Colour printing for under £30
HP's Deskjet 1000 printer looks like a good deal at £29 but a low price can often mean corners have been cut.
No matter how cheap it is, a printer should always print well, at a fair speed, and most importantly not be worth several limbs in running costs.
The Deskjet 1000 has a simple rectangular-box design, in slate grey with a paler top. A large support folds up from on top to become the feed tray and the front panel folds down as the output tray.
A single, illuminated power button set into the top-left corner of the printer's lid is the only physical control. Everything else is controlled through the computer. At the back is a single USB socket and one for the separate power supply, which on a more expensive printer would be built into the case.
Flipping down an internal cover at the front provides access to the two ink cartridges, one black and the other tri-colour. These slot in and push up into position and were quick and easy to change.
HP supplies drivers for Windows and Mac OS X and installation was no problem. The company reckons on speeds of 5.5 pages per minute (ppm) for black text and 4ppm for colour, whereas in the ‘normal' mode, somewhere between best and draft mode, we saw a slightly higher black speed of 6.5ppm, and 7.7ppm in draft mode.
We would be happy with draft mode most of the time: it was clean and light with less fuzz than many printers' normal-mode prints. Colours on plain paper were bright and photo prints were pretty good, too, though marred slightly by scuff marks from the printer's rollers.
Buyers of genuine HP cartridges are offered freebies in the form of little games, but most people would probably prefer lower page costs than the 3.9p for black and 9.3p for colour we calculated – non-HP cartridges are cheaper but discouraged by the manufacturer.
Still, given the price of the printer, it's a pleasant surprise that there is not more of a sting in the tail when you come to refueling the impressive Deskjet 1000.
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Good prints for very low outlay. Running costs are reasonable and photos came out well
Very cheap; easy maintenance; good speed for the price; small footprint when closed
No control panel; external power supply
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