And to think that twenty-two years ago, you had to spend $1000 for the first DeskJet! This entry-level 3-in-1 is a good deal more affordable and print speeds are also a good deal better than they were back in the day (2 pages per minute). The DeskJet 3070A has been designed for individual consumers with moderate print needs. HP's objective here is to respond to mobility demand and facilitate printing and overall usage.
This model has a sober look from another era. It wouldn’t have been out of place in Star Trek! All the same, it has all today's technology, combining mobility demands with the functionality of a 3-in-1: copier, scanner, wi-fi, four separate cartridges (which come in two formats). Connected to the Internet, this printer can respond to print orders from an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, thanks to AirPrint. What’s more, it can print documents of various types: calendars, games and colourings using the ‘Quick Forms' button.
Hardware: to Spock's taste?
The combination of modern functionality with a small black & white 5cm screen is slightly surprising. The machine is supplied with paper at the front (80 pages max). There’s no loader, just an arm that extends forwards to prevent the paper from falling on the floor: nothing extravagant but effective. This printer, made with 25% recycled plastic, has no double-sided feature and no card reader, which is a bit of a shame as both these features can be very practical.
The menus are very clear and pared down with an advanced menu for changing the basic settings.
SpeedsThe DeskJet 3070A offers decent print speeds. It’s rapid from start-up (see inset) and is faster both in black and colour than certain mid-range or top end models designed for small companies. It’s comparable to the Canon Pixma MG6150, which is one of the fastest multifunctions around.
Print speeds for 10x15cm photos are also comparable to the excellent MG6150. You'll have to add another ten seconds or so for A4s but this is still very good for an entry level machine.
Office document quality is four star. The characters are sharp and well formed and the colour shading is faithful to the original. Droplets are visible and bring the rating down.
Photo quality also suffers, with droplets all too present and only just merits a three star rating - the droplets create a visible grain effect when you look closely. Black and white photo prints don't convince either. The black cruelly lacks depth and there’s a tendency towards green.
Scanner and copier
There aren’t many settings on the CIS scanner: type of file (photo or document, colour or black and white), resolution (up to 1200 dpi) and scan format. Once the area to be scanned has been displayed, the scanner provides a rotation tool and brightness and contrast settings.
A 300 dpi document can be scanned in 11 seconds, which is pretty fast. There is a loss of detail and colours aren’t all that bright, as is often the case with scanners. The colour difference is rather high (7.3%) with dominant yellows.
Energy consumption & noise levels
At 0.5W on standby, this printer consumes very little power - up until now, the best scores were around the 1W mark. When printing, its score of 14W is a notch below the average for most inkjets (20W). At 49 dB(A) by our reading, the HP 3070A is also a quiet model.
Cost per page: 7.6 pence per page with XL cartridges
Once these cartridges are empty, they have to be replaced (ref. 364). You can get standard (less economical) or XL format replacements. The XLs have a lower than average cost per page, bringing costs down to 7.6 pence. Note the cartridge has the same reference number but is cheaper and has a different lifespan (from 800 down to 550 pages) than on the previous range. The 550 capacity cartridge costs £20, or 3.6 pence per page and is more in line with consumer expectations according to HP.
ISO lifespan text with XL cartridges
|Cartridge||Price||ISO lifespan||Cost per page|
|364 XL (black)||£20||550||3.6 pence|
|364 XL (cyan)||£10||750||1.3 pence|
|364 XL (magenta)||£10||750||1.3 pence|
|364 XL (yellow)||£10||750||1.3 pence|
Cost per page with XL cartridges: 7.6 pence. A very good score!