My Printer SPAT AT ME! : HP K550DTN To The Rescue!
Mar 18, 2007
Pros: FAST, excellent quality print, great photos
Cons: a bit large in size
The Bottom Line: I was afraid to try this printer, but after having it for 4 months so far I am very happy with it. FAST, high quality, and ink conserving- Great printer.
I was a normal day like most- well for me, normal anyway. I sat down at my computer and began to print out some pages for school work that day.
All of a sudden, I heard a grinding sound. I bent down to see what was going on with my printer and to my dismay, MY PRINTER BEGAN TO SPIT PARTS AT ME!
I quickly braced my hands up to protect my face from any more flying debris. When I was satisfied that the coast was clear, I raced for the power button to disable this unforeseen weapon that was now residing under my keyboard shelf.
I dismantled my printer and examined carefully everything. Apparently, for some reason, the guiding arms of my HP990CSE printer decided to give up the ghost and take me out with them.
I was quite upset. I mean, you know, when you have a computer component that has stuck through thick and thin with you, you tend to bond with it. Sort of like the horse and rider of previous centuries gone by.....
Okay, well, the printer is not alive, I know. However, I loved my printer and was upset that now I was left with nothing.
THE HP CALL
Because I use my printer for school, business, and endless personal use, I needed something right away. However, I did not want to plod up to the city an hour away to go printer shopping. I just was not up to it.
So, I began to think of what to do- WAIT! Perhaps the HP guys can help me fix it! It was only a couple of years old...
Well, they did not help me fix it, but they did highly recommend another printer that might fill my needs- the K550 printer.
Wow, it sure looked like a good one.
I set out to do my research.
I AM RUNNING FAR AWAY FROM THE K550!
Despite the glowing review of the HP rep, I set out to do my own research on the HP OFFICE JET K550 printer. I know that the response of the people outweighs the sales pitch of factory reps.
What I found made me want to run the opposite direction and run FAST!
Some of the reviews of this printer were so bad that I decided that I could not see myself buying one. It seemed like money wasted.
So, I tried to find another printer to serve my needs, but was very upset at the small ink cartridges and the tiny amounts of ink one was expected to buy for a huge sum of money. Plus I was no interested in the photo stuff and all of the bells and whistles.
I needed a printer that printed fast multipaged copies, used little ink, and still could print a decent photo if necessary. I did not want to be buying ink constantly so I kept passing all of the printers buy in almost every category.
BACK TO THE K550
I called a repair center and told them of my concerns. When I told them of a fabulous deal on Amazon.com that I had found, the guy looked it up and said, "WHOA, That is an amazing deal- I would go for it- forget the other ones we sell!"
That did it. I decided to take the plunge.
I purchased the K550DTN printer in the very beginning of November 2006 and closed my eyes as I pressed the enter button. It was too late to turn back.
Much to my chagrin, the printer listing disappeared the very next day and I began to worry. I was so stressed out about it that when the humungous package arrive later that week, my eyes popped out of my head.
Dear God, that was never going to fit under my keyboard shelf. WHAT HAD I DONE?
WHAT IS THIS PRINTER LIKE?
Finally when two weeks had passed and my entire family was giving my the evil eye, I decided that I might as well get out of denial and investigate the mountainous box from HP that blocked my house entrance.
First of all, the HPK550DTN is an OFFICE JET printer. It is a larger footprint than any of the other printers that I have had over the last few years.
The K550 DTN is a boxy unit- dark gray - that has a duplex unit in the back. That means that you can print both sides of the page automatically.
My 990CSE had that feature and I was quite used to it- I really loved that feature which is why I got the K550DTN in the first place- it comes with the duplex attachment.
Secondly this printer has what I have been wanting for years- separate ink cartridges for each color. There is one black and three color cartridges.
Thirdly, this printer has a new ink application that comes as close to laser printing as one can get without being a laser printer.
WHAT COMES IN THE BOX?
Here is what comes in the box with the printer HP Officejet Pro K550dtn color printer incl. built-in 802.3 wired Ethernet
Automatic two-sided printing accessory 350-sheet paper tray HP 88 Black Ink Cartridge (19.5ml) HP 88 Cyan Ink Cartridge (9ml) HP 88 Magenta Ink Cartridge (9ml) HP 88 Yellow Ink Cartridge; (9ml) HP 88 Black and Yellow printhead HP 88 Magenta and Cyan printhead Starter CD with printer drivers User documentation Power cord AC power adapter
I am using the USB connection to run it to my computer
I also have not been able to use the 350 sheet tray because it will make my printer too tall to fit under my keyboard shelf. The paper tray it comes with (before the extra one) has enough room for multiple paper stacking for me.
I am not sure about replacing printheads - if that will ever be an issue. Time will tell on that.
WHAT HP CLAIMS ABOUT THIS PRINTER
Here is what HP heralds about this printer:
Print up to 37 pages per minute in black and up to 33 in color (draft mode); get laser-quality speeds up to twice as fast as those of color laser printers1: up to 12 ppm in black, 10 in color
Save money with a very low cost per page for both color as well as black prints
Enhance productivity with the built-in wired Ethernet networking, 350-sheet second input tray (for total capacity of 600 sheets)
Save paper by automatically printing on both sides of each page with the built-in duplexer
Print large quantities at the right price with the individually replaceable, high-capacity cartridges, which produce up to 2,350 pages before you need to replace the black and 1,200 pages before you need to replace a color2
Professional-looking, long-lasting color
Get brilliant photo quality and exceptional fade resistance with HP's Vivera inks, which ensure that documents last for decades3
Get professional-quality prints with output resolutions of up to 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi color on premium photo papers
Produce especially vibrant photos when using HP Advanced Paper, which features patented color-locking technology that makes printed documents water resistant, allows ink to dry more quickly, and produces deeper blacks and more vivid colors
Easy to use, easy to maintain
Simplify operation with the one-touch print cancel button and flip-open top cover for easy troubleshooting and maintenance
Conserve space with the compact, low-profile design
Easily replace ink cartridges via front side slots
Set up fast with easy software, a control panel with graphical icons on buttons
Stay on top of ink replacement with HP SureSupply4: receive alerts when a cartridge is low, monitor its remaining life, and enjoy easy online ordering or check stock and prices at nearby stores
1. Compared with color laser printers under $500. Laser-quality speed is an HP measurement method representing the print speed of typical office documents in default mode, compared with published color speeds by laser manufacturers as of 5/05. 2. Estimated pages based on HP 88 Large Ink Cartridges from internal test results; high-capacity cartridges not included. Actual results may vary. 3. Based on paper industry predictions for acid-free papers; colorant stability data at room temperature based on similar systems tested as per ISO 11798 and ISO 18909 4. Available only with original HP supplies; Internet access required
This was excerpted from HP's documentation about the OFFICE JET K550 DTN printer
SPECIFICATIONS OF INTEREST
Black print speed - up to 37 pages per minute
Color print speed - up to 34ppm
Black Print resolution - up to 1200 x 1200 dpi
Color Print resolution- Up to 4800 x 1200 dpi color (on premium photo papers and 1200 input dpi)
Supported paper sizes: Letter, legal, statement, executive, 3 x 5 in, 4 x 6 in, 5 x 7 in, 5 x 8 in, 4 x 10 in, 4 x 11 in, 4 x 12 in, 8 x 10 in, No. 10 envelopes, Monarch envelopes, envelope DL
Up to 7500 pages per month recommended handling
1 USB 1 Network connections
Supported Operating Systems
Windows NT 4.0; Windows 98; Windows 2000; Windows Me; Windows XP Home; Windows XP Professional; Certified for Windows Vista(TM); Mac OS X v 10.2.x; Mac OS X v 10.3.x; Mac OS X v 10.4.x; Red Hat Linux 9.0 or higher; SuSE Linux 8.1 or higher; Debian 3.0 or higher; Slackware 8.1 or higher; Lindows 1.3 or higher
Dimensions: 19.5 x 19.8 x 11.9 in
(without additional tray, mine measures- 8.5 in high, 19.5 wide, and 19.5 deep with duplex unit attached to front of paper tray)
Weight: 29 lbs.
HOW HAS THIS PRINTER PERFORMED?
I have used this printer constantly since I finally set it up mid- November 2006. I was watching it like a hawk because of all of the horrible reports that I read about it.
So far, it has performed flawlessly. The pages print out very fast, and although it is not silent like my previous 990CSE printer, it sure does high quality.
Photos are amazing and good enough quality for me.
Printing looks much more professional as compared to my 990CSE printer as well. The black ink is blacker and the fonts print out much more smoothly.
I have used this printer CONSTANTLY DAILY for photos and printing and I am still on the ink that came with the printer. Although the printer is very larg and takes up almost my entire printer pull-out shelf in my computer desk, it is very stable and performs beautifully.
Replacement of the cartridges is easy ( I have taken them out and put them in just to test it) and the software keeps track of each ink cartridge to let you know how much is in there constantly.
the paper tray has a small extension that pulls out to accommodate the finished pages, but then you snap it back into the tray when you don't need it. That can be obnoxious for the printer space that is below keyboard shelves that pull out on some computer centers.
Also, I find that if I cross my legs at my desk, that I usually turn off the printer with my feet by accident. It takes up more room than I am used to. However, it is a minor frustration.
The printer does tend to vibrate when it works, but again, it is not that big of a deal. It works so fast that I don't mind at all so far.
The drivers and software that come with this is very nice. It monitors ink usage so that you are not caught unaware with no ink left and a huge project to do. It will let you know if you are running lower than 50% to allow you time to order ink if you need to.
I LOVE THAT FEATURE.
Also, there are a few auto features that I am not sure I like- they will send reports of usage to HP as a way to figure out how often you need supplies. You can choose to opt out, which I do.
The only thing that is a bit frustrating about this printer is that the ink can be hard to find locally. Staples does carry it, as does Office Max, but I do not go there often.
However, Best Buy only sells it online, which is not too big of a problem as shipping is free on their ink most of the time.
This printer uses 88 incartridges. The price of each color is about $15 from Best Buy online and the black is $20.
It is possible to purchase the large capacity cartridges from HP for $34 for black and $24 for colors. You can order them from this page.
If I had not read the horrible reviews of people who were very unhappy with this printer, I probably would have been unafraid to try it. I feel badly that so many people have had such awful experiences with this printer.
For me it has been wonderful so far. I hope that this good experience lasts. My son just remarked the other day that he had never seen a small printer print so fast.
Get the color printing you have always wanted and look more professional with the world's fastest desktop business color printer with Laser Quality Speeds up to twice as fast and printing costs up to 30 percent lower than color laser printers.