HP OfficeJet 3830 Wireless Printer Review
The HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One Printer is the latest offering in the competitive All-in-One (AIO) printing space. As an entry-level inkjet AIO, it looks ready to take on category leaders like Canon’s Pixma TR8520 Home Office Printer, but like its all other AIOs, it has many potential competitors. The OfficeJet 3830 rings a lower price than the Pixma TR8520, and for the few bucks you save, you sacrifice a few features like two-sided printing, Ethernet networking, flash capability among other useful features.
For that, the OfficeJet 3830 makes up with a lower price than the Canon model, and it also costs less to run—provided you opt to stick with HP’s Instant Ink subscription program. Overall, the 3830 offers fine prints, and is a reasonable alternative to the Canon TR8520, especially if you do low volume printing and copying. If you run a small or home-based office or need to print from a student dormitory, it is among the best AIO printers you can find in the market, at least for now.
When looking for a business-oriented printed, looks are never top in the list. As such, the 12.4 pound OfficeJet 3830 is a definite shooo-in that has a lot going for it, in addition to being on of the least expensive choices around. Measuring 8.5 by 17.2 by 14.3 inches (HWD), this unit is in the same ballpark as other petite business inkjets.
Its direct competitor, the Canon TR8520 weighs just above five pounds more than the OfficeJet, but looks fairly smaller in size. Another printer in the same range is the Brother MFC-J985DW, that’s a few inches smaller in all perspectives, yet it weighs almost six pounds than the OfficeJet 3830.
In case you opt for a bulk-ink model that gets filled with ink from a bottle, the designs are undoubtedly bigger and need more space on your desk. For instance, the Epson WorkForce ET-4750 Supertank Printer uses ink reservoirs built into the right size of the chassis, making it bigger. Plus, it costs slightly more than other entry-level AIO Inkjets.
On paper handling, the OfficeJet 3830 gets a run from most competitors. It comes with a single rear 60-sheet paper tray, and the output is a mere 25 sheets, which is quite small compared to what several of its competitors offer.
The Canon TR8520, for instance, harbors up to 200 sheets via two 100-sheet input sources. And, it doesn’t stop here…the Brother MFC-J985DW has a holding capacity of up to 100 sheets, while the Epson ET-4750 supports up to 250 sheets on a single paper drawer.
Nowadays, most systems are shedding Ethernet connectivity—may it be desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones and select gadgets, and instead embracing Wi-Fi and/or Wi-Fi Direct, the wireless protocol used on the OfficeJet 3830. While Ethernet is no longer an integral part of computing, this remains the first AIO I have come across without an Ethernet port.
Other connectivity options include a USB port for connecting to a single PC, in addition to support for AirPrint and HP ePrint. It also adds a couple of HP mobile apps that make it easier for printing and scanning to various cloud and social media streams. If you can connect to the AIO wirelessly, you can access a couple of workflow profiles.
Perhaps a plus for the OfficeJet 3830, it comes with a 35-sheet ADF; though, not auto-duplexing (we didn’t expect that at the price), but it still is a nice feature. The print engine isn’t auto duplexing either, meaning you can’t print two-sided pages without manually flipping them over. Of all the printers mentioned here, only the HP DeskJet 3755 is offered minus an ADF, but none of them offers auto-duplexing document feeders.
If automatic two sided printing is a must-have, the Brother MFC-J985DW, Canon TR8520 and Epson ET-4750 support that feature. The OfficeJet 3830 has a monthly duty cycle of 1,000 pages, with a recommended 250 pages monthly. That puts it in the same level as most AIOs mentioned above.
The printer’s functions are controlled via a 2.2-inch monochrome touchscreen, which is a rare offering on these sides of entry-level AIOs. The screen comprises of an entire control panel, that I found extremely easy to use, and very responsive to touch inputs.
Print Speed and Quality
HP bills the OfficeJet 3830 at 8.5 pages per minute (ppm) for monochrome prints and6ppm for color pages. Tested over an Intel Core-i5 PC running Windows 10 home, the OfficeJet managed to print a sample 13-page Microsoft Word text document at 9.6, thus exceeding its rating by more than 1ppm.
Compared, that’s about 3ppm slower than the Brother MFCL2700DW, but 2.5ppm faster than the Canon Pixma G4200. If you throw in a couple of separate color-laden PDF and Excel documents made up of text, photos, charts and other business graphics, the print speed reduces to a mere 2.8 ppm, which is still acceptable for a value AIO that doesn’t cost much. It is the same results you expect from the other AIOs mentioned here, though, some of them cost almost double.
Keeping in mind that the OfficeJet 3830 is an off-budget purchase with low running costs, the print and copy quality are nothing short of satisfying. Its not always that you get a low purchase AIO printer that brings out text pages laden pages that are highly legible to the lowest point size. Plus, it manages to produce Excel and PowerPoint prints that have proper dark fills and look great on different types of paper.
If you’re planning on printing complex documents or photos on the OfficeJet 3830 without subscribing to HP’s Instant Ink delivery program, this inkjet might as well turn out to be the most expensive AIO you’ve ever used. It will set you back about 9 cents for a single monochrome, and 21 cents for the color pages. That is an estimate when you buy the pricey XL-size cartridges.
However, with HP Instant Ink, the printer is able to monitor its own ink usage and subsequently orders replacement cartridges as needed. If you’re on that subscription, you can print up to 300 pages of text documents or photos each month for as low as 3.5 cents for each page.
It becomes an even better bargain when printing photos, as you can print even large borderless 8-by-10-inch pictures for much less. Plus, HP is offering the first three months of Instant Ink for free, making your cost per page even lower.
An Inexpensive, Low-Cost AIO Printer
The All-in-One HP OfficeJet 3830 is a compact unit, that suffices as a great multi-purpose device for a small-sized enterprise, home-office or student dormitory. With a straightforward out of the box set up, quick and easy color printing, speedy scanning, nice copy features and mobile functions, the OfficeJet 3830 is a competitive addition to the entry-level printing market.
It makes more value sense to purchase the HP OfficeJet 3830 for a small and/or home office or student housing that has minimal print and copy needs, but will benefit more from a low cost All-in-One printer.