HP DeskJet 3845 review

Price when reviewed

We were looking forward to seeing the 3845, as it uses HP’s popular last-generation inks. We hoped it would be an updated version of the excellent DeskJet 5150, which graced the A List for many months. No such luck.

HP DeskJet 3845 review

The ink and print heads are essentially the same, but capacities for the new 27 black and 28 tricolour cartridges have been reduced to 10ml and 8ml respectively. The latter costs a whopping £18. That’s £2.25 per millilitre! What’s worse is that it won’t work with the original 19ml black 56 and 17ml tricolour 57 cartridges. However, the original 17ml 58 photo cartridge is retained for photo printing.

Consequently, when printing photos, by swapping the black cartridge for the photo, the 8ml tricolour cartridge runs out twice as fast as its neighbour. The cost, therefore, of two tricolour and one photo cartridge is £57 – more than the printer. This will produce a modest 160 6 x 4in photos at a worst-on-show cost of 61p each.

Still, the quality of the prints approaches HP’s typical high standard and fade resistance is good. But waiting over six minutes for a 6 x 4in photo and more than 14 minutes for our A4 montage hammered the final nail into the coffin. The two-page manual alignment also took too long and couldn’t fix large discrepancies in the test pattern, which skewed otherwise good text.

Ultimately, people should be wary of the low price, as they’ll soon be hit by high running costs.

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