Top 5 inkjet printers

Inkjet printers have evolved far beyond home and student use; our top-ranked models are fast, full-featured office workhorses that compete well with the lowest-cost color lasers -- even on cost per page

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Hewlett-Packard Officejet 7000
Officejet 7000 Review, by Susan Silvius, PC World September 22, 2009

Rating:

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Pros:
Fast; wide-format printing
Reasonably priced inks

Cons:
Expensive; limited paper handling
Photos can be oversaturated

Bottom Line: Printing posters and other large pieces is easy with this fast, wide-format model. Inks are cheap.

REVIEW:
The HP Officejet 7000 wide-format color inkjet printer gives small businesses and offices the ability to print larger-size documents, such as tabloid-size publications or small posters, in-house and for a reasonable cost. This added capability justifies its higher price ($230 as of 8/31/09) compared with a regular-size inkjet printer.

The Officejet 7000's speed in our tests was slightly above average overall. It printed plain text at 11.9 pages per minute and graphics at around 3.4 ppm. HP promises 33 ppm, but its spec ignores the processing time before the first page comes out--something the rest of us cannot do. All speed tests were performed using letter-size paper; assume that a tabloid-sized page would take twice as long.

The Officejet 7000 printed best on plain paper. Text was charcoal-gray rather than black, but crisp. Colors were smooth and realistic. We'd expect that coated inkjet paper would also produce good results. Step up to photo paper (HP's own), however, and colors start to veer off course. Flesh tones assumed an unsettling orange cast. Given this performance, the printer's lack of media slots is acceptable.

Features are geared more toward work than play, but at light volume. A single input tray holds up to 150 sheets. Above it, the 100-sheet output tray locks at an upward angle to ease media loading. Its telescoping extensions bounce easily when tapped. Automatic duplexing is manual only (with driver help); no upgrades to the paper handling are available.

The control panel is also spare. Buttons are identified by icons rather than words; the four LEDs with droplet-shaped icons (one for each ink color) lack any labels; and there's no LCD to display status or instructions. You'll need to consult the online manual to identify the controls and decipher at least some of the flashing LED combinations.

Ink costs are very affordable, especially when using the high-yield cartridges: The 1200-page black cartridge costs $32, or 2.7 cents per page, while each color cartridge costs $15 and lasts 700 pages (2.1 cents per page). Standard cartridges cost less than average.

At its best, the Officejet 7000 produces high-quality output on plain paper--and does so cheaply. Its features restrict it to use by small workgroups or home offices, however. For a faster and better-equipped (but costlier) option, check out its older cousin, HP's Officejet Pro K8600dn.

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