The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 All-in-One Printer ($179.99) offers a wealth of features, including an auto-duplexing automatic document feeder (ADF), which many of its competitors lack. Should you opt for HP’s Instant Ink ink subscription service, it delivers competitive running costs. These perks, along with good output quality for text, graphics, and photos, elevate the OfficeJet Pro 6978 to our new Editors’ Choice midrange all-in-one printer (AIO) for low- to medium-volume printing in small or micro offices and workgroups.
The HP ScanJet Pro 3000 s3 Sheet-Feed Scanner ($429.99) is a good value as a moderately priced desktop document scanner. An upgrade in capacity and features from the entry-level HP ScanJet Pro 2000 we reviewed recently, it is faster than the Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula DR-C225 and the Brother ImageCenter ADS-2000e. The ScanJet 3000 includes a well-rounded software bundle, and, in testing, the hardware performed well. Optical character recognition (OCR) accuracy is about average, and speed is excellent. All this makes the ScanJet 3000 our new Editors’ Choice personal desktop document scanner, though it’s also good for a small or micro office or workgroup.
A recent addition to the ScanJet family, the ScanJet Pro 2000 s1 Sheet-feed Scanner ($299.99) is a capable low-volume document scanner comparable in capacity and features to the Editors’ Choice Canon imageFormula DR-C225, as well as the adept Brother ADS-2000e. The ScanJet 2000 is fast for the price, and its optical character recognition (OCR) accuracy is about average. It comes with a comprehensive software bundle consisting of top-drawer OCR and document and business card management programs, making it an exceptional value. In testing, it fell behind some competitors when saving to searchable PDF, but not enough to keep us from recommending it as a strong, inexpensive choice for small and micro offices and workgroups, or as a personal document scanner.
The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M130fw ($259.99) is an inexpensive monochrome laser all-in-one printer (AIO) designed for micro- and home-office use. Given its compact size and feature set, it should perform well as a personal AIO, too. It’s significantly smaller and lighter than the Editors’ Choice Canon imageClass MF227dw, but even though both machines are similarly priced, the M130fw comes up short in a few key areas. It supports only manual duplexing, for instance, and has higher-than-average running costs. Even so, the LaserJet Pro M130fw is a solid choice overall for low-volume small and home-based office monochrome output, as well as moderate personal printing, copying, scanning, and faxing.
Just a few years ago, wide-format printers—which print to tabloid-size (11×17-inch) or larger paper—were seldom seen, and usually expensive. Nowadays, though, all of the major makers of inkjet printers (Brother, Canon, Epson, and HP) offer at least one in their consumer- and small-business-priced lines. Brother has gone in the biggest on wide-format, in that nearly all of its Business Smart models can print pages up to tabloid-size. And several such models, such as the Brother MFC-J6535DW, also scan and copy 11×17-inch pages.
So can the machine at the center of today’s review, HP’s $249.99-MSRP Officejet Pro 7740 Wide Format All-in-One. The ability to handle tabloid-size pages greatly increases your design options across a host of scenarios. It allows you, for example, to create spreadsheets twice the width of standard letter-size (8.5×11-inch) paper, as well as four-page (and larger) letter-size booklets, by simply printing two pages on each side and folding the sheet in the middle.
However, as we’ll get into later on, unlike some Brother models, the Officejet Pro 7740’s cost per page (CPP) is high—too high, in fact, for any kind of real printing in volume. On the other hand, the Epson WorkForce WF-7620 (a two-drawer version of the WorkForce WF-7610 that we reviewed a while back) has even higher running costs than the Officejet Pro 7740. The printer’s maximum monthly duty cycle (the number of pages HP says you can print safely each month) is 30,000 pages, but the recommended monthly page limit is a mere 250 to 1,500 pages. That said, that’s less a cause for concern than it might seem at first. Given this Officejet model’s CPP figures, printing a few hundred pages (say, up to 500) each month is the only practical use for it in terms of value for money.
A major difference between the Officejet Pro 7740 and competing Brother tabloid-capable models is that the former churns out better-looking business graphics and photos. Epson’s wide-format models, on the other hand, have comparable output to the Officejet Pro 7740, and they support pages up to 13×19 inches (also known as Super B or Super A3), making those machines’ output all the more versatile. (That also applies to the company’s much more expensive—$999.99 list—WorkForce Pro ET-16500 EcoTank Wide-Format All-in-One Supertank Printer.) The 13×19-inch format makes a decent-size poster, for instance.
Nowadays, finding a wide-format printer isn’t the issue; it’s finding the one that suits your needs, such as whether quality output supersedes the cost of use. In addition to superb print quality, the Officejet Pro 7740 has a wide range of mobile- and cloud-connectivity features, as well as a single-pass automatic document feeder (ADF) for faster, more efficient two-sided (duplex) scans.
We like this Officejet as a relatively low-volume tabloid printer, but you’ll get much more value from it if you can make use of some of its other features, too, such as scanning oversize media, employing the optical character recognition (OCR), and using the printer from your smartphone and the cloud.
A step up from the $50-less-expensive HP ScanJet Enterprise 5000 s4, the ScanJet Enterprise Flow 7000 s3 Sheet-Feed Scanner ($849.99) scans faster and saves to image PDF quicker than many costlier competitors. But like many document scanners, including our Editors’ Choice, the Epson WorkForce DS-860, the ScanJet 7000 slows down considerably when saving scans to searchable PDF format—so much so that it’s not that much faster than the significantly lower-rated ScanJet 5000 when performing the same task. Even so, unlike some other competing models (including the DS-860), the ScanJet 7000 comes with both document management and business card archiving software, making it a terrific value and our new top choice for moderate to heavy-volume scanning in a medium-size office or workgroup.
.The HP ScanJet Enterprise Flow 5000 s4 Sheet-Feed Scanner ($799.99) is a relatively fast and capable scanner designed for midsize offices. It’s not quite as speedy as our Editors’ Choice, the Epson WorkForce DS-860,, but it does scan and save to both image and searchable PDF formats at a good clip, not to mention that it lists for nearly $400 less than the Epson model. The ScanJet 5000 also comes with both business card and document management software, which the Epson and several other competitors do not. Given its low price, speed, software bundle, and accuracy, it’s a good choice for moderate to heavy-duty scanning in a medium-size office.
HP’s PageWide Pro and PageWide Enterprise inkjet printers are among the best laser alternatives available. The PageWide Enterprise Color 556dn ($749.99) is essentially the same machine as HP’s slightly less expensive ($699.99) Editors’ Choice PageWide Pro 552dw$585.99 at Amazon, with a few differences in features. Like the 552dw, the 556dn is fast and prints well, and it’s highly expandable. Unlike the 552dw, however, the 556dn has some of the lowest running costs in the business. That’s enough for it to nudge the 552dw out as our Editors’ Choice for medium-to-heavy-duty standalone printers for micro and small offices.
Even though they’re often more expensive to purchase and use, all else being equal, HP’s LaserJet printers earn it. The technology inside is field-leading, and they tend to be more modern- and stylish-looking than most of their competitors. And that’s saying something when you’re talking about most single-function laser printers, which favor the “plain cube” look. Most wind up box-shaped and bland-looking.
The topic of today’s review, HP’s $799.99-MSRP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn, can’t quite escape that, though the company does add a few curves to give it a distinct look. It’s a single-function color laser printer meant, as the name suggests, for businesses with large workgroups to serve and a need for managed print resources. We’re catching up with this model in April 2016, but it’s been on the market for a while. And it hasn’t followed the usual price trends for a midlife product.
We should point out that as we wrote this in early April 2016, that everywhere we looked on the Internet, this specific LaserJet model sold for its full manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), or more. Indeed, at Amazon, it sold for $200 higher than the MSRP, or $999.99, which is something that we don’t often see. That this LaserJet has been on the market for nearly an entire year and still commands such pricing suggests that it has been well-received so far.
In fact, everywhere we’ve looked, the M553dn has received high ratings. Like most of the HP laser printers we’ve reviewed recently, such as the Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw, the M553dn comes with the company’s latest JetIntelligence toner cartridges and reformulated ColorSphere 3 toner, which (according to HP), delivers a bunch of advantages compared to earlier LaserJets and other, competing laser printers.
As we noted in our reviews of some other recent LaserJets, the claims about the new JetIntelligence cartridges and ColorSphere 3 toner include the ability for the toner particles themselves to melt at a lower temperature. (In a laser printer, the toner dust that gets arranged on the page is melted in place by a hot roller.) This, along with a few other enhancements, allows LaserJets to burn—again, according to HP—53 percent less energy, take up to 40 percent less space, and wake up and print two-sided (duplex) pages faster than previous LaserJet models could. (The wake-up speed is tied in with the need for the fuser to hit a lower relative temperature to do its job.)
HP also says that the enhancements done to toner and cartridge alike deliver many more prints from a cartridge, compared to previous LaserJets. As we pointed out in our review of the Color LaserJet Pro M477fdw (and other LaserJets), while this also allows for smaller cartridges and, therefore, smaller printers, it does nothing to reduce the per-page cost of the toner. We’ll get into that issue in some detail in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on.
Even though the Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn has an 80,000-page monthly duty cycle (the maximum number of prints HP says the printer can handle each month), if you actually pushed it that hard—even by as much as, say, a third of the rating—this MFP, compared to many other laser and laser-class (LED-based) printers we’ve looked at, would cost a bit too much to use in terms of toner.
That factor—the somewhat high cost per page—plus a purchase price that seems impervious to discounting and a lack of built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, are our only real complaints about this printer. Other than that, it did what we expected it to, and well.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.
Among the most successful multifunction printers (MFPs) in recent years has been HP’s 2014 Officejet Pro 8630 All-in-One Printer—also, not coincidentally, one of our highest-rated Editors’ Choice recipients (4.5 out of 5 stars) over the past few years. An all-in-one (AIO) printer must hold up well under our scrutiny and impress us to receive so high a score.
Alas, all good things must eventually get refreshed and replaced.
Now, it’s time to talk about not only the Officejet Pro 8630’s replacement, but also the retirement of the entire Officejet Pro 8600 series, which includes the 8600, 8610, 8620, and the 8630 flagship model. The 8630 is much like the 8620, minus the former model’s second drawer. In the same way, aside from dropping a few features, such as an auto-duplexing ADF (and, of course, that second drawer), the 8610 is much like the 8620.
HP’s new generation was unveiled in early March 2016. The Palo Alto printer giant introduced, along with 15 to 20 other printer models, the Officejet Pro 8700 series, which included the flagship, today’s review unit. The $399.99-MSRP Officejet Pro 8740 All-in-One Printer, as you’ll see over the course of this review, is no incremental update to the Officejet Pro 8630. Apart from some similar specs, these two printers don’t have a lot in common—especially, as shown in the image below, in appearance…
In fact, this series, including our Officejet Pro 8740 review unit, which we’ll discuss in some detail in the Design & Features section next, looks quite different from any inkjet AIO we’ve seen, now or in the past.
In addition to the Officejet Pro 8740, on March 8 HP also unveiled the Officejet Pro 8710, which is a bit of an outlier. In addition to having, as you’d expect, features reduced versus the Officejet Pro 8740, it’s dark gray (unlike the 8720, 8730, and 8740) and looks more like the previous-gen 8610 than the other three new releases do. The Officejet Pro 8720, 8730, and 8740 are more of a kind, with several features in common, including legal-size (8.5×14-inch) duplex printing, scanning, copying, and faxing, plus single-pass duplex scanning.
We expect all of these features, as well as a respectable per-page cost of operation (what we call the “cost per page,” or CPP) for both black-and-white and color pages, from any business-centric inkjet that lists for $400. That’s not the upper limit for business inkjets these days, but it’s a premium machine. We’ll look at the CPP, as well as this AIO’s versatile paper-handling options, in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on. But a teaser: If you plan to print and/or copy at levels close to this machine’s actual 30,000-page monthly duty cycle, the CPP here is probably a bit too high. That’s compared to some other relatively high-volume models, including HP’s own significantly more expensive PageWide Pro 577dw Multifunction Printer we reviewed a few weeks ago.
Of course, seldom is it a good idea to push any printer to its absolute maximum suggested limit, month in and month out. If you have printing needs that heavy, you need to buy a printer with a bit more overhead. That said, this AIO’s CPP is about right for what it is, if you use it for well under HP’s recommended monthly printing limit, or “duty cycle”—even though $399 is a bit pricey for a printer in this class. Printer pricing is an ever-moving target, though, and if the Officejet Pro 8740 behaves on the open market as its predecessor did, it will spend much of the time on sale at around $299, which we think is a much more appropriate price given the competition. (At this writing, that remained to be seen, though.)
All that said, as usual with HP, you’re paying for style and innovation, as well as dependability and quality. For many users, those assets are worth a premium price. And we think that most folks would be happy with this printer whether they paid an additional $50 or $100 for it, or not. Pricing quibbles aside, the Officejet Pro 8740 is a very fine—and refined—small business and micro-office printer.
Read the entire review at Computer Shopper