Be it a small business or a large enterprise, a printer is an absolute necessity in any office. There are also quite a few individuals who find the need for printers at home. This segment includes those who work from home, have a small/part time business, CAs, lawyers, and school/college students. Since the print volume in home sectors is not huge and most printed documents are in colour, a colour inkjet printer is the most preferred device for these users. Medium to large businesses prefer laser printers, the first reason being bulk volumes of monochrome prints and the second reason, the cost per print. HP has launched an inkjet all-in-one monochrome printer which promises the speed and cost per print comparable to a laser printer. Read on to find out how well the HP Officejet Pro 3620 AIO printer fared in our tests.
A little bulky with a large footprint
Design and Build quality
The 3620 AIO is definitely not compact and has a large footprint—blame it on the protruding paper input tray in the front and the duplexing mechanism at the rear. The AIO has a completely matte-finished all-black exterior and looks good. The top has a 35-sheet ADF mechanism, which takes its usual place on top of the flatbed scanner’s lid. The scanner’s lid is thus heavier due to the ADF mechanism and with the lack of a damping option on the hinges, the lid can slam down on the scanner glass threatening to damage it. HP should have installed a damping hinge to cushion the fall of the lid.
The rear sporting the auto-duplex mechanism
The AIO has a monochrome TFT display on the control panel, which is coupled with feather touch switches for all the other functions. Beside the control panel is a large door which opens up to the cartridge compartment. The cartridge section comprises of two units; the head and the ink tank. Looking closely at the head, we found that it is the same head that is used in a four-cartridge system. HP has used the same head and blanked out the colour zone simply to cut costs of additionally designing and manufacturing monochrome-only heads. The head can accommodate two types of black cartridges, standard and XL. Initially shipped with the printer is a standard cartridge, which costs Rs 595, while an XL cartridge would cost you around Rs 999. The cartridge is super-simple to install—simply push the cartridge to install or remove it.
At the bottom on the side is the large paper tray, which can hold up to 250 sheets. Just above the paper tray is the output tray which can collect up to 75 sheets of paper. The output tray is also a cover for the input tray, which helps protect the pages within against dust. Usually, we have seen quite a few printers having flimsy paper trays, but the ones on this printer are very sturdy and strong. Lastly, the rear sports the removable auto-duplexing mechanism and the interfaces for USB and telephone. The unit is powered by an external power brick.
The AIO can be used via the USB 2.0 interface or shared via Ethernet
The Officejet Pro 3620 is an All-in-One imaging unit which can print, scan, fax and copy. It also features network connectivity for sharing the printer on a local network using an Ethernet cable. If the local network is Wi-Fi enabled, one can also print from wireless-enabled devices with great ease. The printer is a monochrome or black and white printer with a print resolution of up to 600 and the scanner can scan at resolutions of 1200 x 1200 dpi. The two put together form the PC-less copier with abilities of reduction and enlargement, two sided IO copy, quality enhancements and a maximum of 99 copies per command. Lastly, the unit also features a fax machine with a speed of 4 seconds per page using the built-in 33.6 Kbps modem.
The printer has a built-in automatic duplex machine, which helps print on both sides of the paper automatically, thus saving on both paper and time for the consumer. The 3620 AIO can be connected using the standard USB 2.0 interface or via Ethernet. The AIO has a duty cycle of up to 12000 pages per month with a recommended monthly print volume of around 2000 pages.
Monochrome LCD display with a touch-based control panel.
The manufacturer boldly states that this printer is more efficient than a laser printer. They state that it has power saving features which help it consume almost 50% lower energy than conventional mono laser printers. The reason—lesser use of multiple mechanisms and the absence of laser equipment and heating units. Not only this, the printer also has scheduled power on/off features, which can further reduce the overall power consumption. The 3620 is also one of the fastest mono inkjet printer in the market. While HP states the speed of the printing is around 19 ppm, our tests revealed normal printing to be 19 ppm while the draft mode printing reached a whopping 21 ppm. Though the speed is higher in draft mode, the printer does not compromise on print quality. We also tested best mode printing, which gave us a whopping 11 pages per minute. Considering standard inkjet printers, the maximum speed of best prints are about 2 pages in a minute, and around 11 pages per minute in draft modes. But yes, the resolution is also a lot higher due to which the speed drops. We also did a print speed test of a 10-page word document with auto-duplex printing and the total speed was 71 seconds.
The quality of the prints are also above average. The printer passed the Grayscale Linearization and Grayscale Test Ramp. Coming down to the actual highlight of the 3620, the printer has high-speed printing of up to 21 ppm, the lowest cost per print of up to 62 Paise (Rs 0.62) per print and power saving features. The standard ink cartridge will cost you Rs 595 which would yield around 700 pages (Rs 0.85 per print) while the XL cartridge with a yield of 1600 pages would cost you a maximum of Rs 999. The printer is available in two variants - the other being the 3610, which does not feature the ADF mechanism and fax and would cost you just Rs 7,999.
Monochrome All-in-one inkjet printer with ADF and FAX
Since single function mono laser printers would cost nothing less than Rs 5000 to Rs 7000 and an AIO laser would definitely be higher, opting for the HP Officejet Pro 3620 AIO instead seems like a wiser decision. The Officejet Pro 3620 AIO is available for an MRP of Rs 11,999, but the street price should be lower depending on the region you live in. The highlights of the printer are the auto-duplex mechanism, an ADF, power saving features, laser-like printing quality and low-cost inks to keep you away from weekly non-recommended refills. With lower ink costs, higher speeds and laser like print quality, the 3620 AIO is definitely recommended to those seeking a similar unit on a low budget. The only downside to this printer is the bulky chassis.
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