What is the HP OfficeJet Pro 7720
HP has expanded its range of OfficeJet Pro machines over the past few years. They’re designed for the small office and home office (SOHO) market and are aimed at those who would have bought a small laser all-in-one up to a few years ago. Now, however, the simplicity, colour quality and price of an inkjet alternative are powerful reasons to reconsider.
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HP OfficeJet Pro 7720 – Design and features
Physically, the OfficeJet Pro 7720 is a substantial machine, in part due to its ability to print on A3 as well as A4 paper. Its case is smartly black and white, with a low-profile
35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) set into the scanner lid. It accepts paper up to US Legal size, which is about the same as Imperial Foolscap. This could endear it to solicitors.
At the left end of the OfficeJet Pro 7720’s front panel is a 68mm touch panel, set into a surround that makes it look bigger than it is. The menus and information are well laid out and the panel is reasonably responsive to touch.
Below the control panel is a single 250-sheet paper tray, which accepts sheets from 15 x 10cm up to portrait A3. All paper is loaded in this one tray, though, since there’s no separate feed for single sheets.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 7720 can be connected via wireless, USB or 10/100 Ethernet; it’s most versatile using wireless. It can also link to phones and tablets, and HP provides an easy-to-use print app for both iOS and Android platforms.
The four ink cartridges slide into holders behind a large, front-panel flap and are available in standard or high-yield capacities. HP wants to rival SOHO laser printers, and offers high-yield cartridges that give 1600 colour pages or a substantial 3000 black-and-white ones.
HP OfficeJet Pro 7720 – Performance and running costs
HP rates the OfficeJet Pro 7720 at 18ppm in colour and 22ppm in monochrome, which is impressive for an inkjet. In testing, I saw a more modest 10.0ppm printing black text in our five-page document, rising to 17.1ppm for a 20-page document. In colour, the five-page text and graphics test was output at 7.7ppm.
Part of the discrepancy is down to the wait time for the first page to print. While HP claims 10 seconds, I always saw at least 15 seconds before the first sheet was fed from the tray.
The duplex speed is good, with the 20-side test giving 10.5 sides per minute – but it’s a shame the machine can’t deliver duplex copies too. A single A3 page took 28 seconds – which, again, won’t keep you hanging about.
A single-page colour copy took 20 seconds, and five pages from the ADF completed in 48 seconds – both above-average results. 15 x 10cm photos took around 50 seconds. This is a very impressive speed for good-quality images that are bright and clear, although lacking in dark-shade detail.
In general, print quality is high, with black and colour text output similar to the results of a laser. Draft print, which is only a little faster than normal quality, saves ink and still looks respectable. Colour graphics on plain paper are smooth and dense, and the colour range is much wider than that of a laser.
Noise levels are fair, although at 67dBA they’re a little louder than those of competitors.
Running costs, even with high-yield cartridges, are at 2.1p for a mono page and 7.0p for a colour one – both including 0.7p for paper. These are higher than some of the machine’s competitors, and it’s a shame HP hasn’t added this machine to its stable of Instant Ink printers
Why buy the HP OfficeJet Pro 7720?
The main player in the A3 inkjet all-in-one sphere is Brother, with an extensive range of occasional and full-time A3 machines. The £120 MFC-J5530DW, for example, offers lower running costs – at 1.7p and 5.2p for mono and colour pages – as well as two paper paths and a front-panel USB socket.
Epson also offers A3 all-in-ones. The cheapest, the Workforce WF-7710DWF, can scan and copy at A3 in full duplex – but it costs £199.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 7720 is a good-looking and well-designed inkjet all-in-one. However, the lack of duplex print at A3 may prove limiting, plus running costs look a bit high in comparison to rivals.