Why doesn't anything ever just work?
I thought we were supposed to be living in some kind of modern, technological age.
But sometimes it seems like the more cool things we invent, the more time we spend switching them off and turning them back on again, trying to get them to do what they're supposed to.
The worst culprits of all? Printers.
Paper jam. Toner out. Can't connect. ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Why isn't there an app for that?...
It's still early days... but the HP OfficeJet Pro 9010 has yet to make me want to kill.
In fact, it's almost... easy to use!
The 9010 is an all-in-one solution for home or small office use. It's slightly bigger and boxier than some other offerings in this category, but not crazily so. Any printer with an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) is always likely to appear a bit top-heavy, but it's a useful, time-saving feature and one you won't always find on a printer in this price range.
My first easy-to-use impression hit me straight out of the box. While most gadgets with as many moving parts as a multi-function printer are usually taped, padded and polystyrened up the wazoo, I had the 9010 powered on and ready to set up in under five minutes. Just a single bit of tape holding the lid of the scanner down and a sheet of padding under that lid to protect the glass. That five minutes includes installing the ink cartridges, which was such a hassle-free operation I had myself convinced I wasn't doing it right.
Once the 9010 is turned on, the printer itself guides you the rest of the way through the setup, via the full colour 2.65inch touch screen.
This isn't a big screen by any standards, but I've found it plenty large enough to easily navigate the various controls and settings. In particular, I appreciated the head alignment process; in the past this has always involved printing out page after page of weird shapes and patterns, after which you then had to decide if one was clearer or more lined-up than another, before repeating the whole process.
The 9010 backs itself to do this for you - printing off just one page which you then place straight back on the scanner so it can see the results for itself. Very elegant.
In fact, I'd go so far as to say most processes around the 9010 have a certain elegance to them, due in large part to some excellent, well-designed software. HP Smart features a simple, clear interface, particularly in its smart-phone manifestation. There's a homepage of shortcuts to take you straight to the function you need - printing, scanning, even adjusting settings or ordering cartridges. You can do all these things quickly and easily, straight from your phone. There's also a Smart Task option, so you can automate frequent operations - like scanning and emailing receipts for expenses, for example.
Once you've created and signed-in to your HP Connected Account, you can then print from anywhere. There's no remote login or tricky webpage to navigate - just open the app and print.
None of this functionality is anything groundbreakingly new - the difference is, with the 9010 it works. And not just the first time. I'm using the 9010 over WiFi - it isn't physically connected to anything except a power point. Now if you've ever met a printer of any kind before, you'll know they're prone to give you the silent treatment - especially if it's a network printer of some kind. Frustratingly, in the past I've found settings that will let me scan or print perfectly one day will mysteriously turn the printer completely invisible the next.
HP has obviously done a lot of work under the hood to make this device easy to find on the network it's connected to, and then keep it there.
This may sound silly, but to be able to scan when you push the button that says scan is such a pleasure when it works first time.
The 9010 has a nicely accessible USB port, so you can print straight from a stick too.
I could list off Page-Per-Minute stats, but I'm not usually on a deadline when it comes to printing out theatre tickets or my daughter's rehearsal schedules. What concerns me more is print quality, up to a point.
And it's good. Clear, colourful... nothing earth shattering, but you're only spending a couple of hundred bucks on this, not a couple of thousand. Don't fool yourself though, there's the usual cartridge trap here - this is still an inkjet printer after all. Yes you'll get around 1000 pages from a standard black cartridge but then it's $51 dollars for the next one. ($37 per standard colour cartridge). So yes, the printer is relatively inexpensive, but you'll have to factor in those cartridge costs along the way.
The scanning quality impressed me more - not just sharp, but fast and as I've already mentioned, easy to do from your phone. That's very useful when you need to take a copy of an important document with you. It gets better; the 9010 can scan two-sided documents, another premium feature on a more-than-reasonably priced machine.
To be honest, I'm struggling to think of features the 9010 doesn't have... it still has full fax functionality! Who would possibly even need that these days?
Yes, there's a lot of stuff packed into this box - living up to its "All-in-One" moniker. But the best thing about all those features is they all work. Such a relief from PFS. (Printer Frustration Syndrome)