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Having recently looked at the most expensive ink-jet printer HP sells, the Photosmart eStation, we thought we’d go to the other end of the spectrum and test out the company’s cheapest machine. The Deskjet 1000 is widely available from PC World, to Tesco and to a number of online specialists, at prices down to £30, making it just about the least expensive entry to inkjet printing
Straight out of the box, this is a small, neatly designed, single-function printer in dark grey with a strangely coloured top, and just a hint of mauve about it. The paper feed tray hinges up from the top of the printer and could hardly have a simpler design, though it does have a raised pattern of curves moulded onto it.
The front cover folds down to make the output tray, once you've also swivelled out an extra support from its front lip. The overall footprint of the printer is increased quite a bit with both these covers open and pages sitting on each tray.
The only control on the whole machine is a single, illuminated power button near the back of the top cover on the left-hand side. In the back panel are just two sockets, one for USB connection, which is the only way to get data to the printer, and the other for a low-level power input.
It's hard to believe HP couldn't have incorporated the small block power supply inside the case of the Deskjet 1000 but, true to form, it's an external unit ideal for kicking around under the desk.
To fit the two ink cartridges, you pull down a secondary cover from the front of the printer and push them in and up into the carrier. It's very quick and easy.
If you choose to use HP consumables with your machine, the company offers a series of rewards, like discounts off software and access to Wild Tangent games. After a happy hour playing Chicken Invaders 4, you may have forgotten paying £36 for a pair of cartridges, but in general, we think Kodak’s policy is better – charge less for the consumables, rather than giving rewards.
Drivers for both Windows and OS X are provided on the CD, though there's not much else in the way of support software. They install easily and provide good support for the functions of the printer.
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