The HP Officejet 7500A is an A3 multifunction inkjet printer with wireless networking, a range of online printing applications that might appeal to home or business users, and fast printing speeds for both A3 and A4 text documents. Its quality is mediocre in Draft mode, but it is fast. Stepping up to Normal quality offers a noticeable increase in clarity.
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HP Officejet 7500A A3 printer: Design and connectivity
The HP Officejet 7500A is a bulky printer — it has to be in order to fit in an automatic document feeder, flatbed scanner and A3 printer. It doesn't have to feed paper out the back though, so it can be placed up against a wall or partition. It was disappointing not to find automatic duplexing built in, and the input paper tray capacity is low (a maximum of only 150 sheets). Setting the printer up is a simple task thanks to an on-screen guide and easily understood interface, with the entire setup process including a driver install taking under 10 minutes.
Any home office or small business should be more than satisfied with the HP Officejet 7500A's range of connection options. USB 2.0 is fine for connecting a single PC, but the inclusion of wired Ethernet and wireless 802.11n networking means larger offices are easily catered for. A fax is also built in.
HP Officejet 7500A A3 printer: Print quality, print speed, ink and features
The HP Officejet 7500A is a versatile printer for documents up to A3 size. It's able to print quickly in Draft mode, with 33 black or 32 colour pages per minute. For higher quality documents, Normal mode is rated at 10 black ppm and 7 colour ppm. For unimportant documents — e-mails, memos and printouts that will be quickly recycled — Draft mode is perfectly acceptable. Text as small as 8pt is easily legible despite being slightly fuzzy, and over a 50 page print run we were able to achieve 30ppm for both colour and monochrome text.
Normal quality documents are printed significantly slower — we managed 8 black and 5 colour pages over a minute of printing. However, text is much clearer and slightly more saturated. We'd be happy to use documents printed in Normal mode for archival purposes or for presentations.
Despite being designed as a document printer for offices, we were impressed with the quality of the photos we printed at A3 and A4 size with the HP Officejet 7500A. Printing such large sheets does use a lot of ink, but the results are respectable: good detail, even saturation and accurate colour. Dark black areas can tend to appear slightly blue-grey though.
We can see a use for the built-in HP ePrint service for small businesses. If you've got a memo, e-mail or document on a computer that's not directly connected to the HP Officejet 7500A's network it's easy to send it to the Officejet 7500A's e-mail address and have it automatically printed. Setting up HP ePrint is simple — a few prompts on the printer and a short online PC-based signup process are all it takes to enable the e-mail-to-print service. It's simple to use and the online interface keeps track of documents and senders, but we did have a few teething problems printing e-mailed image attachments.
The HP Officejet 7500A uses four ink cartridges, allowing you to change out individual colour tanks without wasting ink. You can buy standard size or extra-large black ink tanks for $27 and $42 respectively, while colour tanks are only available in extra large for $21 each. With a rated page yield of 420 pages from the standard black cartridge, the HP Officejet 7500A has a running cost of 6.4 cents per A4 sheet. Buying an extra large cartridge lowers ongoing costs for black ink to a very low 3.5 cents per page. Colour ink is also cheap — at $63 for all three cartridges with a yield of 700 pages per cartridge, a single colour page costs 3 cents and a full colour page is 9cents.
HP Officejet 7500A A3 printer: Conclusion
If you're running a small business and need A3 printing, you'd be hard-pressed to find another printer that offers a better value proposition than the HP Officejet 7500A. If automatic duplexing isn't important and you can handle the small input tray, it ticks every other box we think is important in a multifunction inkjet printer.
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