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Jet, set, (s)print

Jet, set, (s)print
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First Published: Wed, Aug 13 2008. 09 29 AM IST

The HP OfficeJet470B. Price: Rs13,899; 1-year off-site warranty
The HP OfficeJet470B. Price: Rs13,899; 1-year off-site warranty
Updated: Wed, Aug 13 2008. 09 29 AM IST
Want to print an important document and share it with your clients—but are nowhere near a printer? Fret not. For all such printing needs that arise outside and beyond the reach of your office, home or any friendly neighbourhood business centre/cybercafe, the HP OfficeJet 470B could be an ideal choice (www.hp.com/in).
Print on the move
The HP OfficeJet470B. Price: Rs13,899; 1-year off-site warranty
This battery-powered inkjet printer is only 13.4 x7.27 x3.15 inches in size and weighs a manageable 2.2kg (including the battery). Forget the almighty power cord, you can even shun carting a printer cable around thanks to the 470B’s compatibility with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless remote printing through separate flash drive-sized dongle attachments. It also has inbuilt memory card slots for SD and MMC card support. Further, apart from laptops and PCs, you can also print directly from PDAs, PictBridge-enabled cameras and Symbian Series 80 and 90 phones.
The 32MB thermal inkjet printer prints on (inkjet, photo and plain) paper, envelopes, labels, cards, and transparencies in sizes ranging from A4 and letter to custom. It offers resolutions of up to 1,200x1,200 rendered dots per inch (dpi) in black-and-white and up to 4,800 optimized dpi in colour.
Things to watch out for
HP claims that the 470B is the fastest mobile printer around. Letter/A4-sized B&W print speeds are officially rated at up to a very brisk 22 pages per minute (ppm) in draft mode, 7.7ppm in normal, and 1.5ppm in best quality. For colour, they are stated to be up to 18ppm in draft, 5.2ppm in normal, and 1.5ppm in best quality. Borderless 4x6-inch photo prints take less than a minute. Its printing noise levels are unobtrusive.
Though portable and modest in dimensions, the quality of prints generated by the HP 470B are commendable. For text, it notches full marks for its near laser quality output of serif and non-serif typefaces, both in normal as well as best modes—right from 4 to 100 point sizes. The print quality of images is also very good for a portable inkjet.
Yes, banding is evident in large images (especially in areas with flat colour tones) in normal quality on regular bond paper and blacks show up a trifle dull; yet the printing is fast. While the banding disappears in best mode, images tended to display a certain amount of graininess on regular paper and the printing is woefully (but expectedly) slower in comparison to normal mode.
On inkjet and photo paper, the colours are very vibrant and the images sharp. Prints of A4-sized, heavy hued images emerge smudge-free. For some reason, you need to browse and burrow about quite a bit for the best quality option as it lies buried three menu-levels deep.
HP claims that the lithium-ion battery should last about 480 prints per charge. Our test unit was ready to print on without a stutter even after spewing out more than 300 pages during its three-week stint with us. In addition, for those of you who actually need to print documents on the move, an optional HP 12V Auto Power Adapter allows you to deploy the printer powered via your car’s cigarette lighter port, without a battery. A protective mobile printer sleeve that conveniently lets you print without having to remove the sleeve is optional. Overall, the OJ 470B is a high-calibre performer. Besides offering the advantages of a wire-free avatar of its exclusively desk-bound, AC mains-chained printing cousin, the printer doesn’t compromise on the quality of output.
Minuses
Limitations and trade-offs? Nothing outrageously obvious, other than the rather steep toll on your wallet. But then, road warriors who need such on-the-go printing would be willing to pay the extra pound and penny.
To read previous Hands On stories click here
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First Published: Wed, Aug 13 2008. 09 29 AM IST