Multi function devices have been around for a while now with most printer manufacturers having such a device as part of their stable. Pro’s and cons for these kind of devices against dedicated equipment vary but often multifunction devices win through by having greater functionality over smaller physical footprint.
Prices of such devices can vary tremendously – with the likes of Lexmark who produce budget devices for $150 dollars through to the major manufacturers such as HP who produce a range from budget devices through to professional series. The HP9130 is one of the most expensive on the market retailing at a shade under $1000.
HP’s 9130, part of the Officejet series, is a workgroup printer aimed at small and medium sized businesses that want to have the flexibility of deploying these devices in a small network environment. The device has various functions including Printer, Fax, Scanner, Copier and is both Windows and Mac compatible.
The device is fairly chunky and measures in at 574 x 460 x 462 mm – it comes in the usual HP grey color scheme. Visually it doesn’t offer too much that’s new, it has the standard look featuring the document feeder and scanner at the top of the device, a control panel allowing access to the device settings and FAX features in the middle and the paper input trays at the bottom. The control panel features a 4 line LCD screen for displaying the device menu’s and FAX details. Unsurprisingly the control panel features a numeric keypad for dialing and selecting copy quantities etc. The 9130 also features a variety of media slots such as Smart Media, Compact Flash and Memory stick to name a few for transferring images and files directly to the printer.
One neat trick that the device has over others in the marketplace is that the 9130 features support for digital sending – allowing the device to scan documents (or take them from media cards) and then send them to network locations, email or internet addresses. The 9130 features a small keyboard for typing the addresses in. This is a neat feature and offers a different way of managing documents from the device to your intended recipient.
As should be expected from it’s price – the 9130 comes packed with features and options – first off is the document handling – the device features a standard 150 sheet input tray with option 250 sheet second tray – this can be expanded by a further optional 500 sheet tray. Out of the box networking capability comes via the built in HP JetDirect print server (Fast Ethernet 10/100BaseTX) the device also has support for USB 2.0 and there is an additional EIO slot for wireless network connection.
HP devices are not renowned for their speed and the 9130 is nothing new in this department – HP state the device will print between 9 and 25 ppm in Black (quality setting dependant) and 8.5-22 ppm for color (for best print quality this is reduced to a measly 2 ppm), if you print mainly black and white documents – the speed won’t matter too much but if you print a lot of photographs it is a bit slow. . With 128MB of standard memory (upgradable to 384MB) the device multi-tasks with ease – but we wish HP would have focused more attention on print speeds – for what we’re spending we would’ve expected better.
The device is capable of producing documents at 4800 X 1200 dpi color and 1200 x 600 dpi black. Overall quality is OK – color printing is above average producing a crip colorful output (photographs come out particularly well). Scanning resolution is upto 2400 dpi (48-bit) again results are satisfactory while not being mindblowing. The device comes with four print cartdridges (Black, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow). HP state that each cartridge should last for around 1,750 sheets and state a cost of around 8.5 cents per color page. This is a good return against your investment so HP get a thumbs up here.
Overall the The HP 9130 is a hefty device packed with features but is expensive – there are some problems associated with it – namely printing speed which are slower than some of it’s stablemates – print quality could be better – however it does have some neat tricks – the digital sending functionality is great – and it’s ability to multi-task without glitches is also a positive.
For those looking for the bundled features (especially the onboard network facility) then on face value it is appealing – however – there are cheaper devices around and you’ll need to think carefully before reaching for your wallet. One can imagine that the target market for this device would be a small business who wants a range of features packed into a network ready device for a small office – we doubt they’d be disappointed (especially with HP’s pedigree and support options) but for the single business person or home user there are other devices more appealing.