HP Officejet 7000 review

Is there a place for an inkjet in business printing? HP's A3 capable Officejet 7000 makes a very convincing case as this review demonstrates.

The new images per minute (ipm) figures also measure how many pages are printed every minute, but use a specific set of documents, which include pages of graphics, tables, and formal letters. These are printed at normal quality, rather than draft, in accordance with the criteria of ISO/IEC 24734. This guarantees that every printer is tested in the same way. These ipm figures are far more representative of real-world use than ppm measurements.

HP's figures accurately reflect the results of our own tests. A standard-quality page of mono text printed at 9.6ppm, while our heavily illustrated mixed-colour business documents emerged at a very reasonable 3.8ppm. Draft text that looks good enough for everyday printing emerged at a blistering 17.6ppm.

Standard quality mono text is sharp enough to rival a laser printer, even on cheap 80gsm paper, thanks to HP's pigmented black ink. We got even better results using 120gsm inkjet paper, while HP's own-brand brochure papers are pricey but produce flawless glossy results. Our illustrated presentation documents and colour business graphics also looked excellent on 80gsm, with bright, smooth block colours and no visible banding.

Photo printing isn't the Officejet's strong point. Only the dye-based cyan, magenta and yellow inks are suitable for use on photographic paper, so black is created by combining these three colours on the page. This means that dark areas look a little washed out, but image quality was otherwise good. Although it can't take the place of a fully-fledged photo printer, the Officejet is certainly up to printing the odd poster. It's quick, too: a best-quality A3 photo print emerged in five minutes and 26 seconds and costs around 1.70 including both ink and paper.

Alongside excellent print quality, the Officejet 7000's most appealing feature is its low print costs. The printer comes with standard HP 920 ink cartridges capable of printing 420 black and 300 colour pages. When you replace your inks, we recommend HP's high yield 920XL cartridges, which can produce 1,200 black and 700 colour prints.

We've calculated our print costs based on these figures. Pricing for these cartridges is around 17 for black and 7.50 for each colour cartridges (prices quoted include VAT). This produces a mono page cost of just 1.4p and a combined black and colour pages of 4.7p per A4 page.

Verdict

HP's Officejet 7000 is a phenomenal business inket. Despite being one of the cheapest A3+ printers on the market, it costs remarkably little to run. Text and graphical print quality are both excellent and its photo printing is good enough for most business uses. Although it's not as sturdy as some large-format office printers, it's sleek, well designed and easy to use and install. This printer ticks all the boxes and is a perfect addition to any small office with big printing requirements.

Technology: Thermal inkjet Print resolution: 4,800x1,200dpi (optimised) OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista, MacOS X v10.4/10.5 Maximum paper size: A3+ Maximum Paper weight: 280gsm Paper tray capacity: 150 sheets Maximum duty cycle: 7000 pages per month Duplex: No PictBridge support: No Borderless printing: A3+ Direct (PC-less) printing: No Memory card support: None CD printing: No Connectivity: USB, 10/100 Ethernet Dimensions: 402x574x181mm Weight: 7.0kg

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