HP quotes speeds in draft mode and in laser quality mode but not in the default normal mode, which is a bit inconsistent. Draft print is said to reach 33ppm in black and 32ppm in colour, which is more than a little optimistic. Our five-page text print in draft mode took 34s, with half this time spent pre-processing, before paper even begins to feed. This gives a true draft speed of 8.8ppm, little more than a quarter of the claim.
In normal print mode, the best speed we achieved was 9ppm for black print and 4.5ppm for black text with colour graphics. These speeds should have been faster than the 10ppm and 7ppm quoted for laser quality print. An A4 copy took 30s, a 15 x 10cm photo completed in 40s and a full A3 photo print took 3mins 30secs, which again lacks a certain urgency.
The print quality from the machine varies with what it's doing. Text print is clean and sharp and draft mode text is very nearly as good as normal mode, while being a lot quicker to print. Business graphics are also well reproduced and colours are good and solid and hold up well in copies as well as direct prints. Black text copies are rather over-thick, though, and text looks almost bold.
Top and bottom margins in A3 prints are wider than normal, at a good 20mm and we lost output from our standard test page, which rival machines reproduced without problem. Photo prints are fair, though colours can look a little soapy in comparison with some of the competition.
The OfficeJet 7500A uses four inks, with only black available in two different yields. Using the highest yield black for best economy gives an ISO black page cost of 2.3p and an equivalent colour page cost of 6.5p. Both these are average, without being outstanding and are not as good as from, for example, the HP Officejet 8500A.
For certain office applications, A3 and A3 print can be a definite advantage. Posters and folded A4 newsletters are obvious examples, though the lack of duplex print in the Officejet 7500A mitigates against folded documents. Even so, print quality is considerably better than from Brother's A3 all-in-ones and the machine feels a lot more solid than they do.