Pros Fax capabilities are top notch and will work well with a shared phone line, good quality on photo paper, wireless, built in web server for configuration
Cons Fragile installation software, Photosmart Essentials cannot work with large photos or scans, black ink is really a dark grey
Summary I bought this all-in-one mostly because of the wireless 802.11g networking feature. I assumed that HP has been making printers and scanners for so long the quality would be there... I was wrong.
First the drivers have a huge footprint and are fragile. When you install, you will need to install everything or nothing will work. At first I tried to select out some scumware but nothing worked until I redid things with all options checked. HP sees fit to include such rediculous items a browser addons.
Next I tried printing in black and white and the "black" was not nearly as dark as the 8-year old HP Inkjet this was going to replace.
I tried a scan next and the quality is so bad I thought something must be broken. White dots and streaks all over the photo. A quick search of the web reveals I'm not alone. Unfortunately HP does not have user forums I can ask in.
The faxing and copying work but, again, quality is subpar.
On the positive side, the wireless networking is complete and works with WEP secured networks. The printer acts as a web server so you can just browse to it and look through the log files, ink levels, and configure settings.
The speed is decent for an inkjet. I bet it could compete with the older Laserjets. I also was really happy with the form factor. It's easy on the eyes and a really nice size.
Overall I can't give this all-in-one a good review. If the software and drivers were solid (e.g. just turn off the printer and your Windows driver will crash every 10 minutes until you turn the printer back on, sigh) then I would give them much higher marks.
Pros Compact, great feature set
Cons Bloated software, average photo printer
Summary Bought this yesterday to be a low-volume copier & printer in the house. Also considered Canon mp830 and the new Canon mx700. Settled on the HP due to smaller footprint and built-in networking.
The 7280 is an attractive unit with a quality feel: compact, well laid out design, with some construction details suggestion that there remains pockets of pretty good engineering skills at HP.
The software installed on a Vista laptop with few hitches (it stopped once and said there is an 'issue' on the laptop, but failed to mention what issue, and then continued fine). It did take amazingly long - ~30 mins, and subjectively, other programs in the laptop seem to respond significantly more slowly if any of the giant HP applications are runing.
So far I've not tested everything, but it copied a color sheet quickly & accurately, and prints photos pretty rapidly.
Here is why I may be returning it: it is really only average as a photo printer. We also have in the house an older & much less expensive Canon Pixma IP5000, and its output it noticable better than the HP. Viewed from fairly close, a 4"x6" photo from the HP has a several small patches of graininess not present in the Canon's, and the lines are not as sharp as in the Canon photo. This is probably due to the HP's 4800x1200 resolution, vs. the Canon's 9600x2400 - didn't realize it would be this visible. More significant, the color is not nearly as accurate as the Canon - a white blanket stayed white in the Canon, but became an odd yellow in the HP. Finally, the HP ink takes a while to dry - so after a few minutes the photo looks quite different from when it just emerged from the printer! It actually ends up looking better - some of the graininess fades, and the colors become more vivid. Better is, well better, the problem is that you don't know immediately if your photo has printed well - you have to wait for the ink to dry.
Very unfortunate - having a compact machine with all these capabilities is great, but having a photo-printing experience significantly inferior to an older machine costing a third of the price feels like too much of a compromise.
Pros Does everything I need and more
Cons None so far, 2 months use
Summary I absolutely love it. I was using an ancient HP820 and a glitchy HP1610 for office and personal use. The C7280 has taken the place of both in 1/2 the space with features I hadn't even dreamed were possible, like the double sided printing! Scanning is perfect reproduction, photos print clear as a bell both within publications and as separate prints on photo paper. The ability to match quality & speed to the job is very helpful. Also love the low cost individual tanks, have found capacity to be excellent.
As for "FastDraft" black being dark grey... I think that's why they call it "draft", eh? "FastNormal" is good quality and very fast for most purposes where good (not excellent) quality is needed. If you want excellent, set it for "Best".
Installation took time, but no problems if you follow the directions.
Pros fax and copier
Cons paper jams and slow software
Summary I do not recommend buying the Hewlett-Packard C7280. This has been the most frustrating printer I have ever owned. It performs some functions well but the reason I purchased it was to generate reports for clients and it cannot print fast. It does not matter what the specifications say, the paper feed tray is unable to feed paper as fast as the machine wants and jams several times during every report.
As a rule, do not try in print in fast draft because it will jam paper. The software has bugs in it and this too does not allow it to print fast. Our previous HP printer could actually do 30 pages per minute. This printer in the “draft” mode stops every page and waits three or four seconds between printing. This machine can only create 10 pages a minute in draft mode. After several phone calls and e-mails to Hewlett-Packard, the technicians in Pakistan have no idea what to do. The technicians that responded by e-mail had me change a setting on the printer that is so hidden it could never be found and then 50 percent of the time the machine reverts back to the original setting of holding every page for three or four seconds and so will still not print as fast as advertised.
On top of all that, my reports average 45 pages for clients. The machine is not capable of printing 45 pages without stopping and cleaning itself. This is as frustrating as trying to get your dog in public to stop licking itself. The machine simply stops, makes a lot of noise with the carriage possibly going back and forth for up to 60 seconds in the middle of trying to print. Another frustrating software bug does not allow the print spooler to function correctly. After several phone calls and e-mails, the machine magically defaults back to going slow and may take up to two minutes after hitting “Print” before the machine will generate the first page. Then I still have to deal with this being a faux/pretend printer and not a real printer.
Simply put, I was suckered into buying this model and it does not deliver on the majority of claims. Do not buy this printer.
Pros Lots of features
Cons Horrible software, CPU hog
Summary Replaced my old HP 7760 because I wanted a wireless hookup. Tried two of these 7280's in the past week. It is unable to scan a document. Also, it takes about two minutes before a print will occur (example to print an email, two minutes or more will go by before the 7280 actually will print the email). When doing a task, CPU usage climbs to 100% until job is done. Unable to do anything else while a print job is submitted. After returning the second 7280, I decided to go back to my old trusty HP 7760. I have experienced all the negatives that prior reviewers has commented on. RUN from this printer. Also, the HP chat line for help is a joke. Useless!