capsule review

HP Officejet 7500A Wide Format e-All-in-One Printer

At a Glance
  • HP OfficeJet 7500A Wide Format e-All-in-One

    Macworld Rating

The HP Officejet 7500A Wide Format e-All-in-One is a wide format, inkjet multifunction printer with fax capabilities. Aimed at small or home businesses, the Officejet can print on pages as large as 13 by 19 inches and can copy and scan 8.5-by-14-inch documents from either the flatbed or 35-sheet automatic document feeder.

The printer’s four individual ink cartridges are easy to install and you can connect via USB 2.0, 802.11 wireless, or ethernet. We ran into an issue where, when connected over USB, the printer would stop responding after a Mac restart. Interestingly, if we didn’t use the CD to install the drivers, but rather used the files downloaded through Apple Software Update, the issue went away. HP is looking into the issue.

The Officejet has a small but helpful 2.4-inch LCD touchscreen that aids in selecting number of copies, faxing options, and setup of the printer’s ePrint features. HP’s ePrint lets you download and use printing apps on your printer. Apps range from kids coloring pages to scanning documents directly to your Google account. ePrint also allows you to print remotely, using the e-mail address that HP assigns your printer. And though I experienced spotty service when testing the ePrint service on the recently-reviewed Photosmart C310A ( ), the service was much more reliable this time.

Also, if you have an iOS device on the same Wi-Fi network as the Officejet 7500A, you can use AirPrint to print documents and photos from your iOS device.

In our speed testing, we found the Officejet 7500A to be an average performer, with text speed of 6 pages per minute, 1.5 pages per minute in our PDF test and 0.4 pages per minute in our photo test prints.

Our print quality tests showed that for a business printer, text was only of fair quality, with surprisingly fuzzy edges. Our PDF graphics pages showed good color quality, but again we found soft edges. Photos had a ruddy cast and colors were a bit oversaturated. Photos also lacked the depth and shadow detail found in prints from HP’s Photosmart printers, which feature extra inks formulated to enhance photographic images.

Our test scans were of good quality, with slight banding in our line-art test page and dull, flat looking colors in our photo scans.

The inks are reasonably priced below the average in both the standard and high-yield sizes. The printer ships with a special “setup” version of the standard size, which comes with a little extra ink to account for what’s used during printer initialization. The standard sizes include a $20, 420-page black (4.8 cents) and $10, 300-page cyan, magenta, and yellow (3.3 cents per color, per page). The high-yield sizes are impressively cheap: a $32, 1200-page black and $15, 700-page cyan, magenta, and yellow (2.1 cents per color, per page). A four-color page would cost 14.1 cents with the standard-sized inks and 9.1 cents with the high-yield inks.

Macworld buying advice

If you need a device that scans, copies, faxes and prints large spreadsheets, the HP Officejet 7500A is worth considering. Its an average performer in terms of both speed and print quality, but it is one of the few printers top currently support Apple’s AirPrint and HP’s ePrint services.

[James Galbraith is Macworld’s lab director.]

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • 8.5 by 14-inch scans
    • 13 by 19-inch prints
    • AirPrint compatibility
    • Touchscreen controls
    • ePrint remote printing and apps

    Cons

    • Drivers on CD contain a bug
    • Text prints with fuzzy edges
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