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Review of HP L7780 Printer and All in One — An Intelligent Machine





 

Editor’s Note: Based on our recent content survey, there seems to be interest in reading reviews of technology products designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs. So I’ve spent some time designing a review format. This is the first in what I hope will be many more product reviews to come. We’ll review software, hardware, telecommunications and other technology categories.

Recently I got a new HP All-in-One printer, scanner, copier and fax. The model is the HP OfficeJet Pro L7780. I really like this HP all-in-one and I’d like to share my experiences.

Overview

Until now in our office we had been using an HP 7410 series. That model, which is also an all-in-one printer, scanner and fax, still works and will find a new home with a relative who has spoken up for it.

But between my husband (an attorney who tends to print in black and white, and is a heavy fax user) and me (an entrepreneur who does a lot of in-house marketing with color printing), we wanted something that printed faster with smart faxing capabilities. I’m happy to report that the new L7780 is faster and should be cheaper to maintain, too. It prints 10 color pages per minute (highest quality) and even more if you adjust for medium or lower quality — about double the speed of our previous printer. The print quality is excellent — crisp and clean looking and very close to laser print quality to my eye.

The OfficeJet Pro L7780 already is an important component of our small business office.

 

It can print from a wireless or wired computer network. It prints color and black-and-white copies.

It also comes with a suite of proprietary HP software so you can manipulate scanned documents and photographs, such as removing red eye effects. You can also download photographs directly from a digital camera to the printer — very convenient. And you can print crisp photographs on photographic paper.

On top of everything else, I love the stylish black design with round/edges and silver accents. The design looks contemporary and makes you feel good.

Set-up

The HP L7780 was delivered from the local Staples store directly to our door. Here’s the big box:

HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 in the box

As it turns out, it took about an hour and a half for me to set up and get it operational. For you it will probably take less time, because I stopped along the way to snap some photographs. Plus, I tend to be methodical and thorough — speed is not necessarily one of my defining attributes. 🙂

The set-up instructions were easy to follow. After unpacking the components, I simply followed the pictorial/text instructions.

HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 parts after being unwrapped

By mistake I initially left off the rear component that enables double-side printing, thinking it was an optional piece. But this printer is so smart, that you almost cannot make a mistake. When I turned the machine on, the display panel told me that the piece was missing. So I simply snapped the missing piece into place and everything was fine. Here is the OfficeJet Pro — almost finished assembling:

HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 almost assembled

It includes software which you install on your computer. Here I was waiting for the software to finish installing and snapped a shot (sorry for the flash glare):

HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 software

Initially I still had software installed from the old HP printer, which was named to the exact same file folder. That seemed to cause a conflict. I immediately realized what I had done, and uninstalled the old HP software. Conflict solved!

After you turn on the OfficeJet Pro L7780 for the first time, you have to allow the printer heads to align, which takes a good 10 minutes or more. The LCD display prompts you to add some plain paper to the tray. It automatically takes the printer through the alignment process and notifies you when it is finished. This process is so simple, you just need to follow instructions.

At the end of the alignment process, it sends you a nice message telling it is done and reminding you to recycle the paper or discard it. See what I mean about it being a smart machine? Environmentally friendly, too ….

But the “intelligence” doesn’t stop at set up. The printer’s LCD display guides you through a variety of tasks. It gives you a lot of information and instructions on the small screen:

HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 instructional display

Our computer network is a wired network through our power outlets, so we connected the L7780 to the network via a USB cable. Although there was a phone cord included for the fax, we did not receive a USB or printer cable with the unit. Luckily we always have extra cables around, and quickly added our own cable, so it was not an issue for us.

The HP L7780 includes wireless networking capabilities. If you are on a wireless network (as more and more offices are today) you won’t need a cable anyway.

It came network ready.

Features

This printer, scanner, fax has so many features, I can’t begin to mention them all here. Here are some of the features that we will find most valuable:

  • Ink cartridges: One of the neatest features of this printer is that it has a different ink cartridge for each color: black, red, yellow and blue. That way, if you use certain colors more than others, you only need to replace the color that’s low. This should keep the cost of operating the printer low. This shot shows the 4 ink cartridges which are conveniently located at the front:

HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 ink cartridges

  • Paper: The HP L7780 accepts a wide range of paper, from glossy brochure paper, to standard 20 lb. copier paper, to photographic paper, to business card stock, envelopes and labels. It has an optional second paper tray, if you use multiple types of paper regularly. It also prints different paper sizes, including 8.5 x 14 for long spreadsheets. I tried glossy brochure paper, matte brochure paper, regular paper, cotton letterhead, business cards, labels and photographs. Everything worked beautifully. Just be sure to choose paper designed for inkjet printers — I’ve found that to be a key for getting great printed results.

Paper for the OfficeJet Pro All-in-One

  • Photographs: This printer will print photographs directly, without downloading to your computer, by plugging in the cable from your digital camera (my camera’s a Canon Powershot A310). You can also insert various-size graphics cards directly into the front of the printer, too. You can insert a USB memory stick and print directly, too. For instance, I inserted the USB flash drive that I picked up at a recent conference. I was able to print and even manipulate an image on the flash drive (manipulating size and so on) right on the display panel on the printer, without using my PC for that. The ability to work directly on the printer without going through your computer first is a real timesaver.

Inserting the flash memory stick into the USB drive

  • Scanning: The scanner works quickly. Once the document is scanned, you can crop or resize it, rotate it, and otherwise manipulate the image using the HP software. It saves as a TIF or PDF format. Oh, and it has a neat feature where you can scan directly into Microsoft Word and even into Wordperfect (favored by the attorney in the office).
  • Faxing: You can use this model with a dedicated fax phone line or with a phone line you use for both fax and voice – it will automatically detect the call and send it to fax if you need to. It has 99 speed-dial numbers and auto-redial, of course, to save time. You can also print out a record to show that your fax was successfully sent — this is a nice feature that we’ve also had with our older HP, and whenever I fax, I use this feature and staple the confirmation page to my fax as a later reference that the fax was successfully sent. You think you’re going to remember stuff like that, but trust me, a year later looking through a file, I would have no idea whether I’d faxed something if I had to rely on memory alone.
  • Automatic software updates: There is an automatic software updating feature. The software periodically will check for updates and alert you if you need to download updates.
  • Size: While I wouldn’t call it huge, it’s not exactly the smallest printer, either. If you use the optional second paper tray it will be rather high, adding around 3 inches to the height. We tried it out at first with the optional second tray, but decided not to use the second tray going forward so the printer would fit better in our space. If your space is limited, just make sure you measure in advance.

 

Quality

I consider the output quality excellent. I printed several documents and they turned out crisper than the old model we had been using. For marketing uses, the print quality is more detailed and sharper than any previous printer we have had. And the photographs and images I printed were impressive for home and office use.

Price

This machine retails for $499 at Staples, although from time to you will see specials or find it with rebates, making it significantly less expensive. I can remember our first inkjet printer many years ago, with far fewer features. It cost more than this one, and had about one-fourth the capabilities. Considering all the advanced features, I’d say the HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 is a bargain.

Recommendation

Would I recommend it? Definitely. I think it can work equally well for a single person office, as well as a multi-person networked office. We’ve used only HP printers in our office for as long as I can remember. They’ve been reliable and given us what we’ve needed. What’s more, I really liked the easy set up. Best of all, this machine is so intelligent it simply doesn’t let you make a mistake.

Image: HP

33 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

33 Reactions

  1. Thank you for providing a complete review. I have been considering getting a new all in one and this has caught my eye. It can be really confusing when you look at all the choices and the salespeople aren’t always able to answer your questions. It’s always nice to hear a users real opinion.

  2. Hey anita, this printer looks big. Is it a floor printer? It appears to be situated on the floor.

  3. Anita Campbell

    Hi 23Babylon,

    Oh, no, it’s not anywhere near THAT big! It’s a tabletop model, for sure.

    I just happened to assemble it on the floor, because it was easier — I could lay everything out in front of me. Sorry if that confused you.

    If you look at the last photograph you’ll see I have it sitting on a desktop. I think you can see a phone cord next to it, even. That should give you some idea of size.

    I tried to take some photos of it fully assembled and sitting in its permanent new home, but they didn’t turn out well. Too dark — it’s in a room with dark paneling and dark cherry bookshelves. I’ll take some more photos and post another picture if I can get one to turn out well.

    Anita

  4. I really liked this review! And the format flows beautifully. Thank you!

    One question, I have been using inkjets for several years and they have nice crisp output as you mention, but am not happy with the cost of printing. The inks are SO expensive. Did you consider one of the new laser printers — and if you did, what tipped you toward the inkjet?

  5. Martin Lindeskog

    Martin Lindeskog

    Nice interview. What’s HP’s slogan? I like Canon’s “You Can”. In Swedish it is even more wittier and roll off your tongue…: “Kan Nån, Kan Canon.” (“If someone can, Canon could” (do it))

  6. Looks like a really nice model and I agree that the contemporary style is nice. After all, we do have to look at these things daily in our homes. Great features, too. Caught my attention when I read that manipulation can be done from the printer itself – very nice. Great review, too, by the way. Everything was explained quite thoroughly.

  7. Anita Campbell

    Hi stidmama, I read somewhere that this particular unit has a low cost of use. It’s 50% lower than laser printers.

    Generally speaking, I was under the impression that laserjet printers are best for really high volume. I would say that in our office we have a moderate level of use, not a consistently high volume each month.

    Our volume tends to go in spurts. But whenever I do print a big number of pages, I need it to go fast. Example: I sometimes will print 50 to 200 of a 10 or 15 page color PowerPoint presentation to take with me to an event. Speed makes a big difference in those situations.

    From what I had read, the OfficeJet line is a great “in between” place: lower cost than laser, higher printing speed, but with almost comparable print quality. Also, an absolute must for us was the advanced all-in-one features with the fax, scan and copying. We had to have all those functions.

    I found this page over at the HP site which has videos explaining some of the differences between laser printers and inkjet printers and the OfficeJet line: http://www.hp.com/products1/inkjetprinter/default.html

    Anita

  8. Anita Campbell

    Hi Martin,

    I believe the HP tagline or slogan is “Invent”.

    I think that slogan fits the HP brand perfectly, because so much of what HP does is about giving you the tools to be creative and “invent” new things. Using an HP notebook or printer or one of their services like Logoworks you can create marketing documents, or printed photographs, or presentations or logos or business cards … whatever you need to express your creativity, either for your personal use or in your business.

    One of the great benefits I’ve had over the past several months is the ability to better get to know the HP brand and some of the people behind the brand. I’ve come to realize it’s all about giving you the tools to be creative.

    So, a question for you: what is “invent” in Swedish?

    Anita

  9. Anita Campbell

    Hi Chris,

    Yeah, I could have written an entire review just on the manipulation and printing of photographs.

    That little LCD screen is just a couple inches square, but it lets you do so much. You can do an autofix of a poor image, where it corrects certain aspects of the photo automatically. You can choose paper sizes, and how many photographs you print per page (4 on a page, or one 8 x10 or whatever). You can zoom in. And so on.

    Pretty nifty.

    Anita

  10. My experience has been both good and bad with HP:
    the model of HP OfficeJet All-in-one we got cost a little less but not much. The “finger” guide quickly snapped off but managed to use it without that guide many years at least. Support at HP has been just slightly above average when expecting it to be premiere. They were willing to take it back and upgrade if for only about 250.00 USD Plus Shipping! The reason, the were honest that the model was built in Korea or nearby their and the manufaturing plant did not follow HP’s specifications to the letter and separated the print head from each print cartridge meaning when changing the cartridge it also could mean for a lot of money also changing the printhead too! (not too common fortunately at least) The ink does last pretty long as it has a big ML supply but is still in my mind pricy. The model? 7130xi. This is why I am wary about trying HP again even though I konw they invented the actual Inkjet process. Having to ship from the center of US to Norhern Californian such a heavy bulky some what fragile item does not see someting to relish but to fear. So get the extended warranty for as long as you can afford to get it for your next printer. It could be worth every penny or at least a level of comfort. My next printer maybe HP but also due to issues would try CANON which is famous for printing of advertising media I have heard but not sure of that. Or even XEROX with their “crayon” color sticks if they have improved. The Cost of the Ink is the biggest concern for my next one and how often would have to replace it. Currently I easly can spend about 300.00 per year on ink in a solo small home office mostly of b&W text and color printouts of my website pages for review and documentation. I like inkjets as long as the ink if fresh and kep running otherwise they can glue up. Before that I had a B&W HP Laser Printer which I liked even more and seems cheaper to supply for the number of pages printed! But that was black and whilte not color… Inbetween I had an Epson Multi color cartridges inkjet. I ilked its color printouts a lot but having to change the cartridges about 3 x more ofren than the HP I gave up on it pretty fast.

  11. Martin Lindeskog

    Martin Lindeskog

    Anita,

    Invent in Swedish is: “uppfinna”. Inventor is “uppfinnare”. Upp = up. Finna = find. Find up ~out.

    I have a good childhood friend who first worked for Digital, then Compaq and then for HP.

  12. Hello Anita,

    I just have one question. How often do you change the printheads in your printer.
    One of the things that I like about this printer when I purchased it today, was that when I checked on how much the replacement ink cartridges were gonna cost, I found that they were not that expensive, but when I got the printer home and opened the package, I realized that I also have to purchase printheads when they need to be replaced. I not sure how sure how often I will need to replace the printheads, since this is the first printer that that I own that has the printheads and print cartridges separated.

  13. Anita Campbell

    Hi Tyrone, as I understand it, the printheads only need to be changed once for every several times that the ink cartridges get replaced. I can’t seem to quickly locate that information online or I’d point you to the exact information.

    We haven’t had to change the ink cartridges yet, so I can’t really tell you from my own personal experience.

    Now using this printer/all-in-one for 2 months and everything is working great. Speedy — it is so fast! And printing beautiful documents.

    Anita

  14. Hi Anita, I was really amaze on how you give comments of the HP Officejet printer, and I was tempt to answer your question with regards as to when you are going to replace the printhead of your printer.
    It is easy to maintain: simply replace worn printhead for uninterrupted clear, sharp output.

    The printer driver will give you a warning if your printhead is about to fail. You will then be able to purchase a replacement printhead before the print quality begins to deteriorate.

    I hope this information able to help you..

    Vanessa

  15. I forgot to put the correct link.

  16. Hi,
    I am looking for a home printer, somewhere it recomends 7500 per mo printing for this HP7780, is this going to be a problem for Hm. use I wouldn’t do that much in 5 yrs?
    I read where some printers have a “dated” time built into the ink cart. and will stop working after this date even if they have lots of ink left, do these ink jets have this?

  17. Thankful in Raleigh

    THANK YOU so much for all the detailed information! I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find that the above, with pictures, SOLVED my problems…..whereas the HP website did NOT. I had no idea that aligning took 10 minutes, and then also, the second set of cartridges I didn’t even know were there (front panel). Should have RTFM, I know…

    Hewlett Packard, take a lesson from the consumer. Your support…is not so supportive.

    And no, HP, you won’t get a bailout because most of your workers are overseas!!

  18. Wow Anita, what a thorough review and one that I agree with wholeheartedly. I have this printer and love it. I have not had one problem with it. I am sold on HP’s printers, well and their desktops. I have five of their printers. I’ve had two well over 10 years and can still get the cartridges for them. Neither have had service other than my routine cleaning (and I’m a novice).

    I’d like to set the wireless feature and don’t know how. Also, It’s not allowing me to scan as it doesn’t show this printer as my scanner but one I no longer use. I know it’s my lack of knowledge about what I’m doing.

    Thanks again for a great review with pics and all! Great job!

  19. The new HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 is a great printer, copier and fax. I have used HP printers for several years but this new model works ever so well. Frank Sullivan legal forms Website Owner

  20. Paulette Thompson

    Hi, this was such a complete and thorough review of this printer. I recently had occasion to examine the HP Office Jet Pro L7780 all-in-one at a local Staples store. I feel I am living on “borrowed” time with my HP5100 all-in-one because I tried to get HP tech support to help me when I was having a problem with my printer but because my extended warranty had expired the month before I called, they would not discuss the situation with me or offer any possible solutions to the problem without my purchasing another warranty, or agreeing to pay a service fee.

    This bad experience notwithstanding, I have enjoyed the simple easy to opeate performance I have received from my HP. When I looked at the HP L7780, It was on sale,for $249.98; yeah, I know…but at the time I wanted to wait to confer with my son and I needed to measure my space to see how much additional space the new printer would require. So, if it is still on sale, I may go back and see about making the purchase.

    One thing I do need to ask. I have had a great deal of trouble trying to print labels. I don’t know if there is a glitch in my software or where the problem lies. When I get the label laid out on screen as I want it to be and print it prints out between the spaces. In other words, the name, address on the body of the label then the city, state in the preferation between labels. I carried this print-out to one of the supply stores to have the technology folk there look at it but no one could suggest what might need adjustments. Do you have any idea? Or have you had an opportunity to experience the Pro L7780 with labels yet?

  21. Anita Campbell

    Hi Paulette, sounds like a software issue to me. I print labels all the time — printed all my Christmas card labels in fact, on this HP model.

    Here is how I print labels. I use Microsoft Word 2003, and I go into the “Tools” menu, and then Letters/Mailings, then Envelopes/labels. Then on the labels tab, I click on “Options” and choose a label size template that is equivalent to the labels I am using.

    That works perfectly for me.

    Make sure the numbers on the label size you choose are accurate. It could make a big difference. Using a template for an Avery 5662 but using the paper label size of Avery 5663, for instance, would cause your labels to print improperly.

    — Anita

  22. Paulette Thompson

    Anita, thanks for the response. I really don’t know what to make of my label printing problem because I have asked for technical help from computer department techs at Office Max, Staples and other CompUSA before they went out of business. One of the trainers who worked there actually made a “house-call” and checked my system. She e-mailed my address list to herself at CompUSA and was able to print the labels but when I followed the steps she outlined as to what she did, just as you did above, my results were exactly what they had been before: printing between labels. I have changed brands; I have double-checked to be sure I matched the Label Brand Number with the label paper size on my system. Nothing I have done worked. But I appreciate your thoughts and I’m not giving up; it is just so frustrating because it is when I have a big mailing like at Christmas or when I am sending a similar type letter to a number of folk (I am a real estate professional), that I want this to work for time savings and I have the least amount of time to waste.

  23. I BOUGHT A L7780 ALL IN ONE PRINTER FROM STAPLES OCT 1 2008, I HAD TROUBLE LOADING TEH SOFTWARE SO HP SOULTION CENTER WOULD WORK TEC FINLY GOT IT LOADED BUT IT WOULD NOT PRINT REPORTS IF I FAXED FROM TEH SOLUTION CENTER. TEC WORKED ON IT MANY TIMES THEY EVEN TOLD ME THAT MY COMPUTER WAS THE PROBLEM SO I TOLD THEM TO SEND ME A NEW COMPUTER. WHEN I GOT TEH NEW COMPUTER AND LOADED TEH PROGRAMS ON TEHMACHINE IT STILL DOES NOT WORK. THEY WORK ON IT AGAIN BY TAKING CONTROL OF MY COMPUTER, I COUT THEM DELETING THIGS THAT DID NOT NEED TO BE DELETED OR PART OF TEH PRINTER, I ORDED THEN TO STOP AND WOULD NOT, I FINNLY SHUT TEH COMPUTER DOWN. AFTER FOUR MONTHS THEY HAVE NOT FIXED THE PRINTER OR TEH DAMAGE TO MY COMPUTER. THEY WONDER WHY I WILL NOT SEND TEH COMPUTER THAT THEY SENT TO ME BACK. I HAVE TOLD THEM WHEN THEY REPAIR TEH PROBLEMS THEY CAN HAVE IT AS I DO NOT NEED IT, SLOWER THAN MY COMPUTER. I DO CAUTION ANY ONE IN LETTING HP TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR COMPUTER AS THEY DO NOT WANT TO REPAIR TEH DAMAGED THAT THEY CAUSE.

  24. I am constantly searching for product reviews like this by real people in real situations and they are hard to find. It’s not the printer for me but thank you for taking the time to share your experience and perspective.

  25. I am using the HP Officejet L7780 and during the scan process it does not offer the option of scanning using a PDF file type.
    Only offers jpeg, tif, or bitmap.
    Can anyone offer any tips on this?

  26. Anita Campbell

    Hi Wanda,

    Two questions:

    (1) Have you downloaded and installed the HP Solution Center software? Always use that software, because it is synced with the 7780 and it will enable you to save scans as a PDF format.

    (2) When scanning, are you scanning a document or a picture? Choose “scan document” for what you want to scan. Then you should be able to save it as a PDF. If you choose “scan picture” you can only save it in image formats such as jpeg, etc.

    Hope this helps.

    Anita

  27. Yes, I have installed the HP Solution Center Software and I have been using the scan document option but still don’t get a PDF file option.
    More ideas?

  28. my HP L7780 displays “OUT OF PAPER load paper in the device”. Both trays have paper in them. i only use the L7780 to make copies. anyone know what i can do to fix this problem? i already visited hp website and no answers there. please help…..joy

  29. I purchased my L7780 in January 08 for small business use. There are things that make this printer wonderful, but I haven’t read very many ‘cons’ on here, so I will share mine with you. When printing a large job (2-3 MB) this printer will jam up in the middle of a printing job. I will have one page that’s half printed then it will shoot out blank pages until the printer says the job is complete. VERY frustrating. I have learned that for photos I can only send two 1 MB photos at a time to be printed. If I were to try to print say 15 photos at once, it will foul up at around half way through. Just this morning, I had a large email sent to me with 3 attachments that I didn’t check the size before I printed, it didn’t shoot me blank pages, however it printed the first two attachments with no problem, the third attachment took over an hour that was only about 10 pages long. The top roller for fax and/or copying only loads right when it wants to. Half of the time it will pull documents to the right side and crumple them, jamming the machine. So anytime I fax I end up holding the documents up to help ‘self feed’ them through. So after 19 months, I am now looking for another machine.

  30. joy
    says:
    March 13, 2009 at 1:41 am
    my HP L7780 displays “OUT OF PAPER load paper in the device”. Both trays have paper in them. i only use the L7780 to make copies. anyone know what i can do to fix this problem? i already visited hp website and no answers there. please help..joy

    Joy – check very carefully you have taken all the packing tape off, including the bit in the middle of the bottom sheet feeder….

  31. My HP L7780 printer has been nothing but a major headache for the last two months. First of all it stopped duplex printing altogether, a feature that is a must have for me. After getting that repaired, I printed approximately 200 pages on it and it now will do nothing but sit there and “align printhead” over and over and over. I cannot stop from doing that, and apparently no one else can either. I’ve searched many websites and I have seen that others have the same problem, but none of the suggeted remedies have worked for me. I now feel I have a very large and heavy paperweight. I will say the printer was great until it started falling apart, all at once. One thing after the other. I’m very disappointed in this printer and I’m not sure what I will buy next.

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