I have always had deskjet printers and scanners from HP, I find them reliable, robust and ink is easy to source. The HP 2540 is my latest model printer, after my older one finally gave up after around 10 years of hard service!
I ordered the HP 2540 Printer online and when it arrived I had a surprise – because I had not done my homework. It is not only a printer, but it is also a scanner, and on top of that, even better for my use requirements, it also has wireless connectivity via Wifi meaning I could put it anywhere in the house and have multiple devices print to it without having to have a hardwire anywhere. Basically I chose it because, a) it was from HP and b) it was cheap at only £30 less a penny and that included the cost of delivery AND a black ink cartridge and a colour ink cartridge aswell (although not sure if these are 100% full or just your typical sample volume types).
Installing the HP DeskJet 2540.
I installed the machine via an old XP PC – as far as I can see the install disk also caters for windows 7 and 8 aswell and downloads are available for windows 10 victims at the HP website. I followed the instructions for unpacking and connecting the printer to power (got to get rid of a load of transit support sticky tape first) and inserted the CD which came with the printer. Off it went. No problems whatsoever and a superb bit of installation software. During the install, the program asked me to connect the printer to the computer so that it could send the wireless login details over to the printer. This is so that the printer can log into the router when it is powered on without any wired connection to a networked PC. When installing, you will need to bear this in mind because it could mean you cannot install the printer/scanner with it sitting where you want it to permanently reside as it may be too far away from a machine to connect the USB cable. You really don’t want to be halfway through the install with the printer in your living room and the PC running upstairs somewhere!
Anyway – after around 10 mins in total, I could unplug the USB cable and the install was complete. I was very impressed I have to say. At this stage I decided to power down the PC and also the printer then power everything up again from a cold start to see if everything was “talking” as it were. It was. I used notepad to do a quick print – the 2540 drivers were present in the windows dialog for me to select and the device appeared active and ready. I should also mention that I was prompted to run an “alignment” scan and print – this operated the scanner and the printer and all appeared to be perfect.
This is EXACTLY how I.T. should be – as these days there is so much garbage out there it was a refreshing change to see something working so seamlessly.
2540 DeskJet Printing Quality.
I use the printer for producing invoices, letters etc in the main. So my first job was to use an open source word processor I have to open up an existing invoice and send it for print. 100% perfect. The speed was impressive with the document completing in around 8 seconds which is more than fast enough for my low print volume needs. The output was superb, with sharply defined characters, good colour in places where it was present, rapid feed on the paper from the hopper and quiet during printing.
I then decided to test the quality of the print on some family photos – I have a huge library of these on my hard disk and am always telling myself to choose a selection for printing and framing. This time I got round to it and produced a number of photographs for a frame which has sat unused for years. Despite the photo below being a bit blurred, I can assure you that the pictures are pin sharp and more than good enough quality for hanging on the wall. The photo was taken with a mobile phone and transferred through facebook which degrades it – don’t worry – you would be hard pressed to see the difference in quality between these printouts and something produced by an online printing service.
I am not in the slightest bit interested in the scanner to be honest – I have run a few tests and it it prints out the scanned sample as expected – IE perfectly. There are a couple of settings on there which anyone interested in scanning can address such as black and white copying, colour (naturally) and number of copies etc. Nothing overly fancy but ideal for straight A4 and smaller photocopying.
I will probably use this less than the photocopier/scanner in terms of sending data via a mobile device such as a phone or tablet, however, for the purpose of this review I thought it wise to fire over a quick photo from my mobile phone (a samsung galaxy running android). The first step was to locate an app for the phone on google play. A quick search brought up the HP All-in-One Printer Remote app which I downloaded to the galaxy. After opening the app it went off searching for printers and located mine immediately. It then prompted me to choose a source (such as gallery, camera or whatever else is on my phone). I chose gallery and selected a photo to send to the printer. However at this point I was prompted to go back to google play and download the eprint app, obviously something else needed to do the printing in addition to the All in One printer app. No bother, I installed it, came back to the app and sent the photo. Perfect. Now that the software is installed, sending an image to the printer is simply a case of selecting it and pressing the print icon.