HP AirPrint Printers – are they worth it?

When it comes to both HP and Apple’s latest toy, AirPrint enabled printers, there are a few important things which you need to know which can make all the difference as to whether you should or shouldn’t buy it.  Find out more below.

Let’s discuss a little bit about what AirPrint is first so I can quickly explain things a little later on.  AirPrint is the latest creation from Apple which allows their various mobile devices – Ipads, Ipod Touches and Iphones, to be able to printer via wireless connection to a printer at home.  This printer obviously doesn’t have to be at home and neither are they limited just to Apple products – it’s more that they’re one of the only printers which can print wire free with Apple products as well.  Up until this point Apple has been unwilling to allow easy printing from their various devices.

They come with obvious advantages, and if you’re an Apple-holic then you’ll probably want to buy one right away.  But the truth is that these printers aren’t all that they’re hyped up to be – especially not for serious printing.  In some cases they’re a downright money drain because HP operates a policy of selling their printers for a loss while recouping their products on ink cartridges and peripheral items – and believe me these devices are designed to guzzle ink.

Ultimately there was only one of the HP AirPrint Printers which I’ve reviewed which lived up to the surrounding publicity with the rest falling far short of current standards.  By this I don’t mean falling short of HP’s standards – in fact they were very much in line with their current decline in customer satisfaction and product standards.  When it comes to Apple I’m just flat out disappointed that they gave their endorsement to these products because ultimately they’re just not very good.

They’re almost all plagued with various hardware and software issues which to me says a lot about HP who were willing to rush these onto the shelves without proper testing.  If you’re unlucky you can expect to suffer various hardware faults such as the LCD touch screen going blank.  There are software errors which will send your printer into an ‘updating’ mode which cannot be resolved and whereby you need to replace it with a refurbished model which could very well have the same problems further down the line – potentially when your warranty has expired.

The software issues are very reminiscent of products which have definitely been released too early, and they’re simply not being fixed.  The short of it is that there’s a certain chance that your device and its operating system won’t have been catered for by HP.  They won’t have created the proper installation software for it and the device will simply arrive with software designed to cater for the majority of people and not everyone.  This can cause minor or serious issues depending on your operating system and device (Mac, Ipad, PC etc), but if you calling HP’s terrible customer support or looking on forums will help you then you’ll be in for disappointment because it doesn’t look like they’re doing anything at all to try and fix these issues so don’t expect anything easy to take place.

If you’re lucky then you’ll just have to spend a few hours researching what’s the right driver or software for you, and if you think it’s as idiot proof as Apple’s software then think again because you’ll definitely need to get your nerd hat on, a cup of patient and be able to sit down for a good few hours to figure out what’s wrong and how to solve it.

However!  If you’re one of the lucky ones with no errors or faults then you should definitely enjoy your AirPrint experience!

Categories: HP

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