on 27 November 2011
I received my printer in 2 working days (despite only using the free Super Saver delivery) and it was packaged brilliantly as expected. Unpacking the printer was easy with everything easily accessible and sadly I got excited as the printer came inside a nice handy bag(!) within the box which will come in handy for shopping! Also, amazingly it comes with FREE INK to get you started which is such a bonus. It also comes with lots of manuals, CD ROM and a USB cable (I think - well I'm sure mine did) but I haven't used that as it was so easy to set up the wireless connectivity.
The set-up couldn't have been easier and even though I am 21, I do sometimes have difficulty with electrical items if the instructions are naff. However, there was a fold out instruction page with clear diagrams and step by step instructions which meant my printer was ready to use after about 15 minutes. I've read people had difficult setting up the wireless so I was expecting difficulties but it really was super easy, you just follow the on-screen instructions and it does it all for you!
The printer itself is a good size, I hate clumpy ones that take up all your space but this sits neatly and is rather compact on my desk. I've printed off lots of essays and a few pictures and the print quality is actually very good for the price and also surprisingly speedy. The printer is also relatively quiet which is obviously handy.
For £39 (which is what I paid), I think it is absolutely excellent value and a really great, speedy and compact printer with good print quality. I will update the review in a few weeks on how long the ink lasts. Ink I understand is of average price and you can buy the 'XL' versions of the ink which are HP's extra value (more expensive - but last much longer) so I am likely to invest in those.
********UPDATE ON INK!!!!! - The ink that comes free ran out pretty quickly (as expected). After reading around a bit, I found that generally the standard 301 HP ink cartridges are a bit naff and do run out quickly. BUT! I have just bought the 301XL ink which has much more ink and already I am noticing a huge difference - it is SO much better value for money so I would recommend buying the 301XL black and colour ink cartridges (from Amazon.co.uk or an Amazon merchant as it's miles cheaper than in the shops) with the printer if you can afford it. ***********
Overall, a great product for me (a university student) with average printing needs - essays, Powerpoint documents and some photos. Very chuffed with this! **UPDATE - still using it all the time, and still absolutely thrilled**
on 3 March 2012
First, let me explain, I am not a technically minded person, in fact my eyes glaze over any time someone starts talking about the specifications of a product. So when I started looking for a printer well, I relied heavily on what others had to say about it.
Right I wanted an all round printer/scanner to replace an old Lexmark printer that worked perfectly but was not compatable with windows 7 seems to lexmark, that it's too much trouble for them to update their software.
I saw this printer HP Deskjet 3050A on Amazon and after reading the reviews thought, well £35.00 seems cheap, but I will give it a go. The printer arrived on Saturday last week, but as I was in work all week and as I stated earlier that I am not technically minded, I thought I'd better leave it until my rest days when I would have plenty of time to "shout and scream and pull my hair out."
So at 3pm today I took the printer out of the box. With nerves twitching I began to take out all the paperwork and set it aside, and removed all the packaging. Then I opened the nice glossy leaflet that gave instructions how to install the device and set it up. The sweat had begun to bead on my brow as with anxiety I looked at the numbered drawings. Steps 1 - 3 described how to remove the blue sticky tape from the printer that kept all moveable parts in place during transit. That done, I connected the power cord, then I held my breath as I turned the machine on and then followed the printers on screen display to select English.....I had to press one button to do this. Then I installed the printer inks by......just pushing them into place. Then I placed paper into the hopper and it started printing a test page,and then it aligned itself.....of its own accord. Then came the part that really caused my heart to beat....I had to insert the disc into my computer.
The on screen instructions we easier to follow than the rules of noughts & crosses. At 3:10 pm I printed out my first test page. At 3:15pm I printed out my first test photograph from my own library.
In less than 15 minutes, I had unpacked, wired up and installed this printer and had it working. I could not believe it. I thought, I must have done something wrong, so printed other things off as well......all of this wirelessly. I burst out laughing as I do not understand how or even why wireless works and I imagined my photograph being converted into radio waves and then being converted back into a photograph as it printed out across the other side of the room without wires.
I printed out text on low quality to conserve ink and thought, that is better than my other printer used to print on high quality.
I printed a family picture out full A4 size taken outside in the garden with lots of light and shadow.....the picture is good enough to frame and that was ordinary A4 paper not even on photo paper.
In short, if you do not know what you are doing, then this is the printer for you. The print quality is superb, the time it takes to set up and get working and printing out your work is excellent and the ease of use.....well it is easy.
Yes I have read other reviews that mention that the machines materials feel flimsy and cheap, and yes they are a bit..... but then I do not intend playing football with it, or getting another one to use as juggling props. I have it on a shelf, where it will stay for the remainder of it's life. So I couldn't care if it was built of paper, it works and does the job. So do not be put off by the build quality.
I cannot rave enough about this printer. It is without doubt, the best buy for £35.00 that I have ever spent.
If you are looking for a great printer, then look no further.
I hope this was useful to you. Enjoy your printing.
You may think it silly to justify so much praise when I'm upgrading from a fairly old product (HP C4180), but technology moves so fast these days that my former 'all in one' still feels like it was bought yesterday. Of course, I had my reasons to ditch it;
- With now having more than one computer/device in the house, it was becoming a hassle to copy documents to one computer in order to print them off. Wireless is clearly the way to go.
- Ink... Ink... Ink! Printers now seem to be getting better in terms of value, and I was swayed by the two types of cartridge that you can get for this product - Economy (cheap) and XL (value).
- The print quality itself had started to drain. That could just be down to maintenance, but we've had the product for several years so I can't complain.
This 'HP Deskjet 3050A' (note that the 'A' means this is the updated model) manages to solve all these problems, and does so at a bargain of a price. In the box you'll find;
+ The device itself, which of course features Scan, Copy and Print functions.
+ Power cable and the adapter to go with it. This has been reduced in size and, judging by the thinness of the cable, requires less power which is great.
+ Software on disc for both Windows (XP, Vista and 7) and Macintosh (up to 10.6 Snow Leopard). This software can also be downloaded via the HP website, which is just as well as the DVD drive on our Windows XP machine conked out as I ejected it! Further more, if your Apple Mac has OS 10.7 Lion installed, you will NEED to download the latest software from the HP website. Do not install the CD-ROM.
+ Instructions with more form of dialect than C-3PO.
+ USB cable (a rarity for this value of printer)
+ Black and Colour Ink Cartridges, code HP-301. Check out the prices!
Setting up the product will require a bit of patience, but its all fairly straightforward. Before you faff around with your computers of devices, its important to power up the printer and install the cartridges/do an alignment check. Once this has finished, you're free to then connect it to your computer(s) via USB or wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity.
USB is obviously the easiest route and has come along miles since even my former printer. After downloading the software (which was only 70mb in size, or 3-minutes to download which is nothing) you simply plug in your printer, ignore Windows panicking about drivers, install the software and let it do the rest. From download to installation it all took about 7/8-minutes, so I was mightily impressed. It even sets the printer as the new default for you.
As a suggestion, I would personally recommend that you just download the software as this will ensure it is up-to-date. It only took a few minutes too, which makes the CD-ROM somewhat redundant these days.
For the iMac of the house, we would be connecting wirelessly. The HP software was again downloaded from HP and offers plentiful options/small programs that are fantastic for getting the most out of the product; most of which are not available for the Windows platform. This isn't "junk ware" though - it all sits in its own HP folder in your Applications are are very necessary to the operation of the product.
Setting up via Wi-Fi took a bit longer to fathom. With the printer turned on, the installation program will recognise it in a list (amongst any other devices you want to set-up for ePrint) and so you click to proceed. In my case, two of the same 'devices' were listed; one had 'Network' listed as the description, the other had 'HP Auto Connect'. Not knowing which to select, I used the latter and couldn't get it to pair with my computer, yet after choosing the 'Network' one later, it connected easily. My mistake of course, but it would have been nice to have more assistance on the matter!
Also, this installation process must come after you have actually told the printer to connect to your router. Again, this is an 'obvious' process, so you must remember to actually go to the printer, scroll to the Wireless menu, turn it ON and then pair it with your router in a matter of seconds. Once this is done, you're then OK to go to your computer and set it up wirelessly.
Without this confusion, I could have been connected in under 5-minutes, but thats the nature of computing... 90% you're doing things backwards!
Once you're all installed on Mac OS, you have a range of fine options, and the best bit of course is that the entire communication with the printer and your computer is now wireless. On your Widgets space you get a great new app that lets you monitor the Ink levels (brilliant!) and in your HP folder (Finder > Applications) you have a range of new applications that let you make the most of the features.
HP Utility is easily the best printer management software I've yet to encounter, and its clean interface is only matched by the amount of ways it allows you to control your product. HP Scan 3 is a very effective program that, as the name suggests, allows you to control the scanning process and is again definitely a step-up from some of the older HP software I've used. Likewise, HP Scan Destinations allows you to choose presets for how you scan (Picture, OCT or PDF), the file type for those presets, and then even the application that it opens with. As an example, you could make one to scan in TIFF and then open up automatically in Adobe Photoshop. This also rids of the need for TWAIN support, which has of course been dropped.
Scanning quality is a major step-up from my former printer. Its so good in fact that I've put off my plans to get a separate flatbed, for the definition of the PPI is much greater than what the same value would have been on my old C4180, which means I can scan in lower resolutions. This process can be done either automatically through your computer, or manually through the device.
Since the product's main interface (a screen which can be tilted up) has just 3 menu buttons, you have the immediate option to Scan, Copy or print a Quick Form. The latter is almost a 'template'-like option, and I imagine will have a small audience.
Print quality itself is superb and really couldn't be any better for a product of this price point. Its exceeded my expectations; text is incredibly sharp and doesn't appear to bleed at all. Colours can be a little muted, but this is to be expected with any non-laser printer. Perhaps i'm slightly biased in that I only really print off text documents, but I would say the colour reproduction is good enough for everyday use certainly. Thats what this printer is all about; everyday use and value.
With this in mind, I had a good chuckle at the included 'bag' which is included and allows you to carry the printer around. If I was still at University then this would have been excellent, but for in the home it will more or less be assigned to taking the product to a different room. Still, its a brilliant touch by HP and perfectly summarises their stand-point on who this product is intended for.
The only niggle I've found with the product is that, as is becoming increasingly common these days, the device is designed to be left on 24/7 and allowed to go into a Standby/Power Save mode. Its all to do with the Wi-Fi; if you turn the device off completely, then it resets the connection to your computer and so you have to go through the whole syncing process again. This is only for Wi-Fi though, so if you plan on a USB connection then you can turn it off without a worry.
All in all, this has been a delightful purchase that either matches or exceeds my expectations in just about every department. The build quality is perhaps the only feature that may drop on that note, but give this is a stationary product and its fantastic price, the flimsiness of particular parts can be forgotten. have no hesitation in recommending this to home or office users that just want a value all-in-one product without the bells and whistles of separate ink cartridges, card-readers or specialised photo printing.
*Edit* - I have now discovered that the Wi-Fi dropping (after extended periods of time) is actually a router issue. Unplugging the routers power cable and plugging it back in (to reset it) resumes the connection to the printer as normal. If anyone has similar experiences, then please drop a line below!
on 10 February 2012
For the money, this really is an excellent printer.
Having had a few Epson printers before, I am now an HP convert. I am not a heavy printer user, and Epson just kept drying up - and the only way to clear the print nozzle was to waste the best part of a whole cartridge in cleaning. These HP's are notable in that the print nozzle is built into the ink cartridge themselves, so in the worst case a new ink cartridge will always solve your problems. Another advantage is only needing one black and one colour cartridge - most other 'photo' printers need a myriad of inks - including the more expensive HP ones. So if you just want day-to-day printing, this is better economically (but use the XL cartridges to get best value).
The WI-Fi capability is really fantastic - an earlier revue suggests that you need to re-synch the wi-fi if you switch the printer off and on - no true, though obviously the printer needs to be on to be able to print! The e=print is an interesting gimmick, but I'm notsure if I'd need it - though it does allow printing from my Android phone.
The one disappointment with the printer (and for the price you can't really complain) is that there is no double-sided or booklet printing (only odd-only or even-only page printing, which is a bit lame). This isn't obvious from any product description. The reason I expected it was that my previous obsolete, even cheaper HP (F2100 series for around £30) had this - it really was useful, so this was a backward step in that respect.