HP Officejet Pro L7780 review
Has the speed, quality and connectivity to be a better option than a colour laser in a small office.
Review Date: 13 Aug 2007
Reviewed By: David Bayon
Price when reviewed: (£327 inc VAT)
The HP Officejet Pro L7780 is a behemoth in this Labs, but the size is matched by its sheer class. And don't let the price put you off, as the L7780 more than justifies the expense.
Inside the box you'll find an extra paper tray that sits underneath the main printer for a maximum capacity of 600 sheets. The 2.5in screen and control panel make it simple to use, and there are a host of useful options. We particularly like the dedicated "2-Sided" button that lets you take advantage of the integrated duplexer without even entering a menu.
The ADF can take 50 sheets and is the sturdiest we've seen: it automatically detects the presence of paper and opens HP Solution Center on your PC. To give you an idea of its speed, a single-page mono copy took 22 seconds on the platen compared to 55 seconds for four pages in the ADF.
The L7780 takes four cartridges in an easy-access front compartment, and the print quality is outstanding. Even when churning out nearly 20ppm in draft mode the text was bold and legible, and at normal quality it was laser-perfect and still appeared at 10.2ppm. Plus, it's an impressive photo printer: 1min 33secs might not be as fast as a specialist photo inkjet, but the quality is every bit as good as the home-focused Canon MP600.
Much like the superb Canon, the HP's weakness is its scanner, which picks up too much grain and noise for images to be smooth and attractive. Colours are a little undersaturated, too, and HP's awful scan driver (which can be bypassed if you use the Solution Center) makes multiple scans awkward. But the quality of the print engine means the scanner's deficiencies are masked when copying.
The L7780's fax is simple to use, and boasts 99 speed-dial slots and a page memory of 125 sheets. Better still, it comes equipped with a standard Ethernet socket and 802.11g built in.
The £279 price may seem expensive - as might the cartridges - but they last a huge number of pages, so it's economical to run. And when you consider just how superior the Officejet Pro L7780 is to the competition, that initial expense will soon be forgotten.
Author: David Bayon
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