Cons: Software is a little burdensome; scanner bed is only 8.5 x 11 inches.
The Bottom Line: If you need a scanner, copier, (photo) printer and fax, the HP OfficeJet 7210 is probably the right choice for you.
As I have written in my other reviews of Hewlett Packard OfficeJet products, the effort to accessorize the modern officeor home officewith the latest, or even near-latest technology can be an expensive and daunting one. Technology seems to move at a lightening pace, and waits for no manor Information Technology professionals for that matterto keep pace with the innovations that appear almost monthly. We are just weaning the last of our user base off of 10BaseT onto 100BaseT, and Gigabit Ethernet is already upon us. And a single function printer is now becoming almost passé; users now want to be able to print in color and black, as well as scan, copy, fax and (possibly) email from the same device attached to the network.
Hewlett Packard with its OfficeJet line of All-n-One units has long established itself as the leader in multifunctional printing devices, but none up to now could be placed on a network and still harness the full functionality of the product. The HP OfficeJet 7210and its higher priced siblings solved this conundrum coming in at a size and price that are easy to digest. I recently purchased an OfficeJet 7210 to replace an older OfficeJet printer that had outlived it usefulness. The end-user had a specific need that I thought was best met by the lower priced OfficeJet 7210, rather than more higher priced, network-ready printers.
The OfficeJet 7210 is a multifunction printing device (compatible with PC as well as Macintosh) that allows you to print, scan, copy, and fax all from one unit. The OfficeJet 7210 has the added capability of printing photos directly from the unit and will accept input from all manner of removable and or portable memory devices including SD Media, MultiMediaCard (MMC), CompactFlash (Type I & II), Memory Sticks, SmartMedia, xD-Picture Card, and USB (PictBridge) port for connecting directly to a digital camera. In addition, connectivity is accomplished by (1) USB, and (1) Ethernet port on the rear of the unit.
Despite the HP OfficeJet 7210s size, it is surprisingly light and manageable. Anyone familiar with the earlier HP All-n-Ones will be right at home with the front panel controls, but unlike more expensive OfficeJet models there is no 2.5 color display. There is instead a 2-line monochrome display.
Unlike, its larger brethren, the OfficeJet 7410, the OfficeJet 7210 does not ship with an extra 250 sheet paper tray; nor does the printer offer wireless networking, or a duplexing unit standard. But the OfficeJet 7210 does offer Ethernet wired networking capabilities via a built-in 10/100 Ethernet port on the read of the unit. Once set up, computers speak directly to the printer via the network abrogating the need for a dedicated print server, or Windows sharing. Note:the OfficeJet 7210 can also be connected directly to a PC via a USB cable (not included), in which case its printer functionality can be shared. When setting up the printer the choice must be made to choose one connectivity method or another, both cannot be used at once.
The OfficeJet 7210 also features an automatic document feeder, copy collating, fax, copy and scan; copy, scan, and print up to legal size; and 150-sheet total input paper capacity. The OfficeJet 7210 offers print and copy speeds up to 30 ppm black (econo), and up to 20 ppm color, with up to 4,800-optimized dpi color and laser-quality text. Finally, the OfficeJet 7210 can fax in black and color and scan with resolutions of up to 2,400 dpi optical and up to 19,200 dpi Enhanced resolution.
As I stated above, the OfficeJet 7210 is a large unit, but it is not at all cumbersome. It does however have to be put together (somewhat) before use. It took me less then ten minutes to completely assemble the printer, including the automatic document feeder, face plate, and removal of all of the tape. After assembly and initial power on, I installed the two print cartridges, one black and the other tri-color; these are of course courtesy cartridges with limited ink.
In the box: HP OfficeJet 7210 All-in-One Unit HP 96 Black Inkjet Print Cartridge (21 ml); HP 97 Tri-color Inkjet Print Cartridge (14 ml); HP Image Zone Photo and Imaging Software on CD-ROM; Users Guide; Network Guide; Setup Booklet; Power supply & Power cord; Phone cord; Ethernet cable
Network Setup (If You Choose This Option)
As I pointed out above, before connecting the OfficeJet 7210 directly to a computer (USB), or network (Ethernet), the decision must be made to utilize one or the other communications methods, but not both. I installed the OfficeJet 7210 directly to the end-users computer, however if I had decided to put the printer on the network utilizing the standard 10/100 Ethernet port provided in the back of the unit, could have shared the (full) functionality of the unit with other users.
Unlike other network-bound printers the OfficeJet 7210 does not have to be setup on a dedicated printer server in order for client computers to print to it, or utilize the other functions of the unit. It does however have to be assigned an IP address, along with a Subnet Mask, and Default Gateway. Once I assign these parameters to the Ethernet card via the front panel controls, I am s able to ping (find it on the network) the printer and move to the next step, the software installation. During the software installation process the printer is sought and found on the network and a one-to-many relationship set up between the OfficeJet 7210 and attached workstations.
Direct Connection (USB Port)
As with (almost) any device connected via USB port, the software designed for the unit must be installed first, in order for the drivers to be added to the Systems32/drivers subdirectory on Windows XP. One-third of the way through the install process I was promoted to turn on the printer, at which point it was detected by the OS and the appropriate drivers installed. Once that step is complete, the software install will continue apace.
Be prepared, this installation will take a while to accomplish (up to 35 minutes on older machines) and could take up to 700MB of hard drive real estate. And while it involves very little end user interface, the installation plows through several steps before it accomplishes its goal of tying the client workstation(s) directly to the OfficeJet 7210. Note:do not attempt to install this software over a network connection, it will take an inordinate amount of time to complete, and may not install all of the features.
Once the software installation is complete, two devices will be placed in the Printers and Faxes:HP OfficeJet 7200 Series (used to print), and HP OfficeJet 7200 Series Fax (used to send and receive faxes). The HP Director will also be placed in the Windows 9.x/Windows XP system tray as well as on the desktop. HP Director offers you the following functionality:
Scan Picture Scan document Send A Fax Make Copies Hp Image Zone Document Viewer Transfer Images Creative Ideas Software Updates
With the software is installed the workstation (via USB, or network) will be able to print, scan, fax, and copy from the OfficeJet 7210. However, if USB is the chosen communications method, only the print function of the unit can be shared with other computers.
Pretty straight forward; the software installation process installed a full set of print drivers on each workstation, which in turn give you complete control over the printing process, including two-sided printing. As mentioned above, printing to the OfficeJet 7210 is accomplished via the HP OfficeJet 7200 Series print device in Printer and Fax.
Initialing the scanning process on the OfficeJet 7210 can be via the HP Director or the front panel. Once an item is placed either on the automatic document feeder (maximum 20 sheets), or directly on the scanner glass surface, you can push the Scan button on the front panel, at which time you choosevia directorwhat you want to do with the scan; i.e. scan into OCR, or HP Image Zone. Alternatively, you can choose to scan into a file, and after the scanning process is complete the HP Director will allow you to save the scan is one of several different formats, including .DOC, .PDF, .TIFF, .JPG, and .BMP.
This process, like printing is pretty straight forward; both color and black & white copies can be made, up to 99 at a time. Copies can also be enlarged up to 144%, or reduced down to 25% of original.
Faxing from the OfficeJet 7210 can be accomplished one of three ways; at the OfficeJet 7210 front panel; remotely via HP Director; or through an application on your workstation utilizing the HP OfficeJet 7200 Series Fax device installed in Printers & Faxes. The last two methods provide the most control over the look and feel of the fax, including the ability to draw addresses from a shared address book. The OfficeJet 7210 is capable of sending and receiving both color and black & white faxes at a speed of 33.6Kbs, and speed-dial preset are avail via the front panel of the printer.
Working with Photos
As stated above, the OfficeJet 7210 will accept input from a number of commercially available portable memory storage devices, slots for which are located on the right hand side of the printer. Alternatively, a digital camera can be attached directly to the printer via the built-in PictBridge connection on the front of the unit. Simply choose a photo via the cameras screen and print; the OfficeJet 7210 will interact with the camera.
The OfficeJet 7210 represents (to me anyway) a quantum leap in the All-n-One functionality arena; finally we (the clamoring, demanding public) have hassle-free scanning and fax sharing across the network at a very reasonable price-point. There is reason Hewlett Packard dominates this segment of the printing market; its called innovation.
Built-in wired Ethernet capability make the OfficeJet 7210 a versatile, flexible unit that is ideal for the small office or home user and a small workgroup setting; I wouldnt install the unit on a floor with more then ten users, however. If your home, small business, or small workgroup needs a printer, scanner, copier, and fax, the OfficeJet 7210 might be the right choice for you.
System Requirements (From Hewlett Packard)
PC system requirements: Any Intel Pentium II or Celeron processor (Pentium III or higher recommended); Microsoft Windows 98, 98 SE, Me, 2000 Professional, XP (does not support Windows 3.1, 95, NT 4.0, DOS); 128 MB RAM for 98, 98 SE, Me, 2000 Professional, XP (256 MB or higher recommended for all operating systems); 795 MB available hard disk space for full software installation (395 MB for basic software installation without HP Image Zone software); Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or higher.
Mac system requirements: G3 processor (G4 or higher recommended); Mac OS X v 10.1.5, 10.2.3 and later, 10.3.x; Mac OS 9.1 and later (does not support Mac OS 9.0 and earlier or OS X v 10.2, 10.2.1, 10.2.2); 128 MB RAM (256 MB or higher recommended); 400 MB available hard disk space for software installation; HP Memories Disc Creator software requires CD-Writer and 700 MB of additional hard disk space; QuickTime 5.0 or later; any Web browser.
The HP Officejet 7210 All-in-One has the advantages you need to put more speed, versatility and color into your business communications. Make a professional impression with color printing up to 4800-optimized dpi and laser-quality black text, or add 6-ink color for photos with finer detail. Print and copy with breakthrough performance, and boost your productivity with built-in networking and memory card sharing with multiple PCs. Enjoy printing photos without a PC using memory card slots, an HP Photo Proof Sheet or front USB with PictBridge-enabled cameras. Print long-lasting photos that resist fading for generations.