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Review of the HP Deskjet F380 All-in-One Printer/Scanner/Copier

Although the Deskjet F380 seems to be quite a deal, offering printing, and scanning, faxing, and copying capabilities for under $100, (I paid $90.00, but Amazon has one for $70) closer examination proves that it is not worth the money. After having great experiences with other all-in-one printers, among them various models in Canon’s PIXMA series, I figured that perhaps HP really was on something with $100 all in one model. Upon laying eyes on the thing, however, I began to think I was wrong. It just looked too chincy. Whereas other all-in-one printers looked quite professional, the Deskjet F380 looked like the sort of thing you’d get free with a cheap computer. Cheap plastic, not much more.

Of course, after using a little bit I was favorably impressed, at least to begin with. It was not amazingly fast when it came to printing text, but it did a rather good job, printing out a web page with quality that was quite reasonable in a few seconds. Next, I tried printing a photo, which also went reasonably well, giving me something quite similar to what I’d see from a much more expensive printer. I did, however, notice that printing the picture was not a speedy process. In addition to waiting for the thing to print, I had to adjust the software to take four by six photo paper, as well as take all the paper out of the tray and adjust its size, since the Deskjet F380 is only equipped with one paper tray. Trying to scan a document giving a similar results. It took almost 40 seconds to scan one single page.

A few weeks went by. As it turned out, my original impression was right. Two weeks in about 150 pages of text later, the Deskjet F380’s cartridge went dry. The $13.00 black cartridge. At 150 pages to a $13.00 cartridge, I calculated that each page of text cost close to 9¢, hardly a good deal. Upon looking at the color cartridge situation, I found that it took only one cartridge, rather than multiple color cartridges is that many photo printers now take. Although this perhaps did mean that a person could buy only one cartridge, rather than buying three cartridges at a time, I decided that after my cartridge run dry, after printing about a dozen photos, that I was not getting a much better deal.

I should point out that HP printers do have the advantage of having contents included in their cartridges, meaning the owner of the printer will not have to replace the whole operation when the print head goes bad. After a few weeks of false alert paper jams and empty ink cartridges, however I realized this was probably not going to be something is going to have to worry about. It looked like this printer was not going to last long enough for that to be a problem.

Save your money and buy a better printer.