Review: HP Deskjet 3070A
- — 16 May, 2012 22:00
|Name||Multifunction printer: HP Deskjet 3070A|
|At a glance:||Great text print quality and speed,Photo quality limited by colour issues,Low colour scan speed|
|Summary:||A good entry-level printer/scanner combo, not ideal for photo printing.|
The HP Deskjet 3070a’s two-tone grey design looks like a piece of office equipment, rather than something you’d have at home. It’s not lightly coloured and shiny enough to fit in with Apple’s ecosystem, and too lightly coloured to look good beside a traditional black desktop. Still, style is not exactly a critical consideration when it comes to entry-level printers.
The unpackaging and setup is all simple enough, with clear instructions both on the printer’s 2-inch monochrome LCD and the setup CD. From the numerous configuration options, I chose to connect via Wi-Fi using Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), and had the printer on my network within thirty seconds.
After setup, the Deskjet spits out a page that tells you how to set up HP’s ePrint internet-based printing. I’d rather it displayed the web link and your personalised ‘printer code’ on screen, considering the code is quite long (13 alphanumeric characters).
Once set up, printing proved fast and reliable as long as the paper was loaded properly, which requires pulling out paper cassette/drawer as far as it will go, loading paper and then re-inserting the drawer. Otherwise, jams are common and the printer is often unable to grasp pages, particularly when paper is running low. I had to push gently on each sheet when using thick, glossy photo paper to make the printer grasp it and begin printing.
The deskjet’s print speed is advertised at up to 23ppm (pages per minute) draft, and 7.5ppm normal-quality colour. In our PC World standard tests, it managed 11.4ppm on monochrome text and lineart, 5.2ppm for monochrome graphics, 4.4ppm for colour graphics, and 2min 43sec per full-page photograph at best quality. These were some of the highest print speeds in our March 2012 roundup, and equal-highest for full page photos.
The rich colours and low image-noise prints produced by the Deskjet 3070a make for excellent reproduction of illustrations. Text is crisp and clear to an almost laser-like degree on both photo and copy paper. However, in full-page photo prints, black tones have a green tinge; the print quality is otherwise great, but this is an annoying downside.
Based on vendor information, print costs are approximately nine cents per black page and 30 cents per colour page with standard cartridges. Extended cartridges give eight cents per black page, and 22 cents per colour page. A full set of cartridges costs $85 (standard) or $147 (extended).
The Deskjet 3070A includes a flatbed scanner, which runs at up to 1200dpi. In our tests, scan speeds averaged 13 seconds per page for 300dpi monochrome, 1min 29sec per page for 600dpi colour, and 8min 24sec per page at 1200dpi colour. While the monochrome scan speed is average in its class, the colour scan speeds are notably low.
In terms of quality, scans are extremely sharp and exhibit minimal noise; some of the best results in class.
Overall, HP’s Deskjet 3070A is a basic, reliable home printer ideally suited to text and graphical printing such as web pages, school reports, and offline reading material. However, it’s not a great option for high-quality photo printing.