Home > Product Reviews > Printer Reviews > HP OfficeJet 7410 Review

HP OfficeJet 7410 Review

Highs

  • Integrated WiFi; can print/scan/copy/fax; 9-in-1 media card reader

Rating

Our Score 7.5
User Score 5

Lows

  • Buggy drivers; high power consumption; slow duplex printing
The wireless connectivity is excellent, the print quality is exceptional, and all advertised functions work.

Summary

HP’s current king of the Inkjet Multifunction Printers, the Officejet 7410, does everything a home office user may need. Not only that, it can do it wirelessly over an 802.11b connection. However, with great functionality comes great driver complexity, and as history has taught us through the Officejet 7100 line, HP has a hard time releasing stable multifunction drivers and software. If you have time to fiddle with options when you try a new function, the Officejet 7410 will save you money and space in the long run. The Officejet 7140 has a street price of around $500.

Initially, we were worried about purchasing an HP Officejet 7410 due to the dismal performance of the Officejet 7100. On three different units, the 7100 would regularly crash, lose settings, jam, and induce sheer dread whenever we were forced to print a document. Scan? Yeah right. If you were lucky, you could squeeze out a fax before it choked on a cryptic memory error. So when our ‘trusty’ 7100 went ten toes up to the sky, we were forced to find a replacement quickly.

With the recommendation of another former 7100 owner, and a lack of multifunction inkjets with sheet feeders and duplex printing, we reluctantly snagged an Officejet 7410, on the promise that the experience was “like night and day” compared to the 7100. Overall, this turned out to be very true. The Officejet 7410 is technically better, while also offering more features, better drivers, and improved software.

What we found surprising during our search was the lack of true multifunction devices on the market. Some would print and copy, but not fax, while others would scan, fax and print, but not copy. Still others lacked a document feeder. There are a few laser-based options, but prices start at nearly double the price of the 7410. Also, color laser printers generally fare worse than inkjets when it comes to picture quality. This unique niche is part of the lure of HP’s All-In-One (or simply AiO) line of printers, and they have remained largely unchallenged for several years.

HP 7410
Image Courtesy of HP

Setup and Initial Impressions

Though the price of the 7410 is high for a printer at around $500, the included contents are beyond compare. The printer itself is bulky, but not unmanageable, and in addition to this you will find a 250 sheet paper tray, duplex attachment, various shelves (for catching printed pages and the document feeder), USB/phone/power cords, several CDs of drivers and software, and several instruction manuals and quick start booklets. The first 30 minutes of owning a 7410 will be consumed by removing the nearly 40 million pieces of tape used to secure various parts of the unit during shipping! Sure, that’s an exaggeration, but we stopped counting at around 20 and continued to find more as we installed ink cartridges and other components.

Setup is relatively straightforward. If you are planning to use the built in 802.11b functionality, make sure you set up the 7410 close to your router and computer, as initial setup is easier over a wired network. Following the included instruction manual is a MUST, as straying from it will set defaults difficult to access. You can choose to connect through USB, another computer, Ethernet, or 802.11b. We figured the wireless connection would be the best test for unique/bug prone features, and chose that route. To configure for wireless access, it is best to perform the initial setup via an Ethernet connection. Once that is working, the SSID, IP address, and authentication method can be set directly on the unit itself using the bright, beautiful color LCD. The 7410 supports unencrypted, WEP, and WPA-PSK schemes; and we found no difference in transfer speeds or stability between the three. Installing drivers took close to ten minutes. When completed, a new icon appears in the taskbar area. This allows quick access to the greatly improved HP Director program, which permits access to most common functions.

During setup, drivers for the integrated card reader are installed. The 7410, like all other 7X10 models, has a built in 9-in-1 card reader, which is still accessible over the wireless network connection. Cards appear under a single drive icon in Windows Explorer, under My Computer. Transfer over the wireless connection is approximately ten times slower than a directly connected USB 2.0 card reader, such as the one integrated into the Dell 2405 and 2407 LCD monitors, but card access isn’t the reason for the slots. The 7410 can print directly from memory cards or USB connected devices. Our initial reaction was that this was a gimmick feature, but it turned out to be more useful than we expected. The built in photo abilities allow for printing of a proof sheet and review of photos on the built in LCD. We tested the 7410 with a 4GB 80x CompactFlash card, using images captured at 8 megapixels. Once the proof sheet is printed, you can bubble in the slides you want to print, along with the print sizes, just like a ScanTron test. Put the sheet into the scanner portion and voila! Custom prints! HP has done an excellent job of making photo printing idiot proof.

Performance and Testing

Printing

There isn’t much to write in regard to the ability to print from the 7410. The printer handled everything we threw at it with ease. Whether 30MB PDF files, Word documents, or pictures, print quality was between good and very good. Print times run pretty much as advertised, clocking in at 30ppm black, and 20ppm color when set to draft quality. Higher quality black printing can take up to 2.5 minutes per page when set to maximum. Text quality is particularly exceptional, with high resolution photos faring well, but sub-par to other dedicated photo printers. The 7410 does offer duplex (double-sided) printing, an option generally reserved for middle-to-high end laser printers. One catch though: when printing on both sides, there is a 15-30 second pause after the first side in order to allow the ink to dry. Otherwise, the rollers that feed the sheet would smear the ink. This considerably slows printing times, which average 20 seconds, depending on the amount of ink used.

Print times (in seconds)

Quality Setting

Black Only

Color GIF (700×520)

Fast Draft

4

6

Fast Normal

7

12

Normal

9

16

Best

30

45

Maximum dpi

150

105

The 7410 uses three color technology, yielding exceptional photo printing results. You get approximately 800 pages black and 450 color sheets before replacing the carts. Calibration is performed automatically by printing out a test sheet, and then scanning that sheet. We experienced no memory errors, stutters, or other problems with the various printing tasks thrown at the 7410, which was a relief!

Scanning

Scanning did not perform as well as printing. While the quality of color scans was very good, software bugs remained. The optical resolution maxes out at 2400dpi, and 19200dpi with interpolation. Scanning of the wireless connection was seamless, and we had to actively remind ourselves that there was indeed no direct connection. However, when scanning documents into Adobe Acrobat, we regularly encountered errors and crashed the 7410 once. Also, the automatic resizing skewed documents, and was an overall headache. In desperation, we used the built-in scanning program that saved documents as multi-page TIFs, which we later converted to PDFs in Acrobat. After a little finessing, we were scanning 30-50 double sided pages completely unattended. We tried to jam the 7410, and succeeded a couple times with horribly mangled pieces of notebook paper. However, this printer earned our respect as one tough cookie to jam. The sheet feeder is limited to 8.5″ wide, and the glass top allows for legal sized pages to be scanned in one pass.

We tried scanning directly into Adobe Photoshop CS as well. Both Adobe applications rely on the TWAIN drivers, which may be the culprit in our strange messages indicating the device was unresponsive, when it clearly was. In a couple cases we got the same error messages in Photoshop as in Acrobat. However, unlike Acrobat, which discarded any scanned information once the error occurred, Photoshop showed partially complete data. Once the process was tried 30 seconds later, everything appeared to function properly.

In total we scanned over 100 monochrome documents, and a couple dozen color pictures with satisfactory results and only a few ‘quirks’ when using the included scanning utility (which is launched from programs using the TWAIN driver).

Faxing

Faxing is a relatively old technology, so it is no surprise that there were no issues with this function. We used our VoIP phone line, through Vonage, to send several multi-page faxes without major incidents. In one case, we did find that the receiver’s machine could not negotiate the correct speed, and we had to manually change the transmission speed down one notch. This option is easily accessible under the menu options on the unit. Documents can be faxed directly from a PC by choosing the 7410 fax printer at the print dialogue. This brings up the recipient application, which can store contact info and set up cover sheets. We were disappointed that the application does not access Outlook or other contact management programs. Note that in order to use the fax function, you do need to have a phone line going to the 7410. Even though the unit can communicate wirelessly with a computer, there will still need to be power and phone cables close by.

Copying

Copying was straightforward and required almost no explanation. All options can be set using the built-in controls and LCD screen. These options include paper size, source tray, collate, reduce/enlarge, resolution, single/double sided, color intensity, and lighter/darker.

For scanning, faxing, and copying, placing documents in the sheet feeder sets the 7410 to use the feeder over the glass top. Both faxing and copying have separate hard buttons for color and monochrome input.

Reliability

Aside from issues we encountered with scanning, the 7410 has been a significantly better experience than the old 7100 AiO. We have had to pull the plug to power down the 7410 three times over the last four months due to a mysterious lockup, but each time we were back up and running in 30 seconds. The installed applications include an automatic update checking utility, which is comforting, since we saw only one update to the critically flawed 7100. Over the past four months, we’ve noticed four updates to the installed software. Hopefully this signals a change in support away from the “fire and forget” mentality of launching a product with poor support for advertised functions, only to replace it with a new model and no future software updates.

Conclusion

With great apprehension, we gave HP a chance to redeem themselves from the botched launch of the 7X00 line of multifunction printers, and we are happy to report that the current crop of AiO devices is much more stable and capable than its predecessors. The wireless connectivity is excellent, the print quality is exceptional, and all advertised functions work. There is a little bit of work to be done on integrating the 7410 into non-HP software products, but the casual user will hopefully find using the Officejet 7410 a pleasant experience.

Pros:

  • Wireless connectivity
  • Printer/scanner/copier/fax
  • Duplex printing,
  • 9-in-1 card reader

Cons:

  • Buggy drivers
  • Power consumption
  • Slow duplex printing

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox: