Do I want this printer? Yes!

This printer did more than meet our needs in my little office. However, it might be good to look at what needs this printer does meet in the wider world.

Oh, Officejet Pro, you are so pretty!
(Credit: Felix Mak)

Networkable

It's networkable, meaning there's no need to have it connected to a computer and share the printer through said computer, which would have to stay on all the time.

ePrint capable

Having an email address that is "owned" by the printer is very useful, especially for those who are out and about a lot and need to print off important documents for later collection.

Print apps

In my humble opinion, they're not the most useful of functions, but I guess there are those out there who still do not prefer to read the news from a screen. If you have young kids, or a need to do Sudoku, this might be for you!

Cool fax capabilities

The faxing of documents is a dying application, but a great many people still use faxes. While we unplugged our fax due to junk mail faxes, the feature of having faxes emailed instead of instantly printed is probably a small but important feature that would tip the scales for me if I was not sure about this printer.

Ink jet

Yes, printing lush, colour-rich documents on normal paper is always going to be a problem, but using different papers (photo paper, archival mat, etc) in an ink jet means that you have the capability of producing some decent desktop publishing items.

Double-sided printing

This is the biggest feature for the small office. Being able to print double sided is not only a great paper saver, it is also a time saver (saves you having to manually flip the paper, let alone work out which way to turn it!).

Other features

Memory stick, SD and USB. (Credit: Felix Mak)

  • It's USB, memory stick and SD card capable, for when you want to print something "right now" (but which printer doesn't have that nowadays?)
  • It has a very cool touchscreen; I had no problems using it, as it was very responsive
  • The sheet feeder was a very handy thing for double-sided copying.

OK, that covers the features of this printer, but how about just living with it?

Ooki desu yo!

So big it had to be spoken by a sumo. It takes up one half of my medium-sized desk. But when you think about it, even a smallish printer for $99 is going to have a fair footprint, and some of my A3 printers are quite long, though there is no getting around that it is a beefy item.

If you consider buying this printer, make sure you make room for it.

Always on

Yes, it is always on. Yes, it is in standby — which is better, but a network-capable printer is going to need to always be on (especially to use the cool features). If that is a problem for you, then it is something to keep in mind.

Security

There has been a little kerfuffle about printer security, but I have to say that if set up correctly, you won't really have any issues. The printer's account can be set up to receive emails from only designated email accounts, if you are worried about receiving spam prints. As far as I can tell, the printer is secure, network wise. I cannot see any wireless broadcasting from it, unlike other printers around town. Not sure about you, but I would never put my printer on a public network.

In my humble opinion...

I do like this printer a lot! Print wise, photos are good (make sure you put your photo paper "print side" facing down in the tray!), paper handling is good and print speed for black and white is relatively fast. But I do love the following:

  • Fax to email
  • Emailing the printer to print
  • The fact that it is wireless.

Considering the retail price of $499 (and I am sure you can find it cheaper), I believe that it is worth the investment, when compared to the features and the support products that go along with it. So, two thumbs up from me!

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