HP DeskJet 3720 Review
Small and stylish, the DeskJet 3720 is ideal for families or young adults.
- Fast start-up time
- Decent print quality
- Small and lightweight
- Scanner is difficult to use well
- Small paper tray
Not all printers are meant to service dozens of people at once. HP has been dominating the small printer market lately. Let’s examine one of their smaller offerings in our HP DeskJet 3720 review.
The HP DeskJet 3720 Wireless All-in-One Printer is easily one of the smallest home printers you can find in any market. Its dimensions measure 141 x 177 x 403mm, meaning it’s one of the most compact desk printers and is suitable for even the most crowded home or work offices. It’s also incredibly light, weighing just over 5 pounds.
Unlike many other HP printers, the 3720 comes in two colour choices: vibrant white and blue style, and the more traditional printer colours, white and grey. It’s made of primarily plastic components, and as a result, is a little noisier than printers of a similar size when it gets to work. Keep this in mind if your working space or office is quite cramped.
The 3720 features a small display that tells you how many sheets are remaining in your current print order. The black and white display isn’t touch screen, so all the controls must be operated via the handful of buttons on the top right corner of the device.
These buttons are simplistic and there isn’t much of an opportunity to alter the settings of your print besides going into the interface on your computer. But the display and controls serve their purpose well enough and they avoid the sensitivity issues we’ve experienced before with other HP printer touchscreens.
The 3720 can connect through an included USB 2.0 port or through its Wi-Fi functionality. Notably, there’s no ethernet port, meaning that you must connect the printer to a computer or to a Wi-Fi router to allow it to connect to the Internet. It has built-in HP ePrint support, but you can also use Apple Air Print devices alongside it. This enables you to connect to the printer and have it start turning out a job before you even enter your office as long as it has ink in the cartridge.
Because of the size, the 3720 notably lacks a flatbed scanner. It does feature a feed-through scanner, which requires you to feed each document into the printer, one at a time. The issue isn’t the speed. It’s the fact that the documents are rarely scanned in a perfectly straight orientation, likely due to minor imperfections that occur when you feed a document into the scanning port.
This is quite frustrating and you’ll be better off taking documents to local copy shops or printers to get your documents scanned than relying on the 3720’s scanning capabilities. While it is theoretically possible to master the scanning slot and get your photos perfect after some practice, we don’t know if it would really be worth the hassle.
The 3720 doesn’t have the best printing speed. It can print monochrome pages at a rate of about eight pages per minute. Color page speed clocks in at about 5.5 pages per minute. This is someone comparable to other home printers at similar pricing points and sizes, but there’s no doubt that you won’t want to use this printer for office work or for large stacks of documents. It’s better for homework or occasional correspondence.
The paper tray is similarly small, again due to the overall small size of the printer. The tray can hold about 60 pages at a single time, which is lower than the 100 that the HP Envy 3050 manages.
What about print quality? The 3720 has a maximum resolution of about 4800 x 1200 dots per inch, or dpi. This is comparable to a similar HP home printer, the Envy 3050, which is significantly larger but which has the exact same maximum resolution.
As a result, we feel comfortable recommending this printer for good color photos or for homework assignments. However, the black lettering suffers a little bit in terms of detail or density consistency. This is odd given the reasonably high dpi rating.
Still, we think that the printing quality from a machine of this size is reasonable. No one buying this printer should expect award-winning quality from each page.
The 3720 doesn’t have any automatic duplex function. This means you’ll have to manually flip every sheet if you want to print on both sides. This is annoying, but not unexpected given the very cheap asking price and the small size of the printer apparatus.
We did like the fact that you can start printing within 30 seconds of including the printer up. This rapid response time makes it invaluable for getting prints out quickly, even if the actual printing process isn’t the speediest on the market.
The 3720 can take advantage of the HP Instant Ink program. This allows you to sign up for cartridge refills for all your ink needs so long as the printer is hooked up to the Internet. However, it’s unclear how cost-effective this monthly fee program would actually be if you don’t use the printer very frequently.
There is a low-cost plan for 50 sheets per month, but many who buy this printer might only use 10 or so for occasional documents or photos. Overall, we would recommend that you consider your overall printing habits before committing money to the Instant Ink program.
All in all, the HP DeskJet 3720 is a decent desk printer provided that you don’t print very often and have limited real estate atop your desk. Its small size and easy connectivity are two great features that highlight its appeal for those who only need occasional printing done or who don’t care too much about top-tier print quality.
Because of the asking price, this printer is a great choice for young adults or for kids to share for when they need to print things out for school. You get what you pay for, and we’re happy to say that we weren’t disappointed overall.
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