Our HP F380 all-in-one printer had been part of our family since we bought it over 4 years ago, and if it weren't for the serious grinding noises and my wife's desire to find a cheaper printing alternative it may well have remained part of the furniture for another 4! I can't praise this printer enough and if you can find one that has not been used I would seriously consider buying it.
This printer is reasonably fast although taking notice of any labelling that HP or anyone else might put on their packaging can be misleading because they never tell you under what conditions these tests were compiled. In the case of the F380 from what I recall, it was listed as 20ppm (pages per minute) black and 18ppm colour although it really depends on the complexity of the document and a full sized A4 photo will take considerably longer than a draft word document with only text on each page. Certainly, this should not be taken as its normal operating speed especially as most documents at home are normally counted on one hand.
As I mentioned this is an all-in-one printer and as such has scanning and photocopying facilities. It has black (greyscale) and colour copying facilities that can be accessed from your pc or directly using buttons on the top of the printer. Similarly scanning can be accessed from your pc or using the button on the top of the printer. However, pages are copied or scanned manually by lifting the top cover so trying to use these features has to be done from the vicinity of the printer even if using the pc to access them.
Specs - Printing
Resolution 600 x 600 dots per inch (dpi) - black, 4800 x 1200 dpi - colour (optimised)
Drop on demand thermal ink
Anticipated duty cycle - 700 pages per month
Fast Draft 300 x 300 dpi (colour or black)
Fast Normal 300 x 300 dpi (colour or black)
Normal 600 x 600 dpi (colour or black)
Best Printing 1200 x 1200 dpi (colour or black)
Maximum 4800 x 1200 dpi optimised (colour or black)
Specs - Copying
Best 600 x 600 dpi - black, 1200 x 1200 dpi - colour
Fast 300 x 1200 dpi - black, 600 x 300 dpi - colour
These are all subject to the type of paper you use and the scaling
Resolution up to 1200 x 2400 dpi optical up to 19,200
TWAIN compliant interface
48-bit colour, 8-bit greyscale (256 levels of grey)
Maximum scan size from the glass 216 x 297 mm (A4)
Scan speed depend on complexity of document
Includes image editor
The printer can take paper up to 216 mm wide and varying thicknesses of paper from 75 gsm up to 200 for card. It should however be noted that cheap copy paper can jam the printer or lead to it picking more than one sheet at a time and not printing documents correctly on the page.
The printer requires 2 cartridges - black (21) and either tri-colour (22) or photo colour all of which are readily available from a variety of retailers including Tesco and PC World. Many retailers also offer replacement cartridges that are several £'s lower than HP ones and have never given us any reason to criticise them.
The printer is cream in colour and unfortunately is not wireless so when we used it on our home network it always had to be connected to the router through its connection to our pc. Despite not having drivers for Windows 7, we could still print to it from our laptops and pc.
The HP F380 comes boxed with colour and black ink cartridges (although not full), power cable and manual. At the time we purchased the printer from Tesco it was on sale for £29.95 - a bargain! These days, the printer can be bought through eBay either second hand or for £100 + shipping charge. You will also need a USB printer cable which could cost up to £10.
We replaced our F380 earlier this year with a Kodak ESP C310 (separate review) which apart from its wireless capabilities to me is not as good despite Kodak's claims to having cheaper ink, and we are replacing cartridges far more frequently.
The HP F380 is a great printer for your home and I would thoroughly recommend it. Its one annoying habit is that it continues printing even when cartridges run out and printing what you think is black in fuschia takes a little getting used to!
Four stars for me. A really top notch printer/scanner. I got this printer free with a laptop so i can't really give you an analysis of price but I can still tell you about the product. I've been using the printer for years, as has my mum and bro and we haven't had any breakages which is like a voodoo curse for our family, printers rarely last more than a few months let alone years! Therefore, i've given this a five star review, my first which is saying something!
The printer side of things is pretty accurate and you can't really complain, even if you do put the cheaper tesco alternative printer ink in. It accepts any ink you throw in there and replacement is easy enough with easy to follow instructions printed onto the encasement for the ink.
The scanner is just as good really, I mean, i'm not sure how a scanner can go wrong but hook up to the laptop is a simple usb cable. The printer self installs itself once that cable is plugged in so it's very easy to use. Doesn't really take up any more room than it needs to, I mean i've seen printers the same size as this all-in-one so you can't really complain. Decent!
I purchased my hp all in one printer a couple of years ago and it is still going strong where as other printers I have had in the past would have failed me by now.
I love the fact that I can use the printer as a photo copier even when the pc is not turned on so it is quick and convenient. Also I have found the replacement ink cartridges to be very reasonably priced in comparison to other makes of printers.
On a downside a couple of times the printer has failed to work almost as though I have confused it. This usually happens when I request to print something then change my mind and delete it from the print queue and request to print something different instead. In this scenario I have found by restarting the pc it will solve the problem although this often results in the deleted item being printed as soon as the printer turns back on!!
All in all though I would say this is a good printer to have for home use.
Bought this printer couple of years back for my home use.Earlier I use to have Epson Stylus ( I don't remember the model number ) which was a real problem for me, it was really slow in printing and Used to have a lot of paper jams,sometimes it will not print at all.
A friend of mine suggested to buy this machine, I think the price tag is pretty reasonable for the product you get. Because it is all in one so it has all the features one needs to have in a printer for personal use.The print quality is pretty good and is quick as compared to my previous printer.I have been using it for last two years and and in this time had a paper jam some 4-5 times.The scanner also works pretty good and I have never had any problems with the documents and pictures i scanned.Although I am pleased with my printer the software support HP provides with it is a bit on the downside.Overall its a nice compact device and I would like to recommend this product to all those who want reasonably priced all in one device.
I had some difficulty getting this printer to work with my PC as I always seem to have to select it from a menu despite it being my only printer.
Once set up it is quite fast and while the quality isn't really good enough for photos I haven't had any problems with ink marks or constant jamming I had with my last printer.
It can pick up more than one sheet sometimes but as long as your printing one sided it goes though anyway without needing you to tug the page or reset it hundreds of times.
The cartridges are easy to replace and they last a reasonable time.
The price is very good compared to other printers and you get a good scanner as well which works well with text.
F380 isn't very stylish and it's quite bulky (the scanner means you can't rest things on top)
Overall a reliable and easy to use printer - highly recommended.
NB: I haven't had this printer long so it still might fall apart.
I bought this printer in my first term at uni, for the bargain price of £30, which I thought was pretty decent for a printer, scanner and copier. I try not to use it excessively, so I have only had to change the ink twice since November. It seems relatively economical, as you can get your old cartridges refilled at a cheaper cost than buying them new.
The quality although not perfect, is fine for general documents such as essays and pictures to get your idea across. I find that sometimes it substitutes colours, such as blue for green but this isn't always an issue. It isn't best for photo quality, but I didn't buy it for this reason anyway and would prefer to do that elsewhere but it's handy if you just want to print off something quickly to show a friend. I am happy with it's scanning and copying quality and I recently discovered it scans text as well, which is useful for quotes etc.
It rarely jams though it did seem to stop working for a bit, until i went through the online troubleshooting guide and realised that there was actually a necklace stuck in the back. It worked again once I'd removed it. I would just make sure you don't put too much paper inside, as sometimes it can pick up multiple sheets. If you check the instructions, it can print on a variety of thicknesses such as card.
I would recommend this for students, as long as you use it reasonably, it can help a great deal with your work.
Great print quality - when printing a colour piece this printer really comes into its own, photos look beautiful. It can also churn out around 20 pages of black and white per minute making it useful for printing out long papers!
The scanner is very handy and easy to use. The software that comes with it is extremly useful for editing your scans quickly and easily.
With the scanning glass it made sense for HP to incorporate a photo copier. This is also relaly easy to use, just pop the paper on the scanning glass and click copy and out pops a full colour print of you document! Nice and Easy!
The printer looks good... not great but the white and great box design is good enough! It is priced very fairly compared to other all in ones and also fits nicely in any average sized computer desk. The perfect printer? Very close!
After killing my old printer, also a HP all-in-one, I decided it was time to stop scamming ink and paper off all of my friends and to make the plunge into buying a new printer. It took me a long time to get round to it and I wasn't very happy about spending fifty quid or so on a printer, probably a lot more with ink and cables, which is why I put it off so long! However! Then I discovered the HP Deskjet F380, which certainly cheered me up!
Well, I walked up and down the aisles looking at the printers and instantly mentally binning the ones that looked too big, too complicated or too, well, ugly... Then I got to the F380. It's about your average size, and is a lovely shimmering white colour - it really did stand out from the other dull grey printers in the aisle. The buttons looked easy to use, and pretty straight forward (i.e. one button for copy, one for scan, no unnecessary buttons clogging up the whole printer).
Not being a technical whiz, I wanted a printer that I didn't have to mess around learning functions of, and having had a HP PSC previously, I knew how this one would work - perfect!
Ok, so once I'd found the prettiest printer that also looked easy to use, I thought it was best that I checked what it did first. It's OK choosing one because it's sexy, but I didn't want to get home and realise I'd actually bought a load of rubbish, so, I had a chat with the lovely shop assistant.
This printer prints up to 20 pages per minute in black and white, and 14 per minute in colour - this was one of the fastest in the lower-end price range.
It also has one touch copying, and the printer doesn't even have to be connected to the computer for this - just lift the lid, press copy and voila! This is one of my favourite features of the printer - it's still a bit of a novelty to me to be able to photocopy at home, sad as it sounds!
Then there is the scanning feature, which works pretty much the same as copying although, yes, it does have to be connected to the computer for this one! The scanning function is extremely quick and easy to use - you wont even have to read the instructions!
Price and stockists
Now the most important part, price... Well I was extremely surprised to find this for sale for just £29.99! Considering it is a printer, scanner and copier all-in-one, and it was actually one I liked the look of, I was amazed and snapped it up immediately!
This is currently selling at PC World, Staples, Office World and via the HP website for around the same price.
What else you need
The one annoying thing about this printer is that it doesn't come with the USB cable you need to connect it up to the computer with. Considering you can't use it without it, this is quite strange! Anyway, I remembered this from the last time I purchased a HP printer cable. The staff will undoubtedly try to sell you their super version, for £10 or even more, but don't do it! You can pick them up on ebay for under two quid, so save yourself a bit of money there.
I managed to find a lovely little HP starter pack with the USB lead, a pack of paper, and two ink cartridges (one black, one colour) for £14, which I thought was a good deal (correct me if I'm wrong!). I was sure there wouldn't be ink included with the printer at that price, the lead from my old HP was dead, and everyone needs paper, so I went for it!
So I got my new printer home, got it out the box and what fell out but two ink cartridges! I was really surprised; I honestly didn't think that they would be supplied with the printer, especially for that price.
Setting it up
I can only comment on setting up using windows, but it is extremely easy, just insert the disk (do not connect the printer to the computer until it tells you to though), and let it run through the installation, clicking next whenever you need to and following the other steps through.
Putting the ink cartridges in is also very easy and not at all messy, another big plus for this printer!
A brilliant little printer! Ok, so if you are going to be printing out hundreds of pages at a time then this probably isn't the printer for you. Or if you want some seriously high quality photo printing, then obviously expect to shell out a bit more. But if you just want a handy little printer that is reasonably quick to print, then go for it. The printing quality is very good - I couldn't find any flaws in it at all.
The speed at which it copies documents is great and much quicker than I expected it to be, and the scanning, whilst slightly slower, is still a good service.
This all-in-one is so easy to use, with functions working at the touch of a button that it makes it the ideal printer for those who just want something that works, without a load of fancy functions and buttons.
The price is brilliant, especially considering you get two ink cartridges including (check this as I'm not sure if this comes as standard with the printer). I would definitely recommend this printer for general home or student use!
I managed to pick this printer up cheaply fairly recently, even though it's not new, it has all the features I could possibly need. The print quality is excellent, there's never been a paper jam in all my time having used it (which is rather unusual for printers I've owned!) and the scanner quality is top-notch. The feature I like best however is the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that comes with the product. This is by far and away one of the most useful things I have ever got with a printer. It reads all my paper documents and converts them into .txt files, I must have done hundreds of pages and it's only ever made about three mistakes in translating it.
The only downside to this printer is that the ink cartridges are becoming a little rare, however, this means I can often get them on the cheap! Also, the printer doesn't come with a USB cable, but that was alright as I already had one from the printer I was chucking out.
THE HEWLETT PACKARD TECHNOLOGIES: HP DESKJET F380
The HP Collection - Part I
I originally posted this review on www.ciao.co.uk in my ID name - DJ_primo ©.
Hewlett Packard printers, have become my most convenient and commonly used brands of printing technology for personal use. These particular brands have also evolved to become my favourite choice too. After I abandoned my dusty and NOISY, old 'Epson Stylus' printer in 2000 (due to mediocre print quality and broken parts), I decided to try out the HP range for daily, personal printing (i.e. colourful diagrams, essays etc.) starting with 'HP Deskjet 840'. I immediately noticed how the superior, printing quality delivered by 'HP Deskjet 840' ranked alongside Epson Stylus' upon my visual examination. From then on, my TRUST in Hewlett Packard was fully established. As months passed through 2004, 2005, 2006, I settled in the routine of traditionally, upgrading from one HP printer to another of a greater, modernised standard to enjoy the benefits of HP technology with respect to everyday printing. So far, in 2007, the year of MODERN DAY electronics, I currently own a 'HP Deskjet F380' that is not just a simple printer. It is actually an ALL-IN-ONE hardware that is designed to combine the functions of (1) printer, (2) scanner and (3) a copier! Okay, it's time to make it 'crystal clear' with respect to how I became the KEEPER of the wonderful 'HP Deskjet F380' machine:
++INTRO: WHY I PURCHASED 'HP DESKJET F380'++
Interestingly, it was the properties of the similar-looking 'HP PSC 1315' printer that I previously used (i.e. prior to 'HP Deskjet F380'), that eventually lead me to purchase 'HP DESKJET F380'. In 2004, at PC World, in Beckton, The 'HP PSC 1315' printer was obtained free as part of a bargain when my dad and myself purchased a new desktop computer that goes by the name of 'E machines'. The 'HP PSC 1315' printer resembled the 'HP DESKJET 380' a lot. Needless to say it operates as a all-in-one machine, combining the functions of a [P]rinter, [S]canner and [C]opier. It served its purpose in my life of photo printing, scanning images and photocopying documents, so well for three years on a convenient basis. Unfortunately, I was careless enough to damage the 'paper feed mechanism' by means of feeding a photo paper through the rollers when the paper settings was set to 'plain paper' through the PRINT dialog box. The thickness of the photo paper was sufficient to induce a heavy friction on the printers rollers that were programmed to roll FAST and act on 'plain paper' (and not 'photo paper that requires the rollers to run SLOWER). Consequently, the damage to the 'HP PSC 1315' thanks to my HUMAN ERROR was irreversible and so facing responsibility for my actions, I needed to pay the price.
Thus, one weekend, I paid the price by going on a mission to discover a good quality HP printer that would be reliable and suitable enough replace the 'HP PSC 1315'. Ideally, I was looking for a HP model that was similar to the 'HP PSC 1315' in terms of technology. In other words, a model that displays combined actions of a copier, printer and scanner along with durability and structure (shape and design, scanner glass with lid etc.). I checked out an advertisement leaflet from Staples and eventually encountered a 'HP DESKJET F380' printer (for the first time) that immediately grabbed my attention. This product resembles 'HP PSC 1315' A LOT in its design except that it lacks ports for various types of 'photo memory cards' (see WHAT I EXPERINCED) and is therefore significantly cheaper than 'HP PSC 1315'. The 'A3' sized, advertisement sheet from Staples.co.uk came free with the 'Daily Mail' and Staples advertised the 'HP F380 All-in-One Printer' for £39.99. This was a GREAT PRICE for a HP photosmart, F380 printer that combines the functions of three separate electronic devices. However, I decided to explore alternative hardware retailers for the possible, cheapest prices on my product of interest.
Therefore, I browsed online at various Web sites (Amazon, Dabs.com, Currys, PC World, Staples etc.) and again was impressed with the range of relatively LOW prices offered with respect the 'HP DESKJET F380' printer. In fact, boys and girls, this all-in-one printing machine, varied to NO more than £40 with the lowest price approximating to £29.99 as sold at Currys! Now this is what exemplifies GOOD VALUE for money. With this interesting discovery at hand, it was time to get busy on Monday to hunt down the 'HP DESKJET F380' printer at Currys.
So on Monday, I marched towards the Chingford branch of Currys (in Waltham Forest) with a fistful of bank notes in my hand. I could see the Currys store in a retail park in the distance, but had to figure out how to cross the large dual carriage to successfully make it to the other side. I solved the problem by entering the subway in my stride, passing the dual carriageway from underneath, rolling past parked cars. Soon there I was about to enter Chingford branch of Currys for the first time in my life! OPEN SESAME! The automatic doors slowly opened to permit my entrance into the 'Currys temple', and I approached the printer sector of the computer-based hardware / software section. Before, I was ready to collect the 'HP DESKJET F380' I browsed the ink cartridge display to get ideas of the varieties of HP cartridges specified for 'HP DESKJET F380'. A helpful 'floor manager' representing the Currys staff showed me the appropriate ink cartridges, informing that the 'HP DESKJET F380' printer operates with HP 21 and 22. Note that HP 21 and 22 represent the black and colour cartridges respectively.
I eventually paid the price, coughing up £29.99 for the HP product. The young Asian woman kindly informed that I could get 1-year guarantee for the All-in-One printer, but need to pay an extra £9.99 charge to be eligible for it. I studied the Currys guarantee sheet, agreed and signed, eventually paying a total sum of £39.98. At this point, it was mission accomplished with respect to finding the best substitute for my broken, 'HP PSC 1315' that displays similar all-in-one functions but is comparatively expensive. I returned home from Chingford to Leytonstone, via bus routes 158 and 58, carrying the relatively light, but otherwise, LARGE and AWKWARD, HP F380 package in a giant, shopping bag.
++OUTRO: IN FUTURE, OVER THE NEXT 380 YEARS, MY DESCENDANTS WILL BE BUYING HP PRINTERS'++
Right lets cut the chase. The time has come for me to PRINT on screen, the features and other relevant data that describes the 'HP DESKJET F380' printer before Ciao readers' eyes. Yo, check out the next chapter (i.e. WHAT I EXPERIENCED WITH THIS PRODUCT).
WHAT I EXPERIENCED WITH THIS PRODUCT
Here is a breakdown of what I encountered after I arrived home at about 6:15 pm, dashing into my bedroom to open the box of contents (packaging). TECHNICALLY, like any consumer (or customer), I explored the contents of the All-In-One Hewlett Packard product with GREAT enthusiasm. Feel free to SCAN along each section or sub-headings:
1. THE BOX CONTENTS
To begin with, the HP Photosmart, 'F380 DESKJET' comes equipped with free inkjet cartridges, notably the black HP21 and Tri-colour HP22. The HP21 black and HP22 Tri-colour inkjet cartridges are present in a brown packaging material, fitted inside the 'print cartridge door'. The two cartridges are further sealed in foil bag to keep them NICE and FRESH to maintain the free-flowing status of the ink contents (i.e. not even a microscopic trace of congealing). Although the photo HP58 cartridge is compatible with 'HP F380 DESKJET' (as well as my faulty 'HP PSC 1315'), it was not included with the packaging.
Also present in the small brown packaging material was the POWER CORD (together with the inkjet cartridges) that I located in the 'print cartridge door'. This POWER CORD connects to the main sockets and the ADAPTER via two ends (mains plug and adapter plug). Elsewhere, in the box contents, the ADAPTER is present in a separate bubble wrap packaging and features the three-pin socket to fit the POWER cable.
Furthermore, the HP DESKJET F380 is supplied with two manuals and two software packages. One of the manuals is a booklet marked "you + hp", that gives a detailed, overview of printers of the HP DESKJET F300, All-in-One series (including F380). It represents the BASICS GUIDE for everyday management of the all-in-one F380 printer in terms of scanning, printing, copying, troubleshooting (paper jams etc.), support and technical information. The other manual marked "Start Here" in English (EN) is a much more simple. It takes into account the fundamental steps to installing the HP DESKJET F380 in four different languages - English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic. The software packages for installation, come in the form of two compact discs of which one is a green CD and the other, a yellow CD. The green, installation CD carries the device drivers and HP imaging programs that control the HP DESKJET F380 printer to work with Windows XP or Mac OS X operating systems. The yellow, installation CD holds the device driver files that configure HP DESKJET F380 to function with Windows Vista. In addition, the yellow CD (for some odd reason) has also been created to install programs for HP Officejet 4300, 5600 and 6200 all-in-one series printers.
Having SCANNED through THE BOX CONTENTS in relation to the multifunction HP printer, one disadvantage comes to my mind. Firstly, the universal serial bus (USB) cable was not supplied in support of the HP DESKJET F380 printer, despite being specified on the installation manual. The Asian woman at the Currys' till section informed me about this technical situation when she asked whether I have a spare USB cable. Lucky enough, I kept plenty of spare, USB cables at home that I previously used with the HP PSC 1315 and were also compatible with the all-in-one, HP F380.
2. THE DESIGN CHECKOUT
I examined the design of the all-in-one HP F380 printer on three separate occasions:
(1) Whilst browsing the Staples' advertisement sheet and Web sites assigned to similar retailers like Currys and PC World that market technical goods
(2) As I gazed at the shelves of HP printers in the printer section in the shop floor of Currys
(3) When I was ready to open the cardboard box, dismantle the packaging and verify the contents, including the printer itself. That was the moment where I made the most accurate analysis of the design checkout in interests of the all-in-one, F380 printer.
The design of the HP DESKJET F380 is impressive and memorable to me, especially as it structurally resembles 'HP PSC 1315' that I enjoyed owning, partly for its technical appearance. The HP DESKJET F380 is shaped like a cuboid with eight, curved corners with a weight of 10 pounds, just like the 'HP PSC 1315'. But it is slightly larger than my older 'HP PSC 1315' (16.97cm x 42.57cm x 25.91cm). It has a volume that approximates to 19339 cm3, measuring at a dimension of about 16.97cm in height, 44cm in width and 25.9cm depth. Colour-wise, the printer is grey on its vertical, lateral sections (i.e. all four vertical sides) with the top horizontal layer in greyish white, matte finish. The top, greyish white horizontal layer surrounds a GLASS (for scanning) that is directly covered by a white, LID BACKING. The 'lid backing' is mildly glossy in appearance, smooth to the touch and features the typical HP logo engraved on a metallic piece embedded in its surface.
The INPUT TRAY of the printer displays two roles whereby it takes on the form of (1) a paper tray and (2) a front door. The 'input tray' is transparent and grey-blue in appearance with a large HP logo carved in it. As a paper tray, it measures 22.9cm in width and has a capacity of holding 100 plain papers (see APPENDIX). As a front door, the 'tray extender' makes an EXCELLENT contribution to the portability of the F380 printer. In this context, it enables the main HP product (i.e. printer) to be re-packaged in its cardboard box and transported to a new destination, for instance when moving to a new accommodation (flat, house etc.). In addition, the transparent, grey-blue TRAY EXTENDER is hidden within the 'input tray' and apparently, this serves as both the input and output drawer.
According to page 2 of the 'Basics Guide', I managed to locate the 'Paper-width guide', 'Print cartridge door', 'Rear door', 'Rear USB port' and 'Power connection'. The REAR DOOR allows users to clear 'paper jams' safely from the back of the DESKJET F380, minimising the risk of damages to the printer's roller mechanism. The REAR DOOR features simple, plastic connectors that secure it to the back of the printer to ensure printouts do not slip through the back during general PRINT processes. The POWER CONNECTION is actually a socket in the bottom right corner of the back of the HP DESKJET F380 that links the all-in-one printer to the mains through the 'adapter' and 'power cord'. Adjacent to the 'Power connection' is The REAR USB PORT. This feature plays its part in establishing a two-way communication between the F380 printer and any central processing unit (CPU), via the USB cable. Behind the PRINT CARTRIDGE DOOR is a secret chamber that carries two 'cartridge slots', the left one specified for the Tri-color HP22 cartridge and the right to which the HP21 black cartridge is allocated. The PAPER-WIDTH GUIDE is the least important to me as I my printing activities are generally based on A4-sized paper media. It can be adjusted to suit printing conditions for anything less than A4 such as smaller paper sizes (especially A5), envelopes or cards
At a glance, the HP all-in-one F380 printer features ten, CONTROL PANEL BUTTONS on the far, left of its top layer (see section 4. FUNCTIONS for more details on control buttons). These 'control panel buttons' are represented in icons rather than text, and their order (according to the 'Basics Guide'), are as follows:
(2) Check Paper light
(3) Check Print Cartridge light
(6) Plain Paper Type
(7) Photo Paper Type
(8) Start Copy Black
(9) Start Copy Color*
*(Note: HP is a US-based manufacturer, hence the American spelling for colour)
Overall, THE DESIGN CHECKOUT of this HP DESKJET F380 is likeable with easy to understand features. This category of my review is one of the reasons why this electronic HP device is generally awarded 5 star ratings on consumer sites.
3. THE SET UP
The story behind my experience of using this DESKJET continues to get deeper and interesting as I arrive at THE SET UP, in other words installing the HP printer. Carrying out this installation procedure is relatively easy, taking place over 15 easy steps of the "Start Here" manual and it took me approximately 20 minutes to complete. To begin with step 1, the USB cable should not be connected between the HP F380 printer and the computer until step 14. Otherwise, the registration of the printer in the computer's memory will become confused and this will result in the installation being unsuccessful! Running past steps 2 - 3 that focus on locating the packaged cartridges and verifying box contents (I already gave a thorough account of these events in section 1: THE BOX CONTENTS), I arrive at step 4. In step 4, I connected the printer device to the mains, through the 'adapter' and 'power cord' as exhibited in the diagram of the "Start Here" guide. In step 5, I lifted down the input tray and cautiously loaded it with Tesco value, plain paper followed by pressing the 'On' button in step 6. A bright chartreuse coloured light (yellow-green light) appeared at the 'On' icon. In step 7, I released the 'print cartridge door', allowing for the print carriages to move to the centre. In steps 8 and 9, I was ready to install the pre-supplied black HP21 and Tri-color HP22 cartridges. In this context, I removed the tapes from the both inkjet cartridges and inserted them in the cartridge slots. Skipping ahead step 10 (closing the cartridge door - anyone can carry out that step, even a dog!), are steps 11 and 12. These two important stages are highly essential in optimising the technical performance of the printer with respect to PRINTING and SCANNING. Steps 11 and 12 represent the alignment processes and scanning procedures respectively that I will elaborate on in the next section (section 4 - THE P, THE S AND THE C).
After fighting my way underground, through 12 steps on hardware installation, I finally get to breath some fresh air as I reach the last three easier steps. These final stages (steps 13 - 15) concern software installation. In steps 13 and 14a, I inserted and selected the green CD marked "Windows 2000, XP and Mac OS X". The way I proceeded with steps 13 and 14a on this occasion, deviate from what I was actually instructed to do according to the "Start Here" guide. Step 13 of the simple manual is divided into two columns (left white and right grey sections). It clearly states '....select the GREEN Windows CD....' (white column) or '....select the (GREY) Mac Windows CD....' (grey column) depending on the nature of the operating system. In step 4, I noticed that the contents of my HP F380 packaged box, may DIFFER from what is viewed in the diagram. That was exactly the case when I only found 2 CDs (one green and one yellow) instead of three (one green Windows CD, one Mac CD and one other CD - probably for Windows Vista). The HP manufacturer could at least have updated the instructions a bit on the "Start Here" manual with respect to steps 4 and 13 if the contents were going to vary in the long run! This applies particularly to the USB cable being absent or two instead of three, installation CDs supplied in 'the box contents'.
In step 14b, the 'HP All-in-One Series' dialog box pops up automatically once the 'Setup.exe' file on the green CD loads automatically. I selected the "Install" button and this is where fitting the USB cable to establish the link between the printer and CPU finally came into the equation. Finally, in step 15, I followed the rest of the instructions onscreen, concerning the rest of the software installation. I watched various files in the progress box, being installed each second (HP photosmart essential, HP promo images etc.). This part of step 15 was a relaxing experience for me as I rested in my padded seat, drinking a chilled bottle of refreshing supermalt.
4. THE P, THE S AND THE C
Let's talk about what I call the three MIAN device functions - printer (THE P), scanner (THE S) and copier (THE C) - condensed into one box (THE HP DESKJET F380):
Before printing is carried out, particularly after installing the inkjet cartridges, it is always necessary to perform an 'alignment'. Carrying out the 'alignment' procedure holds the key to receiving the GREATEST quality of printouts in history as I clearly recall from using the HP PSC 1315. In this context, the alignment page printed automatically from the 'HP DESKJET F380' in colour during the installation process without the computer being switched on. But it can also be performed through Windows XP as well based on my personal experience. When the PC detects newly inserted HP21, HP22 or HP58 ink cartridges in the all-in-one machine, a dialog box, requesting the computer user to print the ALIGNMENT PAGE pops up. Printing this 'alignment page' ensures the best possible, printing performance and represents part 1 of calibrating the 'HP DESKJET F380'.
For my experience with the 'HP DESKJET F380', I decided to examine the reliability of the PRINT facilities immediately after THE SET UP process. My first, personal trial was printing colourful logos and posters, designed by myself in colour on A4-sized glossy paper, weighing 45 pounds 5 ounces (45lb 5 oz). For this experiment, I employed a set of Tesco value, photo paper that is reasonably glossy and weighs 170 grams per square metre (170gsm), equivalent to 45lb 5oz. I adjusted the print settings to 'HP photo' in the print dialog box and printed vast quantities of posters in various colours (red, green, blue, yellow, turquoise, pink etc.). Based on my analysis and visual examinations, the results were truly ASTOUNDING! The quality of the colourful printouts, were so bright and exquisite, they even looked internally illuminated, as if a built-in light was fitted within the photo paper. They were also attractive and beautiful to my eyes like modern art works displayed on the walls of the Tate Art Gallery. The primary ink colours (yellow, cyan and magenta) from the Tri-color HP22 ink, were distributed uniformly over the printed area of the photo media. The distribution was SO professionally consistent and tidy that I thought certain colours like red and green were naturally present in the Tri-color inkjet cartridge. Likewise, the print quality of documents and logos in black were awesome, neat and professional, showcasing the ultimate standard of the HP F380 printer's mechanisms with the black inkjet cartridge. This activity, boys and girls, ladies and gentleman was the second trial, I carried out.
As I proceeded with the third trial of printing in greyscale, I executed my objective of testing the 'HP DESKJET F380' print speed, using Tesco value A4 plain paper as my choice of media. Printing took no more than 4 seconds, suggesting that the print mechanisms of the HP F380 model, is highly efficient. I fully confirmed this as I watched the speed of the F380 printer upon printing in colour on 170gsm, A4 photo paper for my final trial. It took approximately 30 seconds to print a blue-coloured poster on photo paper, whereas printing the same image on an ordinary printer (say HP Deskjet 840C) would take 5 minutes. This final analysis, Ciao readers, was incredible to me.
DIJEH: My LAST WORDS about the balance of printing qualities and speed? CLASSIC!
For all-in-one printers, there is a simple procedure in place, to obtain high standards of the HP F380 model's SCAN function through calibration. Thus, the 'alignment' process enters the equation once again and it is the second part of this procedure that applies to regulating the scanner (the first step of 'alignment' applies to calibrating the PRINT function). After the 'alignment page' is printed, its printed side should be faced down on the 'glass', with the top of the A4 sheet facing the HP DESKJET F380's control panel buttons. The printed side in particular should be placed from the left front corner of the 'glass'. The SCAN button is pressed to allow for scanning to occur with the yellow-green 'On' light blinking and this completes part 2 of the 'alignment'. This is exactly what I carried out in step 12 of the installation.
It is possible to scan any original printout such as a graph, (and yes the alignment page too!) from the HP printer's control panel alone, whilst the computer is switched off. Switching on the computer afterwards, results in the scanned image being loaded into memory and this will soon appear automatically in the HP Digital Imaging Monitor. MAGIC! However, according to the 'Basics guide' manual this magical event will not occur without prior installation of HP Photosmart Software for Windows or Mac.
The SCAN function of the HP F380 printer can also be activated through the HP Photosmart software or HP Digital Imaging Monitor on any Windows, operating system and Mac OS X. For the fact that scanning can be achieved both using the options on the HP Photosmart and the control panel on the HP F380 hardware, I am impressed. However, I still have yet to examine and explore the full potential of scanning images through HP Photosmart on Windows.
The COPY function if the 'HP DESKJET F380' is the simplest of the three described in this section of my review. As I have already done with my all-in-one 'HP PSC 1315', I placed various original sheets (e.g. forms, written notes, receipts etc.) and selected the 'Start Copy Black' and 'Start Copy Color' buttons depending on family's requests. The printing speed is exceedingly fast, taking 2 to 4 per page. The minor drawback of using 'HP DESKJET F380' in this procedure is that the output is usually pale in comparison with the original upon my visual examination. This indicates that the flow of ink from all three cartridges (HP21, HP22 and HP58) is restricted during simple copying procedures. This is not particularly ideal for making copies of certain cash machine or shopping receipts where the text is weakly printed (e.g. in pale grey or violet) on the original material.
4. THE HP INKJET CARTRIDGES
The HP21, HP22 and HP58 inkjet cartridges work extremely well with the 'HP DESKJET F380' without leaving a mess or staining the mechanism parts within the electronic model. The magnificent quality of printing and disadvantages of copying with respect to these three cartridges have already been mentioned.
Another negative factor that I encountered during my printing procedures on any type of photo paper is that the inkjet cartridges tend to run out quickly. This was especially the case when it came to using the 'HP premium photo' setting to print photos of family and friends on my Tesco's finest super gloss paper (the print quality itself was exceptional). Yep, I'm afraid this applies to both the black HP21 and tri-color HP22 cartridges that leads me to state that they are short-lived in usage (i.e. far from long lasting). The photo HP58 cartridge is longer lasting and can be safely discounted from this disadvantage because its content is chemically designed for photo printing. It can however be used as a substitute for the tri-color HP22 cartridge to provide the coloured ink, if inserted alongside the black HP21. The quality of the black ink output of the photo HP58 is not particularly as great as that from the black HP21 inkjet cartridge. Therefore, the photo HP58 is not necessarily a perfect substitute for the black HP21 in printing CVs, covering letters, tabular data and other formal documents.
The three ink cartridges noted in this section can be obtained from a mast majority of stores in the UK (and other countries) and are almost ubiquitous. This is due to the fact that they are compatible with a wide range of other HP printers besides 'HP DESKJET F380'. The original, Hewlett-Packard brands of HP21, HP22 and HP58 cartridges are relatively expensive in general, even at Tesco. My recommendation to any buyer is to go for cheaper brands, manufactured by Asda or Tesco. That's my word. Trust!
5. THE SOFTWARE PACKAGES
[Software Installation software]
The software installation has already been covered in section 2 of my review. Provided various computer users, especially beginners, OBEY the guidelines onscreen and in the "Start Here" manual, the software installation files should run from the CD without any problems. Thus, beginners may encounter undesirable problems with the installation software if they delve into options (e.g. 'Add New Hardware') on the "HP All-in-One" dialog box that are designed for more experienced computer users. The 'Setup.exe' file is largely responsible for the HP installation program appearing automatically on screen, once the 'Windows XP, 2000 / Mac OS X' is inserted in the CD drive. This file is represented as a 'hp' icon that can be found upon opening the "Run" dialog box and selecting the path allocated to the CD drive (depending on your hardware system).
[Other HP software and accessory files]
Besides the installation software, the "HP Photosmart", "HP Digital Imaging Monitor", sample image files and hypertext markup language (html) files (e.g. readme.html) are also part of THE SOFTWARE PACKAGES. These two former programs feature design layouts in Windows that are legible and visually friendly. The "HP Digital Imaging Monitor" holds a database of scanned images while the "HP Photosmart" extends its functionality of viewing scanned images to many useful options. For instance, scanned photos can be edited or modified to a person's preference using the contrast or bright settings in "HP Photosmart" to adjust the colour. It also possible to successfully SCAN two A5-sized photos at the same time, separate them once viewed in "HP Photosmart" and save them in separate files. Likewise, they can be inserted as pictures in presentation, publishing and word files associated with Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Word respectively. I look forward to exploring more of these benefits of using "HP Photosmart" in conjunction with HP DESKJET F380 in FUTURE (over the next 38 months).
6. TROUBLESHOOTING AND SUPPORT
TROUBLESHOOTING covers various 'Error conditions' as indicated by the flashing lights of the HP All-in-One flashes that take place in different fashions, sequences and situations. For example if the 'Check Paper light' is blinking, then the 'HP F380' printer is either out of paper, is blocked by a paper jam, or has encountered mismatches in the paper size settings. This scenario represents one of the 'Light Status' associated with the 'HP DESKJET F380'. More information with respect to 'Light status' (e.g. flashing light sequences specific for 'Check Print Cartridge', scanner failure etc.) can be found in the table on pages 5 to 6 of the 'Basics Guide' manual.
For the SUPPORT, the 'Basics Guide' gives an account of solutions or ways to solve paper jams ('Clear paper jams'), problems with printing ('Print cartridge troubleshooting'). If these forms of troubleshooting can't be solved independently, call the 'HP customer support' line. But for any computer user applying for customer support, remember to plug and switch on the HP All-in-One F380 printer. After that, follow the rest of the instructions in steps 1 to 5 the 'Basics guide' (on page 16).
Ever since the installation, the 'HP DESKJET F380' like the 'HP PSC 1315' printer brings many benefits and positive influences on my life in processing various documents on sheets. It allows me to photocopy data, print colourful diagrams and scan images conveniently at home rather than waste money and time on these activities in public areas. For instance, instead of walking 38 yards to the nearest library (Leytonstone Library) to spend 10p coins on photocopying, I made use of the COPY function of my personal 'HP DESKJET F380'. In this context, I can photocopy anything at home, ranging from album covers to word-processed information, FREE of charge.
The overall quality of the 'HP DESKJET F380', reflects the improvement in technology, that Hewlett Packard strives to achieve in this modern era. With it's three MAIN combined actions of a separate printer, scanner and copier, the HP F380 model is laying the foundations for the FUTURE of processing information at home. Thanks to the design, it helps in reducing clutter of two or more larger electronic hardware (scanner etc.) not to mention extensive, complicated wiring that can increase environmental hazard risks (i.e. electrical hazards).
In these retrospect, the 'HP DESKJET F380' like similar all-in-one models (e.g. HP Officejet 4315, HP Photosmart C4180, HP PSC 1210, HP PSC 1410 etc.) more than suits the needs of any employee carrying out office work from home. With the latest photosmart products like this, out on the market, who needs individual scanners, printers and copiers. In FUTURE, perhaps over the next 380 years, the emergence of all-in-one printers will see individual printers, scanners and copiers phased out for good.
These are my TECHNICAL theories. Respect!
BUYING THE TECHNOLOGY
For the cheapest range of deals (~£29.99) on 'HP DESKJET F380' go to any branch of Curry's stores to acquire the product. If you're resident in the East of Greater London, nearest branches can be discovered in Beckton, Chingford, Ilford, Leyton, Stratford, Walthamstow and other local joints. Safe!
++++ Paper specifications ++++
Paper tray capacities expressed as numbers of media types:
Plain paper - 100 sheets
Legal paper - 100 sheets
Cards - 20
Envelopes - 10
Transparency film - 20
Labels - 20
10 x 5cm photo paper - 20
216 x 279mm photo paper - 20
Output tray capacities expressed as numbers of media types:
Half the number listed for all paper / media types noted above (see page 18 of the 'Basics Guide' for confrmation)
++++ Physical specifications ++++
Three-dimensional size: 6.68 inches (16.97cm) x 17.32 inches (44cm) x 10.2 inches (25.9cm)
Volume: 7163.78 inches (19339cm) cube
Note: the values - 7.0 inches and 16.8 inches as specified on page 18 of the manual are mathematically inaccurate!
++++ Software requirements (for PC) ++++
Operating system: Windows 98, 98SE, 2000, XP Home, XP Professional, Vista
Processor: Intel ® Pentium® II, Intel ® Celeron
Random Access Memory (RAM): 128 megabytes (MB)
Hard disk space: 475 MB
Drives: compact disk, read-only-memory (CD-ROM) drive
Direct connections: USB cable and port (note: the USB cable must be NO more than 3 metres long)
Best properties: the HP F380 DESKJET's design and functions
Worst properties: Absence of USB cable in THE BOX CONTENTS, the COPY function does not technically perform great with originals with faded texts.
Overall rating for printer: 10/10
Total marks = 84, 9 rated hardware features * 10 = 90
84/90 = 9.3/10 = 4.7/5 = 5 stars
***PLEASE NOTE WHEN I ASKED FOR THIS PRODUCT TO BE ADDED, I ASKED FOR IT TO BE ADDED TO PRINTER SECTION...FOR SOME REASON DOOYOO HAVE ADDED IT TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS? I HAVE REQUESTED IT BE MOVED SO PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THAT BEFORE RATING...THANKS MICHELLE X ***
I received an email today saying the review is not going to be moved as that would mean losing all dooyoo miles....but they are looking at fixing the problem of mixed categories.....
My old printer, an Epson C42 which came free when I bought my first PC almost 4 yrs ago finally gave up the battle and has gone to that great printer heaven in the sky ok slight exaggeration I donated it to the computer department of my college, for the students to practice fixing or to use as spare parts!
So off I went on Saturday afternoon to find a replacement I knew I wanted something cheap but not a Lexmark as the ink cartridges are extortionate! My choices therefore left me with another Epson model or opting instead for a Hewlett Packard model (HP) before I left home I checked the Argos website and found a few that were within my budget but thought Id shop around in case there were any better deals.
So off I trotted to my local Currys store to find a pretty dismal amount of printers on display, with only 3 of those in my price range (I didnt want to spend more than £50) The lady who helped me (some of the printers werent visibly priced so had to ask for help) told me that they would price match any printer I saw anywhere else. To be honest I didnt see the point of this, better still if they beat the price instead of matching it? Anyway I popped across the street of my local retail park to Comet where there was more printers on display, each with the price clearly stated I found three printers which were in my price range, an Epson and 2 HPs, Originally my plan was to buy a basic printer capable of coping with light domestic use. But when I saw the HP Deskjet F380 and the HP PSC 1410 all in one printer/copier and scanner for only £49.99 I was hooked!
I called out to one of the sales assistants only to be asked to hold on and hed get me another assistant as they had a known shoplifter in the store. The other assistant came over within a minute or two, and asked how he could help, I asked about the 1410 all in one first, to which he replied he had none in stock but the F380 was basically the same model, (he didnt say what the difference between them was but they certainly looked the same) I asked a couple of questions about the printer, ie ease of use etc and once satisfied with the promise that it was simple to use and set up I told him Id take it, only then did he inform me that it also came with one black ink cartridge and one colour included in price! Even better!! He also said there was no USB cable with it but if I already had one then it would fit nicely as it takes a standard USB (my Epson one fits perfectly)
Anyway the box wasnt that heavy, perhaps a little awkward, the nice salesman asked if I would like him to carry it to my car .what a lovely touch .but useless as I have no car and was nipping to Tesco before going home in a taxi
I got it home and couldnt wait to get it out of its packaging. Another easy job.
I lifted the printer from box and picked up the quickstep guide to starting it up. This is a brilliant addition as it meant I didnt have to trawl through the manual to work anything out.
Whats in the box?
You of course get the printer and the packaging, but you also get the quick step guide, the manual and 3 cd roms (one for windows, one for a mac and a copy of the manual on disc.) you also get the power cable and both colour and black cartridges.
WARNING DO NOT CONNECT USB UNTIL PROMPTED!
The first thing you have to do is open the paper door and the printer cartridge door, remove the items stored within (cartridges and cable) then close it again, you then connect the cable to your printer and to power source. Then it tells you to load some paper to the feeder tray (every action you do is illustrated to help you know where to put paper, which buttons etc to press)
After loading the paper you are told to switch the power on button. After that is done you open the print cartridge door, this will make the cartridge holder to move to the middle enabling you to place the cartridges in easily. There are diagrams on the guide to make sure you insert the cartridges the correct way. A real guide for dummies (perfect for me then) Then you close the door, waiting a couple of minutes whilst the alignment page is automatically printed. After that is done you have to place the alignment page on the scanner bed which is located on the top of the printer. Close the lid and press SCAN. Only after all this you are told to insert the Green Windows CD (if you are using windows) This runs through the installation and you will get a prompt to ask you to connect the USB cable at this stage.
All in all it took about 10mins to get my printer up and running which for me is excellent! It is very easy to use and I defy anyone not to be able to do it themselves.
I wanted to get started with some printing to see how it worked straightaway, so I went to a word document I had saved for college and clicked on print, initially the machine made a quick noise as the cartridge was obviously moving back to start printing, but then it was very quiet during the actual printing process, I could barely hear it, which was great considering my old printer was a noisy machine. The whole A4 page only took less than 10 seconds to print, and that was black on white writing.
I then put it to the test of printing a photograph of my daughter, this was about half the size of the A4 page and took an amazing 10-15 seconds and the colours were perfect! Almost as good as the original photograph I had printed from. Perhaps If I had used actual glossy photo paper the quality would have been perfect. I tried again, this time with better paper, and the result was fantastic! I would have been hard pushed to get better quality from anywhere else.
I let my children use Paint to draw some pictures on PC and then let them print them out and again the quality was superb.
Make sure machine is turned on, Press SCAN button on the top, and a box will appear on screen, asking if it is a document or photo, you can also choose where on your computer you want to send the scanned photo/document to, you can opt to save these settings so that you dont need to be asked every time. Id rather be asked though in case I want to change anything at any time.
At the left side of this box is an option scan picture settings pressing this can enable you to choose the resolution of your picture, change the output type , ie millions of colours or black and white plus many more . The other good thing I found here is that you can choose to scan single photo, or scan multiple photos to individual files (single selection for each photo found on scanner bed) so basically you can have 5 small photos on the bed and scan them all in at same time and they will all be individually filed. Or you can scan all the photos to same file. Or just scan the entire scanning glass as it seen (great for collages)
Once you have scanned your picture in you can preview it and make any adjustments to size etc all done easily with no problems.
The copier works in a similar way and can be used without needing to turn PC on, You simply press the SCAN BLACK or SCAN COLOUR buttons on the top of the printer and it detects the item placed on scanner bed and prints it out for you..this is quick too, taking about 10 seconds for black and white, and about 15 for colour.
All in all this printer really was an excellent buy, I would highly recommend this as a first printer too as it is so easy to use and the quality is by far better than my old Epson prints.
Size wise it is not much bigger than my old Epson, and takes up less space than my old printer and scanner took up. It is about 16 wide by just under 10 deep and 5.5 high.
Im not technically minded at all so reading the list of specs doesnt really do anything for me but I will include it for anyone who deems it necessary.
It claims to print up to 20 pages per minute (black) and up to 14 (colour)
Scan at 1200 x 2400 DPI (dots per inch?)
Print at 4800 optimised DPI
XP, 2000, SP3, 98 SE, Me
Also compatible with Mac computers.
I bought mine from Comet store for £49.99 but is available from their website for £5 cheaper, good if you can wait a few days for delivery. Argos also have it for £49.99.
Printer cartridges are available from Comet for £9.99 (black) and £11.99 (colour) which is reasonable as far as cartridges go, I forgot to ask if you could use compatible cartridges with this printer but I doubt they would be that much cheaper, and Im sure if you shop around you would find a better deal somewhere anyway. Argos is more expensive at £14.99 and £17.99 respectively. HP recommend you use HP no 21 (black) and HP no 22(colour) with this, and HP no 58 for photo printing (Im using 21 and 22 and getting good quality photos, I will try 58 next time I need to renew!
I hope this review has been of some use to anyone looking to get a new printer!