HP OfficeJet 7510
Most A3 printers are expensive devices aimed at designers and photographers who need to produce colour proofs of their work. However, HP describes its OfficeJet 7510 as a ‘personal print shop’ that is affordable enough even for home users and small businesses who need to produce A3 posters, brochures and other marketing materials.
It’s certainly good value for money, costing just £129, for a multi-function device that includes 600x1200dpi printer, scanner and copier, and fax machine. There’s a 35-sheet document feeder, ethernet, USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, and support for Apple’s AirPrint for iOS devices. The only real omission is lack of full duplex (two-sided) printing – although there is a manual duplex option if you don’t mind standing by the printer and turning the pages over by hand.
The 250-sheet input tray should be large enough for most small businesses, and can be adjusted for sizes from 4x6in postcards up to full A3. However, there’s only one input tray, which means that you’ll probably use the OfficeJet 7510 as a conventional A4 printer most of the time and just switch to A3 paper every now and then.
Inevitably, an A3 printer such as this is going to be bulky. HP has reduced the size of the OfficeJet 7510 as much as possible by having the paper input tray project out from the front of the printer by several inches – rather than being housed entirely inside the main body of the printer – but you’ll still need a pretty big and sturdy desk to support it.
Our only other concern about the design of the OfficeJet 7510 was that the print-head mechanism where you insert the ink cartridges felt rather flimsy, and the large metal springs in the print-head look like an accident waiting to happen.
Performance when printing A4 documents is respectable for a printer in this price range, at 12.5 pages per minute for mono text and 7.5ppm for text and colour graphics. Text quality was very good – not quite up to laser-printer standards, but more than adequate for most routine printing tasks.
The OfficeJet 7510 did slow down a bit when stepping up to A3 format, taking 30 seconds to print a poster containing text and colour graphics, but that’s still fine if you’re just using A3 printing every now and then. Photo output was also a little sluggish, at 50 seconds for a single 4x6in print on glossy paper, but the quality was extremely good, and the use of separate cartridges for the cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks ensures that you only need to replace individual inks as they run out.
We were also pleasantly surprised by the cost of the replacement ink cartridges. HP only sells a single size of cartridge for the OfficeJet 7510, but the black cartridge costs £17 and lasts for about 1000 A4 pages, which works out at a very competitive 1.7p per page. The colour cartridges cost £9 each – or £27 for all three – and last for 825 pages. That comes to just 3.3p per page for A4 colour printing, and gives the OfficeJet 7510 some of the most competitive running costs we’ve seen for quite a while.
Many low-cost printers end up saddling you with high running costs because of the high price of replacement ink cartridges, but that isn’t the case with the OfficeJet 7510. It’s not the fastest printer around – and designers who need to meet tight deadlines may prefer a faster, more specialized A3 printer – but its high quality, low running costs and versatile A3 printing option make it a great choice for any small business that needs to produce occasional A3 posters and brochures.