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When I first got this printer I was quite impressed. Given the size of the thing, it produced good quality printouts with text and business graphics. Though it was not very good with photographs, that was not what I bought it for. It also has an inbuilt sheet feeder, which a lot of portables don't, so you don't have to feed in each page individually. Unfortunately, it will only hold one cartridge at a time (black or colour), but this is not a major problem as the "composite" black (black produced by mixing the three colours of the colour cartridge) is not too far off a true black. It is very easy to use - it only has three buttons: the on/off, one to switch the cartridges over and one to eject the paper if it gets stuck. Changing the cartridges is also very easy.
These were my first impressions, but unfortunately my opinion on this machine rapidly deteriorated.
Firstly the on/off switch failed within a few weeks, so the printer was replaced under its warantee.
Next, after about 6 months, the paper feeder started to become a nuisance - it just would not grab the paper, and for a while I had to give the pages a poke by hand to encourage it, but after a while even this did not help. The feeder can be removed, thankfully, so I took it off and reverted to just inserting the pages into the back of the printer manually.
I also found that the colour ink cartridge tends to dry up (so you cannot print in colour) if it is left out of the printer not used for more than about 2-3 weeks. I have tried soaking the cartridge in water or vinegar, or putting sticky tape over the end after removing it from the printer, but it has not helped. So unless you I the colour cartridge frequently, this is effectively a black and white printer, as I cannot afford to pay out over £20 for a new colour cartridge just for the sake of printing 2 or 3 pages of colour every few months.
A year ago I got a new laptop running Windows XP. This printer *does not* work properly under Windows XP. There is no driver for XP on the HP website. Although there is one supplied with XP, it has a serious bug, which is that every few pages or so it starts plonking random control codes all over the page. On the flip side however, support for older operating systems is good: it does support Windows 3.1, MS-DOS and older Macintosh systems, and the Psion organisers also have inbuilt drivers for the machine.
I am currently looking for a portable printer for my laptop at work.
I was just about to but the HP Deskjet 340 from an ebay seller until I read this review and realised that it would not be suited to my needs (I have XP and I need both b&w and col. print outs!)
The review has saved me £100!
tcumming 08.07.2003 17:24
Just done some speed tests, and got around 1.2 pages per minute on standard mode and 1.6 ppm in draft mode, printing full pages of Times New Roman font at size 9. Slow, in other words! I couldn't test colour because, as I said in the review, the ink heads on the cartridges dry up really quickly, and I don't want to waste a whole cartridge just printing one test page.
tcumming 18.06.2003 20:09
Kingseany, they're going for around £30-50 second hand on Ebay - you cannot buy them new any more. I'll do some speed tests on it some time if I get time.