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Best All-in-One Printer

written by: Cindy Marcelle•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 1/20/2009
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If you are looking for the best and most affordable all-in-one printer to give that special someone this holiday season, then look no further than the HP DeskJet F380. The DeskJet is a great choice for students and home office users.

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    When my old no-frills, hand-me-down printer kicked the bucket 2 years ago I knew it was time for an upgrade. I was spending too much money at public office stores scanning and copying documents – it was time to invest in an all-in-one printer. I did my research, shopped at all the big and little stores and websites and settled on the HP DeskJet F380. I have never regretted my purchase. This little machine is durable (it has been kicked around through 3 moves in 2 years), it is sustainable (ink refills are under $10 and, if used sensibly, last), and it is affordable.

    Correct installation of the software needed to bridge the HP DeskJet F380 printer with to a computer is important. Installation will automatically commence after hooking the printer first to the computer and then to its power source. There will be a choice between express installation and full installation.

    Express installation installs only the drivers needed to use the DeskJet whereas full installation installs both the needed drivers and the HP Photosmart Premier software that comes with the printer.

    Express installation is compatible with Microsoft Windows 98, 98 SE, Me, 2000 Professional Service Pack 3 or higher, XP, XP Media or Tablet edition but does not support Windows 95, 3.1, NT 4.0, DOS, 2003 Server, or 64-bt. It will take 128 MB RAM for 98, 98 SE, Me, 2000 and XP and 256 MB or higher is recommended for all operating systems. The computer will need 395 MB available hard disk space to install the express installation of the HP DeskJet F380 software.

    Full installation is compatible with Microsoft Windows 2000 Pofessional Service Pack 3 or higher, XP, XP Media or Tablet edition but does not support Windows 95, 3.1, NT 4.0, DOS, 2003 Server, or 64-bit. It will take 128 MB RAM for 2000 and XP and 256 MB or higher recommended for all operating systems. The computer will need 855 MB of available hard disk space to install the express installation of the HP DeskJet F380 software.

    Internet Explorer 5.01 with Service Pack 2 or higher is required for all levels of installation.

    The HP DeskJet F380 prints a black resolution of up to 600 x 600 dots per inch (dpi) and a color resolution of up to 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi. It uses a drop-on-demand thermal inkjet system and is made to print up to 700 pages per month. The DeskJet copies at a maximum black resolution of up to 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi and a maximum color resolution of the same although the printer will run best on a draft mode of black resolution of up to 1200 x 1200 dpi and a color resolution of 1200 x 1200 up to 4800 dpi optimized.

    The HP DeskJet F380 prints copies to fill the page and prints up to 9 copies of the original document at a time. It come with scanning software/image editor and scanned documents print at a resolution of up to 1200 x 2400 dpi optical and up to 19,200 dpi enhanced. Scanned copies are printed with 48-bits of color and 8-bits of grayscale with 256 levels of gray.

    As mentioned above, the HP DeskJet F380 runs best when the dpi resolution runs on draft. This means that the printer likes it best when documents are printed quickly and presentation quality documents are left for the once-in-a-while. I’ve seen this first hand with my own F380 and changing the dpi resolution to draft saves me money on printer cartridges.

    Printing in draft from Microsoft Word 2003:

    Changing the printing options in Microsoft Word 2003 is applicable to changing printing options in most other Microsoft programs.

    • Click on the File drop down menu and select Print
    • Click on the Properties button in the upper right hand corner
    • From the What do you want to do drop down menu, select Fast/Economical Printing
    • Print as usual

    Resources

    HP.com

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    HP DeskJet F380

    Public Image

The Printer Review

If you are looking for the best and most affordable all-in-one printer to give that special someone this holiday season, then look no further than the HP DeskJet F380. The DeskJet is a great choice for students and home office users.
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