According to market research firm IDC, the overall worldwide printer market recorded a decline of 6.3 percent in the third quarter of 2015.The only bright spot in the printer market is the business inkjet printer and all-in-one segment which showed a 16.3 percent year-over-year growth.
In the all-in-one segment, there is a profitable niche for wide format printers like the HP OfficeJet Pro 7740. It is priced at RM1,259 in Malaysia including GST.
Design and Features
The HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 is not the most visually striking printer that you will see. Its black and beige matte finish is more reminiscent of the 90's than the present day where there are a lot more colour variations available.
Being a wide format printer capable of handling A3-size sheets, italso does not have the smallest footprint. It can print, scan and copy documents up to 11 x 17 inches in size. It has two paper trays, each with a maximum capacity of 250 sheets.
The maximum monthly duty cycle is 30,000 pages while the recommended duty cycle is 1,500 pages. This makes it an ideal printer for a small to medium-size office. It also supports duplex printing.
In addition to the flatbed scanner at the top, the OfficeJet Pro 7740 also has an automatic document feeder (ADF) which has a maximum capacity of 35 sheets. The ADF supports single pass duplex scanning up to A4 size.
The left front side of the OfficeJet Pro 7740 has a 2.6-inch colour touch screen. A USB port for direct printing nestles below it. The device supports both wired and wireless printing. If you choose wired printing, you have a choice between USB and Ethernet.
The OfficeJet Pro 7740 supports HP Wireless Direct, HP's answer to Wi-Fi Direct. The all-in-one is also Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print compatible. Scanning resolution tops out at 1200x1200 dpi.
Installation and Performance
Setting up the printer is not the most painless process that we have encountered. The only hitch was that the HP driver could not directly recognise our Wi-Fi network. Even manual typing of the IP address proved insufficient. So we had to temporarily connect via USB during the driver installation process.
On the flip side, installing the printer cartridges is a smooth process. All the individual cartridges go into a single box which is then slotted in.
In a nice touch, HP has included a small light inside the printer so that you do not have to fiddle in the dark.
How does the OfficeJet Pro 7740 perform?
In short, extremely well in most departments.
The OfficeJet Pro 7740 is the fastest ink cartridge-based printer that we have seen. In our test sheets which have around 80 percent coverage (text and images), the HP device took an average of just eight seconds per page.
To put this in perspective, this easily puts the OfficeJet Pro 7740 in the same league as laser printers. This performance is even more impressive when you consider that some refillable ink tank printers like the Epson L655 take minutes per page.
Another positive is the printer's ability to handle different types of paper. The OfficeJet Pro 7740 had absolutely no problem with the thinnest or thickest paper that we threw at it. Whether it is thin 70 gram papers or thick 120 gram glossy ones, we did not encounter a distorted print or a paper jam even once.
So does this high speed impact print quality?
Not one bit.
In fact, at 'Normal' quality settings, the OfficeJet Pro 7740's text and photo print quality is comparable to the 'High' settings in other printers like the Epson L655. And if you use the top quality setting, it easily exceeds the output quality of all other inkjets that we have seen.
The only facet where the OfficeJet Pro 7740 trails the refillable ink tank printer is in printing cost per page. HP provided us with its 'XL' range of cartridges. The colour cartridges are priced at RM108 each while the larger black one will set you back by RM178.
In our tests, the colour cartridges ran out after 180 pages. The black cartridge lasted an extra 175 pages. This means if you are printing documents which have around 80 percent ink coverage (like our test pages), your cost per colour page will be around RM0.80. Black and white printing costs will be approximately half that. Although the printing cost is higher than refillable ink tank printers, this is actually lower than other inkjets that we have seen.
This HP all-in-one is an excellent replacement for aging, higher cost laser printers. With its very high printing speed, features, ability to handle multiple paper types, sizes and unmatched print quality, the OfficeJet Pro 7740 is our Editor's Choice in the category of all-in-one inkjet printers.
Rating: 5 out of 5
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