It's not just graphics professionals that need wide-format printers; there are good reasons for small business customers to use them, too. Being able to print your own posters, or A4 spreads for brochures or price lists makes the extra width more than a luxury. HP's A3+ OfficeJet 7000 Wide Format can handle everyday A4 printing tasks as well.
The top and front cover of the printer is gloss black, with the rest of it in a textured finish, including the input and output paper trays, which are both telescopic and don't have to be extended, unless you're printing A3 or A3+ pages.
Controls are simple, with four buttons along the curved front edge for network, job cancel, paper feed and power. There are four indicators, too, for the individual ink cartridges, showing low ink and charging cycles. At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet, both of which are standard.
Physical set up involves lifting the printer's lid and clipping the semi-permanent print head into the carriage, before pressing each of the four ink tanks into place in the head. It's very straightforward and has more than an echo of the arrangement Canon has been using for years.
Software installation is very simple, with drivers provided for both Windows and OS X. There's no Linux support on the CD, but the Web site directs you to the HPLIP driver, which should work.
We've commented before on the amount of time new HP inkjets take before starting to print a job. The OfficeJet 7000 now holds the record. Sending it a five-page black text job, it took 52 seconds faffing around before feeding the first sheet of paper. Before we started testing, the printer had completed its charging cycles for the freshly installed ink cartridges and printed an alignment page, so should have been ready to go.
We printed again, as we normally do two runs and take the shorter time when testing, and the overall print time reduced from 1:26 to 54 seconds, largely because it took 23 seconds to process the job the second time - still annoying, but more in line with the competition.
So the five-page black text job returned a print speed of 5.56ppm on the second run and the 20-page test produced 8.76ppm. Guess what speed the machine is rated at? 33ppm for black text and 32ppm for colour, but HP doesn't include processing time in its ISO speed results. Our five-page text and colour graphics page gave 4.61ppm.