HP Officejet J3680 review

Price when reviewed

It may not bear much resemblance to most hulking office printers, but that’s the company HP sees the Officejet J3680 keeping. It’s tiny compared to most and closer to the dimensions of a cheap standalone inkjet than a multifunction device, but fold out the various trays and flaps and it begins to take on a more imposing profile.

HP Officejet J3680 review

There’s no platen, so copies and faxes are fed into the top tray, coming out into the upper of two front trays. And there’s a paper tray at the bottom, which also doubles as the output area. Confusing though it may be, it does all fold away if you only want to print – the other trays have convenient holes cut out to leave the two-line LCD visible – but it’s tough to look on the design as anything more than basically functional. Ugly wouldn’t be an unfair description.

The J3680’s selling point is its integrated phone, but the less said about this the better. It feels like a Fisher Price toy and call quality is little better. As this printer is intended for the small home office, only the lightest of phone users will want to use it over a standard desktop model. That cheap feel extends across the whole device, with a flip-up cartridge-bay cover that we almost snapped off, and a menu system that requires you to enter numbers on the keypad to confirm options.

Amazingly, given our awful hands-on impressions, it’s not a bad printer. In our technical tests, text quality was excellent, and photos and images weren’t any worse than the output we see from most middling printers, while scans proved as good as anything Canon’s excellent MX860 can produce – albeit occasionally a little wonky due to the scanning process. You get no preview mode or any fancy options, but at this price we can forgive that.

We can’t quite forgive the J3680’s painful lack of pace, though. Documents trundle out at 2.4ppm in mono and 1.4ppm in colour, while an A4 photo took nearly six minutes. A simple 300ppi scan took 50 seconds, while normal quality copies came out slower than the vast majority of devices we’ve tested.

But that’s missing the point of the J3680 somewhat. It’s certainly not a top quality device, and it looks like something from a nursery school, but if you’re very short on space there’s no denying it’s a cheap way to add perfectly usable copy and fax functions to your office.

Basic Specifications

Resolution printer final4800 x 1200dpi
Integrated TFT screen?no
Rated/quoted print speed20PPM
Maximum paper sizeA4
Duplex functionno

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page3.3p
Cost per A4 colour page7.7p

Power and noise

Peak noise level64.0dB(A)
Dimensions426 x 204 x 180mm (WDH)
Idle power consumption7W

Copier Specification

Copier rated mono speed35cpm
Fax speed33.6Kb/sec
Fax page memory125

Performance tests

6x4in photo print time2min 27s
A4 photo print time5min 59s
Mono print speed (measured)2ppm
Colour print speed1ppm

Media Handling

Borderless printing?yes
CD/DVD printing?no
Input tray capacity100 sheets


USB connection?yes
Ethernet connection?no
Bluetooth connection?no
WiFi connection?no
PictBridge port?no
Other connectionsNone

Flash media

SD card readerno
Compact Flash readerno
Memory Stick readerno
xD-card readerno
USB flash drive support?no
Other memory media supportN/A

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported?yes
Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported?yes
Operating system Windows 98SE supported?no
Other operating system supportN/A
Software suppliedHP Photosmart Essentials

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