Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

reviewing a printer - hp officeJet Pro 9020

Today, I have decided to review one of the worst pieces of technology to ever exist (in general) ... printers. 

Recently my old EPSON something or other died. It was quite annoying, because I have spare ink for it and, well there seems to be a printer shortage of some sort currently.

Bored of having two EPSONs fail mechanically, I decided to buy a HP printer. 

Hence I bought another one.

 

The HP 9020 seems to know it's place from a visual standpoint. It has a minimalist and space conserving design that is somewhat understated, as printers go.

I'm not going to bother take photos. Google it if you want but it looks nice as printers go.

Many of the parts of the printer feel reassuringly well made- the front panel that you can open is held on with some nice well made levers that slowly open the maintenance door.

In standby mode it's silent, but when printing it gets moderately loud, but I don't mind that. 

It has USB-A, ethernet, WIFI (more on that later) and a phone port for those who like using fax in 2021. It supports printing from IOS devices and android devices natively, which I'd say is good, but not anything special.

 

The setup

It comes in a box that is somewhat well packaged, but HP seems to be hoping that no one will break it because it's somewhat heavy, and not because it is really well packaged.

Inside came instructions in English, German, French and some other European languages and an EU and UK plug, which is really quite generous, despite probably being a cost saving measure. Also it came with Russian instructions and boring legal things printed in their own booklet (the other languages were just in one) twice. It comes with demo ink that apparently can do around 2,000 pages, but I'd say it's probably going to last around 750 - 800. 

Turning it on, it gives me a QR code after a bit of waiting on it's small but quite responsible display. I scan it, and it prompts me to download "HP smart", which is well designed, if a bit slow. It finds the ready to setup printer, and prompts me to enter my network details. 

Unfortunately, this is where things went wrong. It wouldn't pair to my Ubiquiti amplifi wifi, which is annoying. I assume it was confused by the different mesh points. I tried again, nothing. This greatly frustrated me, especially as it took around 5 MINUTES to fail to pair. I then decided to contact support to see what I could do (below). After giving up on support, eventually I turned it off and on and it prompted me to use WPS after pressing around aimlessly on the screen. It then connected fine, but my frustration was immense and I was angry.   

 

The support

HP has a terrible support experience. on their website, is a chatbot who seemed useless for anything, and couldn't connect me to a human. I then searched the help pages, but couldn't find anything. I then turned to twitter, to see if they have a support account. They have a few dozen twitter accounts and I did not understand which one to annoy. No matter, because when I found a support one, they were replying to messages with a 3 to 4 day delay.

Printer support from large companies tends to be quite bad, but this is the worst I've seen.

I hope that if I had called them, someone would have been there to help, but from my experience, their support gets 1/10.

Confusing and unhelpful.

 

The printing and scanning and copying

It is a good printer/scanner/ copier. It is fast and can hold lots of paper. I enjoy the high quality document feeder (ADF), which can scan both sides of a document simultaneously for you and scan many sheets at once without intervention. Too bad, then, that it sometimes scans slightly wonky with the ADF and therefore the paper needs to be lined up exactly. It prints quickly for an inkjet and seems to be quite efficient, ink wise.  I wouldn't print too many photos with it, being an inkjet designed for a small office. The Scanning features are all done through the aforementioned HP smart app, that I will describe more below. It supports scanning to many formats(pdf, jpg, png). I haven't tried faxing anyone yet. It doesn't seem prone to printer jamming which is... good for a printer?

 

The mediocre HP smart app

The HP smart app is a Microsoft store exclusive on windows, App store exclusive on mac and IOS and Play store on android. This is somewhat annoying, not because I enjoy mindlessly shitting on the windows store, but rather because another option would be very nice. Luckily you don't need it to print though on any platform, but you do need it to scan on Windows (macOS users can use the default scanner app in system preferences). 

Now, you might be saying... a windows store app isn't that bad, is it? 

To use the scanning functionality of the printer that cost me £250/ around $350, I have to sign up for a HP account. This is abysmal. 

At least it works? right. 

On my parent's mac, it would hang on opening. they were one major update behind the latest MacOS release. This is just bad. I hope it was an issue with that build of MacOS, and does not mean that you need a new-ish mac that can run Big Sur to use a printer. I updated it, and about 30 minutes later, it was up to date and working fine. it does take a while to start but the UI is clean and customisable, which is good. It absolutely blows EPSON out of the water for their software offering (the EPSON scan program that you have to use goes unresponsive when a scan is in progress, and failed to detect the printer about 1/4 of the time I used it). Furthermore, it looks like it is from this era! EPSON scan hasn't changed design at all since 2000. 

 

A note on HP instant ink

HP printers that are somewhat new support HP's ink subscription. It is optional, but somewhat strange. Instead of paying when you run out of ink, you pay for a quota of pages you print every month. You pay a surcharge for every extra page you print. The printer then orders ink when it is low straight to your house. It could work out cost effective for some people, but my printing usage is irregular and some months I print 100s of pages, the next 0. you can see the subscription plans on HP's website - it is the same for all printers I believe. Be aware however that if you sign up, your demo ink is enrolled in the program too. This means if you cancel, your ink stops working, despite the fact it came for free with the printer. This is the same with any other locked-in instant ink. You can only use Instant ink if you are on the subscription - I've seen some people online be caught out by this, and buying cheap ink on ebay to find out that the printer refuses to print with it, because they are locked. 

 

The webUI 

Possibly my favourite feature of the printer is the web interface.  It is highly configurable and surprisingly powerful. You can from the interface, enable scan to email (however you need to setup your own SMTP details) and other features. Here you can change paper settings, view ink levels and change default settings. It is much nicer then using the small display on the device that can't display much at all, making setting up advanced configurations slightly  frustrating. Unfortunately you cannot scan using it however, which is disappointing. 

 

 

Conclusion

I really like this printer. The setup was frustrating but using it every day is enjoyable and it presents a great value option. The ink cartridges are of reasonable value and high capacity. It is energy efficient and has a great mixture of features. It does not have any frustrating connection issues that seem to plague many printers (including my old epson) that make printers come across as unreliable and annoying to deal with. It comes in 3 colours, but I have the best looking one imo, as the other variants have strange pastel accent colours on the ADF. 

 

 

 

 

Please mark as helpful and informative so my profile looks better.

quote or reply to me if you want me to reply to you.

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel your pain. I work in software, we do some amazing things with code and yet it never ceases to amaze me how every time I go to use the multi thousand dollar office printer there's an issue. Why can't they just work 100% of the time?

And what's with printer ink prices?? It's more expensive per ml than champagne or designer perfume!

Anyway, after binning yet another relatively new inkjet home printer not so long ago I just bought a compact black & white laser printer. No colour, no ink cartridges (just a long lasting toner) no multi functions. It just has to do one thing, print stuff, fast and reliably.

Guess what, sometimes the wireless connection isn't always ready and you have to f##k about restarting it to make it work but it works most of the time and that's the best anyone can hope for with a printer imho.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Shabba said:

I feel your pain. I work in software, we do some amazing things with code and yet it never ceases to amaze me how every time I go to use the multi thousand dollar office printer there's an issue. Why can't they just work 100% of the time?

And what's with printer ink prices?? It's more expensive per ml than champagne or designer perfume!

Anyway, after binning yet another relatively new inkjet home printer not so long ago I just bought a compact black & white laser printer. No colour, no ink cartridges (just a long lasting toner) no multi functions. It just has to do one thing, print stuff, fast and reliably.

Guess what, sometimes the wireless connection isn't always ready and you have to f##k about restarting it to make it work but it works most of the time and that's the best anyone can hope for with a printer imho.

This is impressive, because HP SMART is down right now so I can't scan anything...

 

*Sigh*

Please mark as helpful and informative so my profile looks better.

quote or reply to me if you want me to reply to you.

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Newegg

×