There’s a scene in 1999’s Office Space where a trio of characters take the office printer to an open field and destroy it, all to the music of controversial hip hop group Geto Boys.
There’s a baseball bat involved. Lots of stamping; a few flying fists. Chips and cables shoot into the sky. We’re sure most people have had fantasies of doing similar when a tired, old printer has jammed or run out of ink prematurely.
Luckily, various CEOs of printer companies must have seen the film, as printers are smarter and more reliable than ever – even those that include the word “office” in their name.
Take the HP officejet pro 7720 A3 (£149.99, Hp.com), for instance. The name doesn’t inspire confidence that this is a modern machine, but one look at it begins to allay any fears, alongside HP’s claims of efficient ink usage, rapid-fire printing and multi-functionality.
We took a deep breath, put on some soothing whale noises and started printing, to test how much of a stress-free experience using this wireless home office printer could be.
How we tested
We tested the 7720 on print speed and quality, ease of setting up, tech specs, ink usage and general look and feel. We always test our products with one main question in mind: will we still approve of the product in a year’s time, or will we be on the lookout for a replacement?
HP officejet pro 7720 A3
Printer type: HP Thermal Inkjet, cartridge
Size: 584.9mm x 444.8mm x 306.4mm, 15.5kg
Printing speed: 22 pages/min monochrome, 18 pages/min colour
Input/output capacity: Up to 250 sheets/up to 75 sheets
Connectivity: AirPrint, Google cloud print, USB, ethernet, wifi direct
This wide format does mean that the 7720 is a bulky beast, but this is nicely masked by the office-chic off-white and black finishes. The screen is clear and bright, making hands-on printing easy, but wireless printing is the best way to go. The HP partner app is a little more complicated to set up than other brands’ efforts (mainly due to the extra Android plug-in we needed to install), but once you’re registered, the day-to-day workings are straightforward. There’s even an option to order more ink directly through the app, with subscriptions options claiming to save you up to 70 per cent on your cartridges.
The 7720 has one paper tray, capable of holding up to 250 standard sheets of paper, 50 sheets of photo paper, or 30 envelopes. Output capacity is a good level, too, with up to 75 standard sheets and 25 envelopes, but there’s surely space within the machine for an extra tray, given the extra space afforded by HP to the design.
The 7720 is a multifunction printer, meaning it’s your one stop for any print, scan, copy or fax jobs that need completing. Alongside the 250-page paper tray, there’s a 35-page automatic document feeder, and the 7720 allows you to print on a wide range of papers and sizes, including double-sided A4. Printing speed is impressive, churning out documents quicker than most printers we’ve tested – it’s perfectly suited to being a workhorse home office machine.
The 7720 is also the perfect choice for professional-quality brochures and flyers at a decent price and in the comfort of your own home: it specialises in producing water, smear, and fade-resistant prints that are perfect for more industrial jobs. The 7720 can also print (but not scan or copy) A3-sized pages, making it perfect for quick poster printing without having to go to the store. Basically, it’s either one of the most office-ready home printers or home-ready office printers, we’ve tested. We’re not fully sure which.
The cartridges are quite expensive, but you do get great quality from them, and the optional high-yield cartridges let you print up to three times as many monochrome and two times as many colour pages, apparently for up to 50 per cent lower cost per page than colour laser printers.
Buy now £149.99, Hp.com
The verdict: HP officejet pro 7720 A3
Don’t let the “office” in its name fool you: the 7720 is a strong choice for a home wireless printer. It looks good, the HP smart app is straightforward, and print quality is high. Thanks to its wide format, the 7720 can print up to A3, with scan and copy up to legal size (slightly larger than A4).
It’s certainly a printer for a big home office space, but it performs most tasks admirably. The initial financial outlay is good value for a strong performer, and although cartridges are pricy, this is mitigated by both the versatility you get from the 7720 and its potential ink efficiency. It’s a strong contender for professional home printing. No Office Space violence, here.
For discounts on printers and more home tech, try the links below:
To print high quality photos at home, look to our review of the best photo printers