Editors' note: CNET editors have not reviewed this printer, but as a service to readers we offer this compilation of experiences other publications and individual users have had with this product.
The HP Officejet 7500A is a wide-format, multifunction printer that can print, fax, copy, and scan documents larger than legal size (up to 13 inches wide by 19 inches tall). At $299.99 or less, several reviewers from tech publications consider it to be an affordable option for a small business or at-home office. The machine features Wi-Fi connectivity, a 2.4-inch LCD screen for previewing and selecting options, and HP's much-touted ePrint service, which lets you print from any e-mail-enabled device such as a smartphone. The machine's print quality has room for improvement, according to some reviewers, but they agree it's a good buy for the price if you're a home office user looking for an all-in-one device that can print large-size media.
What others are saying about the HP 7500A:
"The 7500A's combination of supertabloid printing (up to 13 by 19 inches), fast print speeds, and a wealth of all-in-one and ePrint features edge it past the Brother as the new Editors' Choice for a wide-format inkjet MFP and a spot on our list of best printers."
"Our print quality tests showed that for a business printer, text was only of fair quality, with surprisingly fuzzy edges."
"All things considered, the Officejet 7500A is a good-quality inkjet-based multifunction printer."
Twenty-two customers reviewed the 7500A to give it an overall rating of 3.5 stars. Most customers are satisfied with print quality and enthusiastic about the option to print in wide format. A couple of customers complained about jamming problems, while one bemoaned the lack of a duplexer.
Thirty-four customers contributed to an overall 3.8 rating. A couple of users complained about the ink cartridges being used up quickly. Many customers were happy with the ability to print in wide format, and one user praised the ability to "send things straight to the printer from anywhere in the house."
Design and features
The 7500A is easy on the eyes, with a sleek, black design, according to SmallBusinessComputing. But it weighs a hefty 30 pounds and is 23.9 inches long by 16.9 inches wide by 11.6 inches deep, so it won't be sharing your desk space. Make sure you have enough room in your home office for a free-standing device.
The front panel, which can tilt up, has a 2.36-inch color LCD screen and an alphanumeric keypad. The LCD screen controls functions such as Web apps and lets you preview images on a memory card. A pair of memory card slots sits on the multifunction printer's lower-left-front side, letting you print or scan documents directly to and from SD, XD, MMC or Memory Sticks, although such an option isn't available for USB flash drives, according to SmallBusinessComputing.
You can connect via USB 2.0, Ethernet, or 802.11 wireless. A USB 2.0 port is located in the back of the machine for connecting directly to a computer. Macworld found an issue with the printer when it was connected over USB to a Mac: the 7500A would stop responding after a restart, but when the CD wasn't used to install the drivers, and the files were instead downloaded through Apple Software Update, it wasn't a problem. Setup of the machine is fairly easy, according to user ratings on multiple shopping sites. Many of the 22 Amazon customers who reviewed the 7500A agree that installation is fast and painless.
The 7500A's document feeder for faxing and copying, which is located on the top of the machine, can handle up to 35 legal-size or smaller pages at a time. Pages can be scanned or copied from either the document feeder or the flatbed. However, the printer's somewhat small 150-sheet paper tray could be limiting for big businesses, which means it might be better suited for home offices. And it's no "departmental workhorse," as SmallBusinessComputing writes, noting that HP puts its duty cycle at 7,000 pages per month, but recommends keeping the monthly print volume down to between 200 to 450 pages.
The ePrint feature, part of HP's cloud-based printing push, is a big plus for the machine, because it lets you use any e-mail-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, to print anywhere. You basically set up an e-mail address for the printer, then send an image or document to that e-mail address, and doing so will print the page automatically. It's also compatible with Apple's AirPrint. Read more from CNET about ePrint-enabled printers here.
The ePrint feature helps put the 7500A in PC Magazine's top-10 list of best printers. The printer's "combination of supertabloid printing (up to 13-by-19 inches), fast print speeds, and a wealth of all-in-one and ePrint features edge it past the Brother (MFC-6490CW) (which is restricted to tabloid (11-by-17 inches) format) as the new Editors' Choice for a wide-format inkjet MFP," according to PC Magazine's Tony Hoffman.
Macworld ranks the 7500A's performance as merely average, with a text speed of 6 pages per minute, 1.5 pages per minute for PDFs, and 0.4 pages per minute for photos. It performed better with PC Magazine's benchmark tests, taking 10 minutes and 52 seconds to print out a business application test suite. "It edged the Officejet 7000, which took 11:15, and easily bested the MFC-6490CW, which plodded in at 19:10," according to PC Magazine.
When it comes to text quality, Macworld is pretty ho-hum about the 7500A. "Our print quality tests showed that for a business printer, text was only of fair quality, with surprisingly fuzzy edges," says Macworld''s James Galbraith. PC Magazine concurs, saying the quality is fairly low for a multifunction inkjet; the text is fine for standard business needs, but it's apparently not up to snuff when it comes to fancy graphics or professional-looking media. "The majority of test fonts were easily readable at 8 points, with two requiring 12 points to reach that threshold, and one font only 5, but three required 20-point type for the characters to be both easily readable and well formed," PC Magazine says.
But not everyone is grumbling about fuzzy print quality. SmallBusinessComputing says the 7500A's print quality is "surprisingly laser-like in its appearance for both monochrome and color output." And a number of user ratings on multiple shopping sites such as Amazon and Staples say that print quality adequately meets their needs.
Service and support
The 7500A comes with a standard one-year HP hardware warranty covering parts and labor, though you can pay extra to extend it. You'll also get 24-hour, seven-days-a-week Web support and business-hour phone support. HP's Web site has e-mail and online chat tech support, FAQs, and a troubleshooting guide.
Overall, multiple hands-on reviews from tech publications agree that the 7500A is a good buy for home office users who are looking for a supertabloid multifunction machine at an affordable price. It offers everything a small-business owner needs and comes with ePrint, which is a pretty big deal if you want to print wirelessly from anywhere. Nonetheless, it's not going to win any speed awards, and if printing large-size media isn't your thing, this might not be the device for you, some reviewers say.