In its favour, however, the device produces a pretty good draft print, so it should be possible to use this mode for most of the internal documentation in an office. Against it, the noise level from the machine peaks at 68dBA, noisy for a laser and certainly well above what you’d expect from an inkjet device. As is so often the case, it’s the paper feed mechanism that makes most of the noise, not the print engine.
Normal mode text prints are clean and sharp, with very little overshoot – and with virtually laser-quality blackness, too. Colour graphics are also very well printed, with regular, dense colour tints and smooth variation from the 1200dpi print heads. Text printed over coloured backgrounds shows a little spikiness, indicating some ink run, but it’s still of good office quality.
Photographic prints are also fair, though you can see some of the dot patterns in skies and other areas of continuous tone. It’s not that easy to load 15 x 10 centimetre photo blanks, either, as there’s no separate photo tray, as there is with some Photosmart models. However, in a busy office environment, printing small photos is a low priority.
The OfficeJet Pro L7590 comes with a duplexer as standard but, like the high-end Canon PIXMA devices, it’s awkwardly slow, with an 11 second wait for ink drying between printing of the first and second sides of each page. Our 20-page text document took 5:10 seconds to produce, an equivalent of just 0.97ppm.
Copying an A4 page only takes around 20 seconds, though, which is much better, and the copy quality is unusually good, with black text in particular being almost indistinguishable from the original.
With four separate ink cartridges to consider and the possibility of replacing print heads, calculating print costs can be complex. If the machine is heavily used – its duty cycle is quoted at 7,500 pages per month – you could need to replace the heads. However, we reckon an ISO black page should cost around 1.6p to produce and the colour one should come out at around 4.3p.
Despite the machine’s high purchase price, its running costs only sit in the middle of the cost range with, for example, some quite inexpensive Canon PIXMA all-in-ones beating it on colour print costs. The high-capacity ink cartridges known as the Value range offer nearly 2,500 black pages and over half that in colour, so maintenance levels should be down with those of low-end colour lasers.
Slow duplexing excepted this is a quick ink-jet all-in-one with fair running costs, particularly when you consider the maintenance frequency. Output is easily good enough for office use and draft mode is probably all you need for internal documentation. Thus, if you need a good quality all-in-one with a higher than normal duty cycle, you should certainly consider the OfficeJet Pro L7590.