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HP Deskjet 3050 - Performance and Verdict
Strangely, HP rates this all-in-one at 20ppm and 16ppm in draft mode, noticeably faster than the DeskJet 1050, while the normal mode speeds are identical between the two. Under test, draft mode on the DeskJet 1050 was quicker, returning a speed of 7.9ppm, while this machine only managed 7.3ppm.
The other speeds were comparable between the two printers, with typically a couple of seconds either way in the test times. We saw 5.5ppm for our five-page document, rising to 6.4ppm on the 20-page one. The five-page black text and colour graphics test gave only 2.3ppm, though a single-page colour copy completed in a comparatively nippy 28s.
The text prints we obtained from the machine were below average, with noticeable blurring around some characters, fade out on some thin strokes and misplaced ink dots at various points on several pages. Draft mode pages suffered from the same print faults.
Colours are vivid and clean, though with some slight banding and a bit of blurring in text over solid colours. A colour copy was quite close to the original in colour hue, though textures in solid areas became more noticeable. A colour photo on HP Advanced glossy paper is well detailed over a range of different shades, though not as bright as we've seen from other machines in the range.
The black and colour cartridges are available in two capacities and the higher capacity, XL versions produce costs very similar to the other Deskjets we've looked at recently. A black page cost of 4.6p and a colour one of 10.0p are both in the same order as entry-level all-in-ones from other suppliers.
This is another serviceable, budget all-in-one, where you only pay about a fiver extra for the LCD display, which is a useful extra providing worthwhile feedback. Speeds and running costs are both acceptable for this class of machine, but the print quality from our test sample really wasn't there. While this may be an issue from this particular review sample, the fact that the same engine can vary between models may cast doubt on quality control within the range.
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