capsule review

HP OfficeJet 7210 All-In-One

At a Glance
  • HP OfficeJet 7210 All-In-One Printer (30PPM, 4800x1200 DPI, Color, 96MB, PC/Mac)

    PCWorld Rating

    This unit has ethernet networking and high print quality, and offers fast copying and photo printing.

HP OfficeJet 7210 All-in-One
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The HP OfficeJet 7210 All-In-One crams everything you could want from a home- or small-office MFP into a single unit that costs $300.

Besides providing printing and scanning functions, the OfficeJet 7210 offers stand-alone faxing and a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) that makes multipage copying easier. The 7210 can fax in color, and it has a 130-page memory for incoming faxes, in case the paper runs out while you're not there. To print photos, you can either attach a PictBridge-compatible digital camera to the 7210's direct-print port or slide your camera's memory card into one of four slots, each capable of reading all the major formats. Using the unit's ethernet port, you can share the 7210 over a network.

The sets of buttons on the unit's control panel, which surround a backlit two-line LCD, are arranged sensibly by task (fax, copy, photo, scan, and print). A numeric keypad lets you dial fax numbers, and there are five programmable speed-dial buttons. The 7210 doesn't have a color monitor for previewing images, but you can print an index page of your photos, mark the images you want to print, and then scan that page to initiate the print job.

The included HP Image Zone software is among the most thorough in the business, but installing all 780MB of it can be a slow process. The well-organized printer driver provides shortcuts to major printing tasks, such as printing documents or photos, while the scanner driver supplies both basic and advanced menus. You also get he Iris OCR program for turning scanned documents into editable text.

The paper cassette can hold 150 sheets. For $100 more, you can add a 250-sheet drawer; and for double-sided printing, you can buy an optional $80 duplexer. HP also sells a $100 duplexer with a 4-by-6-inch automatic document feeder attached, which might be handy if you print many snapshots. In contrast, the $300 Canon Pixma MP760 comes with a duplexer but lacks an ADF.

Two cartridges supply up to six inks for printing. In the box, you get a tricolor (cyan, magenta, yellow) cartridge, and a pigment-based black ink cartridge (designed for better text quality). You can swap out the black cartridge in favor of a photo-color cartridge, but doing this often can be tedious. A slot under the cover is designed to accommodate partially used cartridges.

We liked the 7210's print quality and performance. True to its office designation, it printed very attractive text. Large fonts were dark and solid, and all but the finest italics came out sharp and well formed. Our prints of color graphics on plain paper showed good detail and contrast. With the photo cartridge in place, the 7210 printed glossy photographs with bright colors, smooth color transitions, and sharp detail. The edges of closely spaced boldface letters bled together, however, and our line art print showed some smudges and beading in narrow parallel lines. Despite those problems, the 7210 still earned the highest score for overall image quality among the MFPs we tested this month.

The 7210 was fairly speedy, printing text at 6.8 pages per minute and color graphics at 2.2 ppm (both speeds were better than average). It printed photos faster than any other inkjet MFP we tested, taking only 65 seconds to spit out a 4-by-5-inch photo on glossy paper.

In our scanner quality tests, the 7210 earned especially high marks on monochrome documents. It previewed and scanned our 4-by-5-inch photo at 100 dpi in just under 18 seconds, roughly 4 seconds faster than average. Copy quality was very good, too, and the 7210's photocopy speed of 4 ppm was significantly faster than the 2.9 ppm average.

With fast performance and built-in ethernet , the HP OfficeJet 7210 All-In-One is our top choice for an office-type inkjet MFP. And you get superb-looking photos to boot.

Paul Jasper

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This unit has ethernet networking and high print quality, and offers fast copying and photo printing.

    Pros

    • Fast copying and photo printing
    • High-quality prints and scans

    Cons

    • Lacks a color LCD display
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