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It's difficult to recommend this printer, since it no longer really has any kind of market. As a student, I use it for continually churning out journal articles and essays, but since cartridges are expensive, it's not a great printer for a student to have. The printer doesn't print particularly quickly by modern standards, so wouldn't really suit the office environment. Neither does it print in particularly high quality, so it also wouldn't really suit the home creative enthusiast. So while it fulfils its mandate as 'a printer' reasonably well, printing consistently and without fault, it's difficult to say that this is a good purchase for anyone. In terms of actual performance, on good quality, it prints at between 3-4PPM, and on draft quality, this increases to around 8PPM. The quality of text reproduction is good and is difficult to fault. One gripe would perhaps be that my paper feeder doesn't appear to feed in a straight line, resulting in wonky prints. I'm yet to work out whether this is a printer fault, or an error on my part, but in the mean time, I would advise against buying this printer.
I brought this printer in 2001 for just over £200. Even though the price has dropped slightly, there are cheaper HP printers out there, although print speeds may be slightly slower. Easy to setup, but I soon noticed that the printer was making an indent on every sheet of paper I printed, which wasn't good. After calling technical support, I was told to return the printer for a replacement. The new printer didn't dent the paper, but it still seemed to handle the paper quite roughly and the 'wings' which hold the paper out while printing seemed to operate only when it felt like it. I've printed over a thousand pages of text and graphics and the printer is a good workhorse, although for some reason the occasional page would be printed in high quality even though I set it to print in draft. The paper feed also isn't perfect. Despite using HP paper, the printer will occasionally pull 2 sheets of paper at once instead of a single sheet, which is irritating if you're printing a long document. The duplex printing module that comes with the printer is disappointing. The main problem is that the pages will have a very big margin at one end of the paper, hardly ideal. For more reliable two sided printing, just feed the paper back into the paper tray and leave the duplex module in the box...which means the price premium for this feature is wasted. The ink cartridges are reasonably priced and last quite a long time. But if I could turn back the clock, I'd go for one of the cheaper HP printers without the duplex module and save a bit of money.
The HP Deskjet 990cxi professional series is the highest quality colour printer that I have ever owned. I have owned lots of other printers made by all sorts of manufacturers and this is the best one yet. It is a photo quality printer and it is very fast at printing, it will do on average about 17 pages of black and white per minute and about 13 pages of colour per minute. It is a very intelligent printer and if there is a problem it will tell you by a flashing red light. When you notice this red light you should open the top of the printer and the cartridge will come out. This cartridge has an arrow on top of it and it will move out and point at a symbol to tell you what is wrong with it. The cartridges are reasonably priced and they are very easy to find in computer shops and are easy to fit into the printer. It has an automatic double-sided printing option. All you have to do is replace the back of the printer with a piece (which is included with the printer) and there you are. You also have the option of using either a parallel cable to your computer or a USB. But you will find that the USB cable is by far the best as it is faster at sending information and you can plug it into your computer even after you have booted it up.
I've recently gone back to University and our post-grapduate computer LAN has a HP Deskjet 990cxi for the use of Honours students. This printer is really very capable of handling the large amount of printing we tend to do - sure, we go through about 1 ink cartridge a week, but I was so impressed with the speed at which it prints documents. Even more impressive to me was that it is capable of double-sided printing, automatically. My printer at home is the Lexmark 3200, and I get so annoyed at printing documents - I have to first print all the odd-numbered pages, wait for them all to be completed, then turn the stack of pages around and replace them in the printer, then print out the even pages. While this may not seem like quite such an catastrophe, it is when a page gets jammed, or two pages get stuck together, then all the printing has to be re-done because now the numbering doesn't match up any more, etc etc. Its a real mission! But not with the HP Deskjet 990cxi. It does this automatically, including a dry time, so the ink doesn't smudge. This printer zips through your pages on draft mode, a touch slower on normal (still quite fast though) - but the quality is so good, I've never used Best quality, so couldn't tell you what I think of the speed of that. Even better, it comes with Infra-red, so my laptop can connect to it with no cables (and without unplugging it from the desktop its currently connected to. Big plus. This is a fantastic little printer, and I would recommend this to anyone or any SOHO who wants to do large volumes of printing, in a very short time, but still requires high quality printing.
Know for years for their brown tangy sauce, HP have branched out into computer equipment, most notably printers. OK, OK I know it's not the same company, but it makes me laugh. Yes I am easily pleased! Anyway on with the show, the 990 is HP's (Hewlett Packard) latest inkjet printer. It's the newest addition to the highly successful DeskJet range. Following in the footsteps of last years 950 and 970 printers this carries printing technology one step further. The 990 is, at the moment, the fastest inkjet you can buy. At maximum speed you should be able to print black text at an amazing and paper scorching 17 pages per minute. (Before too long we'll be measuring this in pages per second!). Of course to be able to reach this "velocity", you have to switch it to draft mode and low print quality, but to be honest the quality is good enough to allow you to do this without it looking too bad. However an interesting side-effect of this super-speed, is that the ink doesn't have a chance to dry, and documents often come out wet and easily smudgable (made-up word? Very likely!) for a couple of seconds! At the speeds quoted by HP, you can see this printer is maybe aimed at small/home office rather than a family user, this easily keeps up with most small/medium laser printers, just not as economical. Speed is one thing quality is another, we know it does fast laser quality text printing, but what about colour? After all this is a colour printer. Well don't expect to be printing photos at 17ppm it won't, in fact it won't print anything in colour other than text at the quoted colour 13ppm, it's fast but not that fast. Expect at least a couple of minutes for a high quality colour print (photo sized). Colour quality is excellent, and at maximum resolution (thanks to HP's Photo RET 3 technology) it prints at 2400dpi, that's pretty high, however it's worth bearing in mind that the dp i of Hewlett Packard printers is bumped up by the Photo RET software, it's not really a true dpi count (say, in comparison to an Epson printer) The software helps the printer "overprint" where it has ALREADY printed, which it can do thanks to HP's inks which are slightly thinner than other inks, meaning you get great results on standard paper (without it going all wet and wrinkly…ooo-er!), and don't have to use photo paper, although you get better results if you do! All HP printers use 3 colours and a black, even in their high-end photo printers, the results are good, however if you look closely enough at any photos you print, you CAN see the dots, sometimes too easily, (compare this to the Epson 890, review coming soon) of course if you're not a perfectionist then that really doesn't matter, only people who are after a dedicated photo printer should bear this in mind. Maybe HP should consider a 6-colour system soon! Onto more shallow matters, this printer looks cool, it will look good sat on anyone's desk, rather than the dull grey, HP have gone for a futuristic (well it IS 2001!) style and finished it in silver. It's a really sturdy printer and looks really well made, some printers look really plasticky and cheap this doesn't, it would go well in a professional business environment, and perhaps HP realise this as it has "professional series" emblazoned on the front. So what else does it do? It really does have lots of cool features, the one which strikes you when you first use it is the noise level….there is none, it is virtually silent, the only sound being that of the paper actually moving through the printer, very clever! On the subject of paper, when it starts printing, a light shines down through the printer onto the paper; this determines what type of paper you are using and adjusts the print quality accordingly. Desktop publishers will love this printer, it s hips with a duplexing unit, no that isn't a piece of Star Trek techno babble, it's the fancy sounding name for a device which bolts onto the back of the 990 and…..turns the paper over for you, that's right it automatically prints on both sides. Anyone with a Laptop or PDA will also benefit from an extra little something, an infrared input, just point and shoot. No more wires. This is actually really good, suppose you have the 990 plugged into your desktop, BUT you want to print from your laptop, well in the dark and dismal 20th century you have to unplug and re-plug the printer connections, not anymore just get in a line of sight and press print! As if by magic, your document appears. I have only used this function with my mobile phone (to print phone numbers, no I don't know why either!) and it really works. So in conclusion this really is a very good printer especially if you do a lot of general printing, it's certainly fast enough for office work, and good enough for pictures and the odd photo. However, if you're just printing text, buy a laser, it's cheaper to run about 2p per page, rather than the 990's 5-6p. If you're after a printer for photos it'll do it, but after a while I think the quality will become an issue, for photos go for a 6 colour Epson. But if you're after a fast printer for a bit of everything then the 990 can't be beat!