quality..?
This is all down to how you set it up, brightness, colour etc etc. but, on default, it gives a finished image quality which you'd be very proud of, as long as you use a good quality paper and the right ink.
I tend to do a lot of letter printing which is all black really and, even on 'glossy' paper, the ink manages to dry pretty quickly so that there's less smudging, which is very annoying when it does happen.
As for the quality of the scanning. This is as clear as if you were still looking at the image you are scanning, so to speak. Although you will have to clean the glass screen every so often in order to keep the clarity as clear as when you first bought it.
* Does it cost a fortune to run..?
Electricity wise, it should cost no more than any other device of its calibre. As for the ink, well, this is HP ink so don't expect it to be a few quid for the ink cartridges.
It uses four ink cartridges, not the old fashioned, yet still available, two cartridge method. Those cartridges being black, yellow, cyan and magenta. This way you only have to replace the single cartridge that runs out, apparently.
So, at the time of writing, you can get the four colours for about £15.00 from such places as amazon, which is not bad really.
* And what do I think of this HP all in one..?
Well, I've used HP printers, or all in ones, for a while now and have never really had any trouble with them, apart from the cost of the ink itself, but the devices themselves have been as reliable as they should be. And this one is no different. In fact, to be honest it is one of HP's better printers,
There's no real technical palaver to worry about so actually using this one is as easy as pressing a button or two, and it's even easier when it's used using the wireless feature, as long as you have installed the correct drivers onto the PC's that you are using.
Personally, I have this printer wired to a desk top, just in case things go wrong and I have to do a quick reset. But all the other devices in the house are connected via the wireless feature, which makes life in the printer lane such a simple journey indeed.
And when it comes to wireless printing then this all in one does exactly what it is supposed to do.
The print quality is remarkable and it can print away in no time at all without rattling about the work surface, unlike some printer that I have used that need to be sat on so that they don't vibrate there way off the table, onto the floor and out of the door, only stopping when the mains lead snags in the plug socket.
The scanner/copier system is as nosy as any other all in one that I have used, groaning and moaning for a second or two whilst the light 'warms up', as it tells you. So I wouldn't be worried about using this if I was stuck in a library over night... (although why I'd be stuck in a library over night I don't know, never mind what I'd be doing in there with this all in one...?)
I mentioned the 'eprint' feature, which is basically a way of allowing you to print anything you want from anywhere you want. So long as you have got an internet connection and a reliable device to send your images from.
I have used this method a few time and, eventually, I realised that it is quite a nice, simple way to print images from my smart phone without me having to be anywhere near the system. Although it did take me a bit of time to get the hang of using it and, after many pictures going god knows where, I now use this method quite regularly. All you need to do is set it all up, using an E-mail address, and you can get the job done.
I particularly like the fact that you can print on both sides of a piece of paper without having to manually turn the paper over. You just tell the printer to do so and it will print on one side then, remarkably, print on the other, creating double sided pages without you having to stand over the printer continuously turning the paper over.
Sadly though, there's no way of direct printing from a SD card or anything like that so all the work has to be done via a PC, but as it can all be done wirelessly there's no need to be stuck next to the machine in order to do what you have to do.
* So how much does it cost then..?
Apart from the ink, which is where you will have to spend money on in the future, the actual all in one system sells for about £70.00.
I have spotted it on sale for less, about a tenner less, or there about, but this is probably a one off so you will have to spend about £70 if you want this one.
* Would I recommend this all in one..?
If you're after a simple to use system that offers printing, scanning and copying your documents and images without the need to pull your hair out then this is well worth looking into. But to be honest, for £70 you can shop around and get a more sophisticated system which offer a few more bits and bobs, such as the