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HP Deskjet 2710e review: A cheap compact printer that won’t exceed your expectations

A well-designed unit, but with slow speeds and so-so print quality, you get exactly what you pay for

A photograph of the HP Deskjet 2710e on a desk
Price
£46 exc VAT
  • Compact design
  • Very cheap
  • Poor performance
  • Underwhelming print quality
  • Connectivity issues
  • Expensive to run

‘Keep it simple’ advises the promotional sticker attached to the top of the HP Deskjet 2710e, and that’s exactly what this printer is designed to do. It’s the most basic all-in-one in HP’s new range, with a 7.6ppm 1200dpi print engine and a single sheet 1200dpi A4 flatbed scanner on the top. HP claims it can handle a monthly duty cycle of up to 1,000 pages, but it says more that the recommended monthly page volume is just 50 to 100. 

This is fundamentally a home printer used for homework, hobbies and printing e-tickets or holiday docs, but it could also work as a small or home office printer for the mostly paperless office. If you’re only printing 50 pages per month and barely doing any scanning or copying, why splash out for more speed or features that you’re not going to need?

The price is obviously the key selling point, but it’s also worth considering just how compact the 2710e is. HP lists its dimensions as 425 x 30 x 15.4cm, but the way the unit tapers in towards the desk means it uses even less space on your desktop; around 42 x 23cm. The light, low-profile lid on the flatbed scanner keeps the height down, while the LCD display and controls are arranged in a neat row along the left-hand edge. It’s hard to imagine anyone making a smaller all-in-one than this.

Of course, with this tiny form factor there’s no room for internal input or output trays. Instead, up to 60 sheets of office paper cram into a vertical rack at the rear, with a pull-out support to hold them securely. The flap at the front folds out to form the output tray, with a secondary support pivoting out to stop your documents falling to the floor. We’re not sure the design would survive life in a busy office and it all looks a bit messy, to be honest. Yet you get the feeling that the Deskjet 2710e isn’t designed for full-time use. It’s more of a small part-timer that looks its best with everything stowed away neatly.

Simplicity has been a hallmark of HP’s setup process over the last couple of years, and the Deskjet 2710e takes the same app-based approach as most of its recent stablemates. Turn the printer on and install the two cartridges, and you can add the printer to the network from the Windows or smartphone HP Smart app, run the alignment routine then get to work. This has worked brilliantly on other HP printers we’ve tested, but with our test 2710e things fell apart.

A photograph of the HP Deskjet 2710e

 It took four goes with the Android version of HP Smart before the printer completed the process, with a wireless disconnection brought things to a halt the first three times at different stages. We had similar issues on our first two attempts at making the 2710e connect to the Windows app, even though the printer was already connected to the network when we started. Ironically, HP pushes stable wireless connectivity as a feature, with support for dual-band Wi-FI and an automatic Wi-Fi reset if the signal’s lost, but that connection didn’t seem all that stable while we were setting this one up. To be fair, though, we didn’t have any further disconnections during testing.

You won’t be surprised to hear that the Deskjet 2710e is no speed demon. With our 24-page monochrome document, it took nearly 19 seconds for the first page to hit the output tray, with subsequent pages appearing at a rate of 9.87ppm. This improved to 15.9ppm with the print quality switched from Better to Draft, but the wait for the first page was still over 16 seconds. 

Colour performance is worse, with the first page taking up to 50 seconds to put in an appearance, and the page rate from there stuck at around 5.7ppm. These results put the 2710e behind even its stablemate, the Deskjet 4120  –  itself a fairly slow printer. 

As for the print quality, it’s fine for the price but nothing more. In Better and Best quality modes you get sharp black text, but the definition isn’t as fine or as consistent as you’ll get from models further up the HP range like the Envy Inspire 7920e, while draft text is greyer with a slightly fuzzy look. 

Colour business graphics are punchy, but you can see slight signs of banding and dithering on gradients, while text overlaid on a blue or yellow box looks somewhat murky. The output is good enough for casual use or a quick draft for checking and proofreading purposes, but if you’re after professional-quality printing then you’re going to want to spend more.

It's a similar story for mono and colour copying. Speeds aren’t great, at around 20 seconds for a mono A4 page or 34 seconds for colour, and the reproduction is patchy in areas, with the printer delivering thicker, darker text than you’ll find in the original or struggling to match vibrant greens and reds. 

A photograph of the HP Deskjet 2710e on a desk

The Deskjet 2710e will also print photos, though we found it touch and go working with heavier photo papers, often refusing to feed them in on the first try and waiting until we’d pulled them out and reinserted them. Photo printing speeds aren’t painfully slow, at around 80 seconds for an A5 photo or two minutes for an A4 photo print with quality set to high, but the prints themselves are more usable than impressive. Brighter colours reproduce quite well, but softer tones tend to look faded and you don’t get the clarity or detail you’ll find on prints from more expensive models like the Envy Inspire 7224e. The output’s good enough for a quick print of a smartphone snap, but you wouldn’t want to frame it.

As for scanning, there’s little wrong with the scans or the time taken to scan them – roughly 24 seconds for an A4 page at 300dpi. However, the lightweight lid makes it hard to scan, say, a magazine or book without keeping one hand on the lid to stop it slipping or too much light getting in. 

While the hardware is cheap, print supplies can be expensive. Even with HP’s XL cartridges you’re looking at £19 inc VAT for the colour cartridge and £21 inc VAT for the black. With yields of 200 pages and 240 pages respectively, the cost per page works out at nearly 9p per black and white page and up to 20p per colour page – and that’s without ink wastage through occasional head cleaning. If you’re planning to print more than 50 pages per month, it’s worth investing in a more expensive printer with cheaper running costs like the Epson EcoTank ET-1810

Alternatively, you can do what HP would prefer you do and sign up for an Instant Ink subscription through HP+. Six months is bundled with the printer, and after that you’ll pay  £2.99 inc VAT for up to 50 pages or £4.49 per month for up to 100. If you’re thinking of moving up to the £9.99/300 page plan, then this probably isn’t the printer for you.

On one hand, the Deskjet 2710e is a perfectly decent low-cost printer. £55 isn’t much to spend on a printer, let alone an all-in-one, and while we can complain about the slow speeds and the average print quality, you can’t really expect a whole lot more at this price point. Yet if you can spend more, we’d urge you to do so. You’ll get better print quality, faster speed and more consistent paper handling and wireless connectivity. Buy the 2710e if you only print very occasionally, but try and find a bit more budget if you want to do anything more demanding.

HP Deskjet 2710e specifications

Format

1,200 x 1,200dpi A4 inkjet MFP, 1,200 x 1,200dpi flatbed A4 scanner

Print speed

Up to 7.5/5.5ppm mono/colour

Display

34mm/1.5in LCD display

Networking

802.11n

Connectivity

USB 2.0

Print type

Single sheet, single-sided

Tray size

60-sheet, 20-card input tray

Recommended monthly duty cycle

100

Dimensions

425 x 546 x 250mm

Weight

3.42kg

Warranty

1yr RTB

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