HP’s printing solutions span a wide area of markets, so there are different ranges that are targeted at different markets. The OfficeJet line is designed specifically for SoHos (Small Office / Home Office) segment. Every printer manufacturer out there has printers designed for this market. A typical SoHo environment would have between 5 and 15 users using the printer on a regular basis. Efficiency of printing and value-for-money is essential, but at the same time, the printer shouldn’t be overpriced either. HP’s OfficeJet 7500A is one of these printers. It’s an A3 inkjet all-in-one printer with a whole bunch of features put in it.
The OfficeJet 7500a is capable of doing everything from printing, scanning, faxing and copying. HP claims a print resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi and there’s support for A3 printing, as well. The scanner component supports a scan resolution of 4800 dpi, which on paper makes it sound like a very impressive printer. The list of connectivity options is also quite impressive and it should cover pretty much everything that a SoHo might require. Apart from the standard USB option, you can also set it up as a network printer using the Ethernet connectivity; it also supports Wi-Fi 802.11n connectivity.
Scores well in the design and build quality
If you wish to print photos directly from your camera’s memory card, that too is possible. It has a memory card reader that supports almost every memory card format out there with CompactFlash being the only one missing. It’s also missing a USB reading feature which is unusual for a product this expensive.
Design and Build Quality
The A3 printer due to its larger format is large and also pretty heavy. Most of the ports for the memory cards are placed in front, which makes it easily accessible. The upper surfaces of the printer have a glossy finish, while the rest of it has a matte finish. Overall, the build quality of the printer isn’t too shabby.
Getting used to the printer might take a while. Being a slightly advanced printer, there are more features and also more paper trays. The paper feed trays are a little confusing at times as they are all over the place. However, they are quite well built and aren’t flimsy at all. The user interface looks good, although it’s not as intuitive as the interface we’ve seen on some of Canon’s recent printers. While it looks good, the interface is too slow in operation. Also, the All-in-One’s response to commands is quite delayed.
Sluggish interface and a less respnsive touchpad
Printing speed of inkjet printers is generally slower than laser printers, but being a SoHo printer, speed is an important factor to consider while buying a printer. We used our set of printer tests which included a large text document and a PDF file with equal amounts of image and text. We made it print a document with multiple font sizes and also a high-resolution photo for the photo quality test. In regular black text prints, the text looked fine under a magnifying glass. There was some blotting noticed on some of the larger fonts on standard paper. Smaller font sizes look equally fine without any blotting of ink.
The printer takes approximately 8 to 10 seconds to warm up. Without warmup, the printer could churn out a text printout roughly in 8 seconds.
The draft mode on the 7500A claims to save ink. We used this mode and we did notice the print speeds to be superior to the standard printing modes. When it comes to coloured prints using PDFs, the printer churns out 10 prints in 1 min 38 seconds in the economy mode, but with the print quality set to normal, the time goes up to 4 min 26 for the same number of prints.
Memory slots should have included USB, as well
There is a noticeable drop in image quality. For one, there are wide and long vertical lines that appear on the printout. Colours also look a little faded and the saturation of blacks in the text is also lower. Colours are reasonably well rendered with no emphasis on any particular colours. We had some problems printing colour photos though. The rollers used to push the printed paper out run over the wet ink, thus leaving trails behind. We used good quality glossy paper for this test. In the areas that were unaffected, colours were natural and detail was also retained. Scan quality is good. Colours are slightly washed out but that’s present in most printers. We can still say that this is one of the best scanners that we’ve seen.
A good addition for a Small Office
The missing USB reading feature is something we would have preferred to have. The network capability means that you don’t need to dedicate a PC for the printer. In terms of performance too, it's quick and you won’t find yourself waiting in a queue for your prints. Priced at Rs. 24,999, the HP OfficeJet 7500A offers a ton of features and is pretty good value for money considering the good performance that it brings to the table.