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The Hp deskjet 3940 is the printer for every college student out there...doesnt take much space on your desk...very compact and stylish. Seperate black ink catridge for quality printing. Good colour printing as well.
It doesnt actually come with the usb to printer cable but this can be gotten cheaply on ebau=y or in any high street shop. I have used this printer for a month and i am very happy with the outcome. As a student, i was looking for something to put in my room that didnt take much space and would still do quality print out. This printer was the right choice.
Having had my old HP Deskjet 930c printer for a few years, I was getting more and more fed up of buying printer cartridges that were nearly as expensive as buying a new printer. Not only that, the printer had suffered a lot of abuse over the years and it was becoming prone to numerous paper jams. So, with a few spare pounds in my back pocket I decided to search out a cheap alternative, where upon I came across the HP Deskjet 3940 colour printer for under £40.
This is a very compact printer which, with a height of less then 15 cm and a depth of just 18 cm, will fit into many small gaps. The main body of the machine is a very pale grey, with the centre lift up lid being nearly white. At the bottom left hand side is the power on switch, which lights up green when in use, and in the middle is the paper loading tray (capacity 80 sheets), which can be neatly folded into the machine when the printer is not in use. The loading tray also doubles as the catch tray for your printed paper, which can cause a few problems with the paper re-feeding through. The centre lid lifts up, via a hinge at the back, so that you can either change printer cartridges or remove a paper jam, which means you need to leave a bit of clearance above the machine when deciding to place it. Although, the machine weighs in at a very light weight of 4.5 lb, so you could easily store it in a confined space and pull it out without any effort if a problem occurs. The printer is made of the standard plastic but for the price it has a remarkable sturdy feel to it, probably due to its compact nature.
Connectivity & Installation
The printer is powered by a standard two pin power lead that comes in the box and has one USB socket. As is now the common practice, it does not come with a USB cable which would be annoying for a lot of people. Also, it does not have the capability of taking a network connection, a parallel cable or any memory sticks and flash cards, but for the money I would not expect it to.
The printer will work on the following systems, Windows 98 SE, 2000, Me, XP Home, XP Professional; Mac OS X v 10.2, 10.3 and is very easy to install as it comes with a comprehensive and easy to follow installation disk as well as a manual and a quick guide to setting up your machine. Installing the printer and accompanying software took a total of 5 minutes when I installed it for the first time and this was entirely problem free.
The Printer comes with several pieces of software. The first one is HP Image Zone Express, which catalogues all the images on your hard drive and allows you to do some minor manipulations, such as balancing the colours, removing red eye, rotating, etc before you print them. This is extremely easy to use and also allows you to place your pictures into frames, calendars etc etc. Although it is no substitute for a professional editing package it does a great job considering the cost of the printer.
It also comes with HP Solution Centre, which is an onscreen guide for assisting you with any problems in setting up, changing defaults etc etc.
Along with this, you get a useful little piece of software called HP Suresupply, which allows you to monitor the ink levels of your cartridges and if you wish you can order replacements directly from HP.
Another nice feature of the driver/software is that although the machine is only able to print in duplex via manual handling, it does give you a step by step guide to making sure you put the paper in the right way.
The printer can take any paper size up to and including A4 as well as envelopes. It easily deals with standard paper, photo paper and flimsy card. The manual does say that it can hold up to 80 sheets of standard A4 paper, but this can cause issues when the printed paper comes out so I usually load it up with no more than 40 sheets at a time.
This was actually very surprising, the quality of printing photographs was pretty good, easily as good as my previous printer although to the expert eye you can still see the slight impurities. As to the levels of colour, I was again very impressed as they were vivid and when comparing the printed image to the original picture, it matched up pretty well. Although this is not a dedicated photo printer, and using it purely for this purpose will drain the cartridges very quickly. The quality, when printing text, is easily as impressive and in my opinion, this printer works best when used purely for this purpose. There are several different levels of print quality which in turn take different lengths of time to print and use different amounts of ink.
Although the printer can at its best print 16 pages a minute using just the black and 12 pages a minute using colours. I have found that when using the printer in the middle of the range which provides decent quality, you can typically expect to print 5 pages of text a minute and one photo.
Black print resolution - Up to 1200 rendered dpi black
Colour print resolution - Up to 4800 optimized dpi colour and 1200 input dpi
The printer uses just 2 cartridges, one black and one colour (featuring 3 colours). The one real annoyance that I have with this machine is that the cartridges are low capacity and over use will soon see you using them up. I have found that the cartridges will last for around two months for general home use on a daily basis. The good thing is the cartridges are reasonably cheap with the black one available for under £10 and the colour one coming in at under £12. So far I have only used the HP versions and have not looked into if there are any cheaper brands which will work. The cartridges are extremely easy to install, as when you lift up the lid the cartridges shuffle to the centre of the opening, giving optimum access.
Problems and issues
Too be honest these are few and far between. My major problem is that the printed sheets come out and fall into the feed tray, which on a couple of occasions have fed themselves back in and caused a paper jam. So in theory you cannot really leave the printer unattended when printing more than one sheet at a time.
The only other niggle I have, is that on a few rare occasions it has picked up more than one sheet of paper at a time and caused a paper jam. Although, this maybe due more to the paper rather than the feeding mechanism.
Price and Availability
This model is available at the following outlets:
Amazon - £38.90
Currys - £38.90
Dixons - £38.90
PC World - £38.90
Cartridges are available on Amazon:
HP C9351AE Ink Cartridge No 21 Black 5ml - £9.88
HP C9352AE Ink Cartridge No 22 C/M/Y 5Ml - £11.17
For the price this is a very good printer, although it may lack many features of higher priced models, it still provides exceptional quality. This printer is perfect for general home use and I would easily recommend it to anyone who was looking for a printer for their school children to print out their homework.