HP DeskJet F2480 inkjet multifunction printer
This HP printer can scan, copy and print photos for a low price
- Low price, reasonable print speed, acceptable text print quality
- Poor photo printing quality, poor photo scanning quality, no card reader or PictBridge support
The HP DeskJet F2480 inkjet multifunction printer is aimed at occasional home users who aren't too concerned with print quality. It offers passable text scanning and printing quality and can print quickly in Draft mode. If you want to print or scan high quality photos though, this printer is not the one for you.
Price$ 69.00 (AUD)
The HP DeskJet F2480 is an inkjet multifunction printer with a very low initial cost. It's one of the cheapest printers on the market that also has built-in scanning and copying capabilities. Its print quality for monochrome text is acceptable, although to print quickly you'll need to sacrifice quality and use Draft mode. Scanning and printing photos produces results that can be bettered by printers that cost only a few dollars more, though.
HP DeskJet F2480: Design and software installation
The HP DeskJet F2480 looks as if it has been built to a budget. That's not to say it's poorly made, but it is missing a few features that more expensive printers have. Like the slightly more expensive DeskJet F4480, it does not have an integrated screen, memory card reader or PictBridge port. The A4 scanner is a flatbed unit at the top of the printer, situated next to the power and copying buttons. Paper loads at the front and is processed internally, so there is no protrusion from the printer's rear panel — this means you can place it close to a wall to save space.
The bundled software works with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and Mac OS X. Running the setup wizard and installing the HP Solution Centre software is a lengthy process, taking over 15min from inserting the disc to being ready to print. The software installation includes an optional print head alignment process using the scanner, which is useful if you're setting up for the first time.
HP DeskJet F2480: Print quality, speed and scanning
Considering its low price, the HP DeskJet F2480 performs acceptably when printing text documents and the occasional A4 photograph. Text printed from the HP DeskJet F2480 is not particularly refined or smooth, but text is legible even at 6pt.
If you're not looking for high quality prints — perhaps if you've got a multi-page essay to print off as you rush to uni, or if you're looking to print off some quick A4 photos for your friends — the HP DeskJet F2480 will serve adequately. For most documents you're given a choice of Fast Draft, Normal or Best print quality options. There is an incremental increase in quality with these options, at the cost of longer printing times. Our single-page colour test documents took 19.2sec for Fast Draft, 36.3sec for Normal and 1min 16sec to complete in Best quality mode. There was a large jump in quality between Fast Draft and Normal, with more even colour ink distribution and better detail on text edges. The difference between Normal and Best is not as substantial, with the main difference being smoother edges when there is white text on a black background.
These incremental differences extend to photo prints as well, but the HP DeskJet F2480 struggles to display fine image detail. This is more evident in colour prints than monochrome ones. When printing at Normal resolution we also noticed that prints were under-saturated compared to those produced using Best quality. The HP DeskJet F2480 will capably print A4 images from a compact digital camera, but if you're looking for quality prints from your digital SLR camera, the DeskJet F2480 may disappoint. A Best quality 6x4in print took 1min 6sec to complete, while an identical Fast Draft took only 26.4sec.
Scanned text is acceptably clear when using the HP DeskJet F2480's maximum resolution. Scanning photos is a different story though, with some banding introduced and an overall lack of fine image definition.
HP DeskJet F2480: Consumable costs
The HP DeskJet F2480 uses two HP 60 cartridges. Its black HP 60 cartridge is rated at 200 pages, while its tri-colour HP 60 ink cartridge can produce 165 pages. The cartridges cost $24.32 and $28.52 respectively, making the ongoing cost of using the printer 29 cents per page. You can buy extra-large cartridges to increase the yield and slightly lower the printer's running costs, but buying both cartridges is a more expensive proposition than buying the HP DeskJet F2480 itself.
The HP DeskJet F2480 is a very cheap printer. If you're only looking to print out text documents and the occasional photo, and won't be printing large enough volumes to require regular ink cartridge replacements, it will serve its purpose well. Don't rely on it for fine detail on photo prints, though — for this you'll need to buy a more expensive dedicated photo printer.
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