There’s that old saying that “bigger is better,” but everyone knows that’s not always a given. Sometimes the opposite is true. That’s the case for Hewlett Packard’s diminutive (for a printer, at least) DeskJet 3755 ($70 MSRP).
The Wi-Fi-enabled 3755 isn’t the fastest, nor is it the quietest inkjet all-in-one (AIO) printer on the market. But it is the smallest multifunction unit that you can currently buy, according to HP, and that will sway a lot of consumers, particularly those who don’t like big computing peripherals taking up space.
Features and design
Besides the price, what draws us to the 3755 is the size. It’s a compact unit measuring 15.86 x 6.97 x 5.55 inches with the input and output trays retracted. Paper is fed through the rear-mounted, 60-sheet input tray, and the output in the front-bottom can hold up to 25 sheets. It only weighs 5.13 pounds, so its small size and light weight makes it a good choice for when space is tight.
The controls are sparse. It consists of a small single-digit monochrome LCD that also displays icons to indicate error conditions, Wi-Fi Direct connection, wireless status and signal strength, and ink levels. Surrounding the LCD are buttons and indicator lights to connect to Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi Direct, and HP’s Web Services. The setup poster that’s included in the box is scant help, but you can download a 114-page user’s guide that provides great detail on how to use the functions.
HP’s 3755 is targeted toward casual users, and it’s reflected in the capacity of the standard (65) or high-capacity (65XL) ink cartridges. The standard black pigment ink cartridge has a yield rated at about 125 pages, while the tri-color dye-based ink cartridge is rated to yield about 100 pages; the inks cost about $13 and $14, respectively. Frankly, that’s not a lot of prints out of a cartridge.
The high-capacity cartridges up the yields to 300 pages for both the black and color cartridges, and are priced at about $26 and $31, respectively. Despite being XL cartridges, those are still low yields. For the infrequent print jobs, it’s fine; otherwise, you’re betting off with a higher-yield printer. HP does offer its Instant Ink program for the 3755, a subscription service that automatically sends you replacement ink before the printer runs out – a handy service if you anticipate printing more than a few occasional pages.
Setup and performance
Setup is quick. The 3755 comes with a setup disc, yet it prompts you to perform the setup by downloading the latest drivers from HP’s support site. We opted to use the optical disc, but if you have a computer that lacks an optical drive, at least there’s another setup option.
We connected to the printer via Wi-Fi, but you can also connect using a USB cable. If the printer is on a wireless network with Internet access, you can use HP’s ePrint cloud service for remote printing or printing from a mobile device.
The setup process installs a basic scan utility. Unlike a flatbed scanner that you lift the top up, you have to manually feed a page, one at a time. Testing the scanner, we obtained scans with accurate colors and saturation. Optical scan resolution is only 600 x 600 dpi, so don’t expect to scan a small photo and blow it up to print at a larger size.
It is the smallest multifunction unit that you can currently buy.
Copying was painfully slow – even slower than printing. Additionally, you are limited to just a maximum of nine copies at a time. And, as with scanning, because it doesn’t have a document feeder, pages must be individually fed. Forget about copying from a magazine, book, or other bound source
In HP’s defense, the company doesn’t claim the 3755 is a speed demon. They rate the maximum print speed at up to 8 pages per minute (ppm) in monochrome. In our testing, we achieved only 4.8 ppm for a monochrome Microsoft Word document, and an even slower 2 ppm for an Excel document with mixed black and color elements. Remember, for the market the machine is intended for – the occasional user – the slow speed may not be a negative. On the positive side, output quality on both text and images is very good, and the printer offers interpolated resolution of up to 4800 x 1200 dpi.
HP lists photo printing as one of the 3755’s capabilities, and it’s pretty good at it. The problem, again, is speed and ink capacity. After we completed our standard print speed tests, there was barely enough ink remaining to print photos. A modest amount of photo printing will drain the cartridges ridiculously fast. And because the printer is slow, it will take a while to print a photo. If photo printing is a must, you should consider something else.
Our review unit was very noisy when feeding paper, although once it started printing, the unit was as quiet (or loud) as the average inkjet machine.Our Take
The DeskJet 3755’s main positive attribute is its small size. It’s attractive, and it should fit in most space-constraint places, like a student’s dorm room desk. It does have some significant drawbacks, but, depending on your usage behavior, the negatives are either acceptable or deal breakers.
Should you buy it?
We lean toward no, only because there are models that don’t cost that much more (some cost even less) but offer better functionality and more features. With that said, the 3755 is a niche printer that fulfills a certain need. If you live in a 300-square-foot New York City studio, for example, the 3755 is pretty attractive when space is at a premium.
To be honest, if you anticipate printing a moderate level of volume, or photo printing, you will probably be better off with a more robust model form HP or another vendor.
Are there better alternatives?
The DT Accessory Pack
If you are just looking for the least expensive AIO, there are cheaper models. The Epson Expression XP-330 is one example, with a street price around $45. HP’s own DeskJet 2130, at $50, is another. Again, what the 3755 has going for it is the size, and it makes excellent prints. For the buyer, it depends how much you value size.
How long will it last?
The 3755 is an inexpensive model and has a modest duty cycle. HP states the monthly duty cycle at 1,000 pages, but if you truly print that many pages every month you’ll burn through ink cartridges and pretty much push the machine to its limits and directly impact the expected lifetime of the device.
If your need is to print moderately long print jobs fairly often, don’t expect the DJ 3755 to survive more than a few years. With more modest use, however, it should last three or four years before you’ll be looking to replace it.