Multi tasking color printers are growing in popularity with consumers today especially as prices continue to drop. It isn’t unheard of to be able to get one of these workhorses for “free" when purchasing a new computer and monitor. One unit, the HP PSC 1210 All-in-One, is frequently included with these packages or sold through office stores at a nice discount. Let’s take a look at this particular HP entry in the increasingly crowded “all in one" market.
By using the term ‘all in one’, consumers need to understand what they are purchasing. In the 1210’s case you are receiving a unit that does three things: it copies, scans, and prints. It does not have a fax capability as some leading “all in one" products do. Thus, you are receiving a “3 in 1" product, not a “4 in 1" product. Obviously, you will need to look elsewhere if fax capability is something you must have.
Still, for what it does, the 1210 is a good product. Specifically, it will do the following for you:
Give you color prints with up to 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi (on premium photo paper with 1200 x 1200 input).
Enable you to scan photos, documents, and pages of books using the flatbed scanner with up to 600 x 2400 dpi, 36-bit color.
Permit you to print and copy fast: up to 12 ppm black and 10 color.
Be able to stay on top of ink replacement with the low ink indicator.
Allow you to enlarge and reduce images 50-400%
Give to you HP photo & imaging software that will allow you to print stickers, fabric transfers, and more.
Buttons on the top left side of the machine are easy to understand. There is a separate On/Resume button which clearly tells you when the unit is on followed by various “error" buttons warning you when there is a paper jam or a problem with the cartridge. Buttons allowing you to pick the number of copies you want to print at a time, paper size, and paper type follow. Finally, the last two buttons help you to control the copying and scan features.
I have used the product to produce some very sharp looking color flyers, business cards, and photographs. As long as the paper I used was proper [what HP recommended], I received very good to excellent results.
You can, however, go through ink cartridges rapidly. In fact, one mass production project I performed had me replacing the color cartridge after 250 copies or so. Forget about purchasing HP replacement cartridges - too pricey –- instead, I bought replacements from an online retailer, Carrot Ink. Carrot Ink’s cartridges are of excellent quality and the savings was close to 30% off the HP originals. Still, after I finished my printing campaign the ink alone costs exceeded the original $150. price for the unit!
One thing that you will notice if you purchase the 1210 is that it does not include the required USB cable. If you have to purchase one, it will add another $20-25 to the price of the unit. Still, prices are coming down and you should be able to get a discounted unit for less than $125 or a refurbished unit for under $100.
All in all, I give this unit four stars out of five. The only drawbacks are the lack of an included USB cable and the thirsty toner cartridges. Still, the machine will pay for itself quickly especially if you have been running to Kinko’s or Sir Speedy’s on a regular basis to produce pricey color copies.
Matt writes on a variety of topics including: product review, aviation, business trends, employment, Christian themes, and more. He manages the Corporate Flight Attendant Community at http://www.corporateflyer.net and the Aviation Employment Board at http://www.aviationemploymentboard.net