HP 7140 xi printer, scanner, copier, fax
Review

On February 16, 2004, in printer, Review, Scanner, by Beth Lock

p>HP 7140 xi printer, scanner, copier, fax

HP Officejet 7140xi Printer, Scanner, Copier, Fax
Company: Hewlett-Packard
Suggested Retail: $699.99

http://www.hp.com

Our old laser printer was becoming a financial burden due to the escalating costs of the toner, OPC belt, and yearly service contract. When the service contract came due in November of last year we started looking around for a more cost-effective printer. As I was researching different options, our FAX machine also quit working. My research then turned to the direction of all-in-one devices.

Living in a rural part of the US has many advantages. One disadvantage is a dearth of local stores that have a variety of machines to test before purchase. I had to rely on written reviews, and information from friends and colleagues about their experiences with different machines. The most positive feedback pointed me over and over again to the Hewlett-Packard line of products.

There were some very strict parameters I had to work with in choosing an all-in-one device. We have four computer workstations, two are Mac and two are PC, running on a network. So, the machine had to be network capable. The driver had to be cross-platform. I was also concerned about the cost of the consumables, as well as the type of paper the machine would easily handle. I wanted duplex printing capabilities as well.

I called Hewlett-Packard’s customer service line and spoke with a representative. I explained my needs and he pointed me to the HP OfficeJet 7140. He answered all my questions and even volunteered some information about other products in their line, which might work just as well for me. The HP website has an option to compare similar models which I found helpful as well.

I decided to buy direct from Hewlett Packard rather than go through a reseller. At that time they offered free shipping as well as a $70.00 rebate. (Their offers change on a regular basis, so the offer I received may no longer be in effect.) Their three-year service warranty on this machine was $75.00, so with the rebate essentially that cost me $5.00. The service warranty is a ‘next day exchange’ warranty. Anytime during the three years if we have a problem that cannot be solved with a call to Tech Support, Hewlett-Packard will overnight a new machine to us. They hold our credit card number until the old machine is returned, but do not charge it unless it is not received within a certain number of days. They pay shipping both ways.

The 7140 arrived within two days of purchase. We had it up and running in about thirty minutes. The set up instructions were clear and concise, with both text and graphics. Drivers for both Mac and PC were on one CD, and installation was fast and painless. The user’s manual is well written and the troubleshooting section at the end of the manual has saved me a couple of calls to Tech Support.

There is one thing I wish I had considered before purchasing an all-in-one machine. That is, with four workstations and a FAX machine, there are times when jobs interfere. For instance, one day I was printing checks when a FAX rang through. The FAX took precedence over the printing and printed out on two checks, which caused me to have to void those checks and reprint. I have learned to take the machine off ‘auto-answer’ when I’m running checks. Any large print or copy jobs have to be scheduled when no one else is using the machine for day-to-day tasks.

On the other hand there is a huge advantage to having one machine performing four tasks that requires only one set of consumables. Before we had to stock cartridges for the copier and FAX machine, and toners and other supplies for the printer. The consumables for the 7140 are reasonably priced. (It requires cartridges as well as print heads.) With two months of heavy daily use we have replaced three black cartridges, one color cartridge and no print heads. I am able to purchase the cartridges at Costco for about $5.00 less each than I have found on-line or through Hewlett-Packard.

I miss the speed of the laser printer but as far as print quality goes the inkjet gives more than acceptable prints. The print setting for color pictures on photo or glossy paper can be run at 4800×2400. There are two paper trays, and duplex printing and copying are available.

This machine has two slots that accept photo cards. I have not used this feature but others in my office have, and report they are satisfied with this convenience. Why load up your hard drive when you only want one picture off the card?

The FAX function works as well or better than any other FAX machine I have used. It has all the standard settings we expect these days including queuing and speed dial. It has been easy to program for these various functions.

I have not used the scanner, so I cannot report on this feature. In fact, we so rarely require anything to be scanned that I would have happily bought an all-in-one without a scanning feature.

I have placed one call to Hewlett-Packard Tech Support and was immediately connected with a Macintosh savvy person. He patiently walked me through the problem, and I received a follow-up call the next day from HP to make sure I was not having any more problems, and to ask about the quality of the help I received.

Overall I am very pleased with the performance of the 7140. If budget would have allowed, and if I had some prior experience with an all-in-one, I would have purchased two machines: one for the PC workstations and one for the Macintosh workstations due to the volume of work we have. Even though this machine is advertised as a ‘small office’ machine I would suggest anyone with more than two workstations look at other options. I expect to get at least three years of life from this machine, and for the price I consider it good value for money, especially with the reasonable cost of the service warranty and consumables.

Information on the HP OfficeJet 7140xi can be found at this link:
MyMac.com rating is 4 out of 5.

 

 

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