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I purchased this printer about 7 years ago; due to starting at college I found that it was something I was going to need. I had the PC already with Windows XP on and it was compatible with this as well as easy to use.
Well it only requires 2 of these, 1 black and 1 colour. If you go for the HP ones you can look to pay upwards of £20 for the black and £40 for the colour, this includes on the high street in shops like Rymans; however you can use compatible carts which can be purchased from many places over the net, the cheapest I found was £8 for black and about £15 for colour. Then there places like Cart World who will refill the carts for £14 for the black and £20 for the colour, so it depends on what you prefer to use and pay in terms of what you want quality wise. I didn't find much difference of quality between the HP originals and compatible carts; however when it comes to using Cartridge World ones I found they were ok from the start but after a bit of use the printer decided it didn't want to go any more and stopped working giving an error of check black/colour cartridge, first cart replacement it gave the error regarding the colour cart, the next replacement to fix his it was the black. For about 3 or 4 months it wouldn't work because of this error, took it to Cartridge World to be looked at, they had for 3 days, went to pick it up and although they hadn't managed to look at it, they plugged it in and hey presto! it worked, so I took it home plugged it in and yep it wasn't a fluke, until about a week later when it came up with the error again for the black cart.
When I first installed this printer it took about 5 minutes from plugging in to being able to use it; although it was recognised by Windows XP I did use the Software CD provided and found this simple to use and easy to understand the instructions.
Despite the trouble with the carts, when it did work the quality was amazing for text, the lines were clean and it didn't use too much ink, enabling it to dry quick. This also applied to coloured printing, images were the best I'd seen compared to my printer before this and this made me even happier for use of printing some photo's, the quality wasn't perfect for this type of printing but it gave me the flexibility of being able to edit my photo's on screen for things such as red eye and cropping before printing.
The scanner was great for scanning in images from books or magazines as the lid gives you about a centimetre lift ability to fit thicker pieces of paper medium in without having to struggle to get what you want on the screen.
It can read media cards such as Compact Flash I and II, Smart Media and Sony Memory Stick; however, I have never used the smart media reader on mine as I had this facility on my PC which seemed easier and more convenient to use.
Although it is supposed to be able to hold 100 sheets in the paper tray I found that it was best to load a few less than this each time, as when you put so much in the tray it had a habit of attempting to feed the paper through and often leaving a black line mark along the bottom of the page, which for college meant that each sheet this happened to went straight for recycling as it couldn't be handed in.
I can't possibly review this function of the printer as I never actually used it, didn't even test it! But I don't apologise for this as it has the alternatives of e-mail, regular mail and telephone to contend with.
SIZE AND WEIGHT...
You can't say that this printer is small by far, but you can see where the weight and size is distributed. The lid holds the scanner and photocopier part, along with the LCD display for options for the printer/fax/scanner and photocopying options (all of which I found you could access via the PC as well). The base holds the paper feeder, inner workings, print carts and media readers, so although bulky, it certainly holds everything it should and doesn't waste much empty space. Despite its size it is quieter than you would expect, I admit it's not silent but when you're printing off pages of 1 assignment whilst trying to concentrate on another it certainly won't put you off your thought pattern.
Brand new this printer cost me about £150.00 and for what I've used it for, for the last 7 years it was a well spent £150.00 at the time. Now-a-days you can pay around £30 for all-in-one printers but whether you'll get the quality of print, cost of cartridges is uncertain. I can say that all-in-ones are certainly lighter and smaller now-a-days though, which is a plus, but considering I bought this when all-in-ones were fairly new to the market I would say it was a spot on buy for me at the time.