Printers are hardly the most exciting pieces of tech to talk about, yet for some specific use cases they do stubbornly remain necessary despite the rest of the world moving on to digital or electronic paperwork. And while the stereotype of printers being downright evil still rings true in many cases today (why are paper jams still a thing, how come the “print queue” is so unresponsive, and what the heck is a “spool error” anyway?), for many households out there, it’s a nuisance that must be lived with.
Enter the HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 3775. It’s an entry-level all-in-one printer with some impressive features that justify owning it in 2019 (or whatever the current year is when you’re reading this). Just as remarkable is its compact and lightweight build, which HP says is “designed to fit your space and life.” But at PHP 4,400.00, does it also fit your price-to-performance budget?
Let’s start our review with a word on design, since In the product’s marketing materials, HP gives the 3775’s small build top billing. It certainly is quite a feat to manage furnishing a printer with scanning and wireless connectivity features all in such a tiny shell, and for those living in smaller apartments or student dorms, this is not something to be taken for granted. Measuring about 40.3 x 17.7 x 14.1 centimeters, this can fit on top of just about any desk. In fact, this footprint would be able to sit on top of most mid-tower computer chassis with plenty of room to spare.
Such a small size might make one wonder how it can fit a scanner in there, which is a valid concern considering these dimensions don’t even fit a regular sized sheet of printer paper. Instead of laying sheets onto a scanning bed, the HP 3775 scans paper by feeding it in through a slot at the front of the printer. The scanner then sucks the paper in and out the top, scanning it as it goes. It looks much like printing a sheet in reverse, which is pretty neat. The big downside to this method of scanning, though, is that it only works with loose sheets. You won’t be able to scan things like book pages, ID cards, or passports to name a few.
On the software side of things, the HP 3775 is actually pretty smart. One of the main selling points of this product is its wireless capability, and indeed you can setup the printer entirely without ever using its included USB cable. For printing from a desktop or laptop, initial setup should be done by installing the included printer software (or downloading it from HP’s website). During setup you’re given a choice of how to connect the printer, and if wireless is your preference then all that’s needed is to pick the desired WLAN to connect the printer to.
Wireless printing comes with the advantage of being able to print directly from a smartphone or tablet, and setup is even possible without a traditional computer at all. In this case, one only needs to download the HP Smart mobile app (available on both Android and iOS) which will take you through connecting the printer to a WLAN and act as the hub for all your mobile printing, scanning, and copying needs.
The companion app takes care of most of the basic print and scan settings such as paper size and print quality. For those of you who feel the need to specify the exact parameters of your print job, doing so is possible even without a desktop. The HP 3775 runs its own remotely accessible server which can be accessed through the browser of any device and allows you to precisely fine tune any setting that could be accessed via the desktop software.
Finally, on to reviewing the main job of this product: printing. HP advertises an 8 paper-per-minute print speed for black and white pages, and 5.5 ppm for color. I found this to be pretty accurate in my attempts to print just the printer test page repeatedly on normal US letter size paper. The HP 3775 uses standard HP 680 black and tri-color cartridges, which claims print capacities of 480/150 pages respectively.
It was a pleasant surprise to see that not only could the HP 3775 handle 5×8 inch index cards through the paper feed, but even 3×5 inch ones as well. I attempted printing several photos on these index cards, and despite the text on the test page being nice and crisp, the pictures turned out very soft and off color. It’s possible that index cards simply aren’t the best choice for printing onto, so your mileage may vary—especially if you’re able to print onto actual photo paper.
In conclusion, the HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 3775 is a value-oriented home printer whose small footprint and capable features offer a compelling reason to purchase. The downside of being unable to scan anything other than loose pages may be enough a deal breaker for some users, however it’s undeniable that the sacrifice paid off in terms of reducing its size to one that’s extremely noticeable compared to traditional all-in-one printers. Is the asking price of PHP 4,400.00 worth it for you? Let us know what you think.