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HP Deskjet 2540 - Performance and Verdict

By Simon Williams



Our Score:


HP Deskjet 2540 - Print Speeds

HP doesn’t claim high speeds for the printer, speccing it at 7ppm for black print and 4ppm for colour. Our five page black text document produced a speed of 5.8ppm and this rose to 6.8ppm on the 20-page document, which is close to the claim.

The five page black text and colour graphics text gave 2.2ppm, though, which is quite slow, and a single-page, colour copy from the flatbed took 50s.

HP Deskjet 2540 - Open

15 x 10cm photos took between 1 minute 10 seconds and 1:14 to complete, good speeds. Unfortunately, pictures from both a Samsung Galaxy Mini Android phone and Apple iPad came through with broad, unprinted bands along their bottom edges. There’s no adjustment in either app that we could find to ensure borderless printing

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is about to take off in a big way to help connect phones and tablets to printers, but it’s a bit too early to be included in devices in this price range. This is a shame, since it would fit well with the sales angle HP is using for this machine.

HP Deskjet 2540 - Print Quality and Costs

Print quality is high for a printer in this price bracket. Black text is clean and, while not laser quality, is sharp and dense. Colours on plain paper are also solid, with no signs of dither patterns and a colour copy is surprisingly close to the original, with less fading of colours than we often see. Photo prints are natural and have plenty of detail. Dark colours are better reproduced than by many printers costing more.

HP Deskjet 2540 - Cartridges

The HP 301 black and tri-colour cartridges are available in two yields, though the high-yield versions give 480 and 330 pages, respectively, which is still not a lot. At the best prices we could find, we calculate page costs of 4.4p for black and 10.2p for colour pages, including 0.7p for paper. These costs are high and, to an extent, counter the low cost of the printer itself.

Should I buy a Deskjet 2540?

The strengths of the HP Deskjet 2540 lie in its ease of setup and use and the high print quality, given its low cost. It can be used easily with Android and iOS devices, though we were a bit perturbed by the bands at the bottom of photos.

Rivals, like the Canon PIXMA MX455 or the Epson Workforce WF-2530WF have their own strengths, with both, for instance, offering ADF and fax. Both are also noisier than this Deskjet, though, and the Canon has a very slow colour print. The Epson has a very slow ADF and slow colour print from mobiles.


The HP Deskjet 2540 is a stylish little all-in-one, aimed at the mobile generation, but needs to get its photo print sorted from both Android and iOS devices, if it’s to be a true companion to either.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Features 8
  • Print Quality 9
  • Print Speed 7
  • Value 8


November 15, 2013, 2:04 am

Does it print good quality photos?

Heidi Marie

January 12, 2014, 10:53 pm

How does it do printing card stock or half sheets? My current printer (also an HP) jams the paper and marks it. I'm wondering if it's the difference between the type of paper feeders.

Anna Ulloa

January 21, 2014, 5:55 pm

It works great and simple to install.


January 30, 2014, 3:29 pm

is it compatible with mac?


March 7, 2014, 10:35 am

supplied with a 2-pin socket - really?

Dennis Bird

April 18, 2014, 1:44 am

This is an amazing printer.
I run linux, and I had this baby up and running wirelessly within fifteen minuites.
Cudos to HP for providing a well functioning shell script which is nearly universal to all modern linux/unix systems.

Cant stress enough how important open source drivers from the manufacturer can be.

Thank You,
Thank You,
Thank You,

D. Bird - Ontario, Canada

Paul Smith

July 9, 2014, 3:07 pm

Don't buy this printer if you want to copy A4 pages.
Printing & scanning are fine, but when copying an A4 sheet the bottom 1.5cm is not copied. Issue discussed with HP but they don't give a damn. They admit that the unit is not capable of copying a full A4 sheet (as advertised) and that is the way that it is designed but will not replace it with a unit that is capable. Returned unit to shop as not not fit for purpose. HP customer support is exceptionally poor.

Tom Weaver

September 2, 2014, 3:24 pm

This is a fantastic printer. I had an HP 6100 before which was rubbish but this is so easy to setup and use. Easy HP best printer in this price range. I'm well chuffed and in ref to the previous review, you could always scan a document to your lappy and then print it if you can't get the bottom 1.5cm using photocopy.

Kev Landry

November 1, 2015, 5:17 pm

This is pretty much exactly the same as my problem with this cheap printer HP support is horrible! (at least I think it is, they never responded) Printer is NOT one you want for A4 pics. I will NEVER purchase from HP again!

anthony amos

November 1, 2015, 7:29 pm

i found when i wanted to scan a doc and come to save it i found that it was not possible to save as a wrd doc


February 15, 2016, 7:34 pm

I don't understand why you list something exotic like NFC as a con, but not the single colour cartridge.

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