When it comes to the HP 450Ci Mobile DeskJet Printer I can only say two words, “stay away!”. Sure if you just read the technical specifications and gloss over a few reviews it may seem ‘okay’ but overall the chances are this printer will give you nothing but problems. Find out more below.
Ultimately when you buy an electronics product there’s only so much research you can do before you just have to buy it and see what happens. In this case I don’t recommend buying it to begin with.
Just before I start the review in full I’d just like to make clear there are three ‘versions’ of this printer, the HP DeskJet 450ci, HP DeskJet 450cbi and the HP DeskJet 450wbt. The ‘Ci’ version is the regular model with the other two being the exact same apart from them arriving packaged with certain important add ons. The ‘cbi’ arrives with a lithium ion battery, this isn’t to say that the regular version cannot house it – only that it comes with the battery and hence arrives fully ‘mobile’ and ready to go. The ‘wbt’ arrives with both the same battery as well as a Bluetooth card which slots into a Compact Flash slot and allows for Bluetooth wireless data transfer.
What I’ll be talking about below is a mix of all three, but they’re all exactly the same apart from those minor portability and wireless connectivity adds ons. Furthermore if you don’t want to read the following highly critical review but are instead looking for a good, quality HP wireless portable printer then I suggest checking out the HP OfficeJet 100 – it’s very good.
It’s reasonably portable, weighing 5 pounds and its dimensions are 13.3 x 3.2 x 6.5 inches meaning it’s a moderate weight although a little on the bulky size. It’s a mobile inkjet printer which can print in resolutions of 1200 x 1200 dpi in black and white and 4800 x 1200 dpi for color photos; both in high resolution. It includes a foldable sheet feeder and parallel printer cable and finally its data transfer methods are usb 2.0, parallel, CompactFlash with optional Bluetooth. If you want the Bluetooth you don’t need to buy it right away, it slots into the CompactFlash space so you’ve got plenty of time to decide.
Usually negative criticisms are more a long the lines of ‘features x y z are inadequate’, but in this case the printer just stops working after a year or so if use. The problem is with the sheet feeder, and I’ve talked to people and read numerous reviews about a lot of people having the same issue. Now we’re not talking about a very small minority, or the odd faulty product or batch – we’re talking about the printer as a collective product. It is not reliable, and will in the vast majority of cases stop working within 1-2 years.
There are multiple problems with the paper feeder. Firstly, sometimes the paper feed on this HP portable printer isn’t recognized as being there, so you need to try and push it down or take sheets out or put them in to even get it started printing. Next there are the jamming issues, there’s not any actual jamming, but the error lights on the printer flare on when there’s actually nothing jammed – meaning the printer has to be re-booted for most likely the same outcome.
The printer’s poor paper feed mechanism also doesn’t allow for card photo paper, either 4 x 6 inch regular size – or full size. Considering its printing resolutions allow for crisp photo quality printers you would have thought they’d put more effort into actually allowing the printer to do its job – and print. Both the HP DeskJet 460c and HP OfficeJet H470 don’t have anywhere near these level of problems – sure they have issues but the problems we’re looking at here are simply endemic of a poorly designed product.
It’s junk, an expensive paperweight – whatever you want to call it. From all reports it works reasonably well for a year or so before inevitably having paper feeding issues. It’s not completely unexpected this was one of the first mobile printers which HP has created but overall it’s a very poor quality product. It would be a reasonable wireless portable printer; if only it could actually print.