PC World Evaluation Team Review

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

Reviewed by Andrew Grant

IT Manager


I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

The first thing I noticed about this printer was its size. The box seemed huge and I was concerned about fitting the printer in its space when I got it home. I needn’t have worried despite being (considerably) taller than its diminutive predecessor, the footprint is only marginally bigger. The old printer looks like a bit of toy next to the OfficeJet Pro, which looks like it’s all business.

I started setting up without consulting any manuals, thinking I’d go as far as I could until I wasn’t sure about the next step, and then I’d look at the book. In less than 10 minutes I had the printer unboxed and unwrapped (it’s carefully packed), powered up, ink cartridges installed, paper loaded, and connected to the office WiFi. (I’d configured for ePrinting too, even though I didn’t know what it was at the time. It sounded handy.) Set-up was very straightforward, the big LCD panel on the front is bright and easy to read and it guides you through the whole process step-by- step.

We run Macs in the office and at home. Connecting them couldn’t have been simpler. Choose Print, Add a Printer and the Office Jet Pro’s in the list, ready to go. The first test print was sitting on the printer in under a minute. I’ve battled with printers for most of my working life, so it’s a nice surprise to plug one in and start printing with zero hassle.

The second thing that struck me about this printer is how fast it is. Initial computer- printer comms seem to happen a whole lot faster, the OfficeJet Pro wakes up and gets to work quicker, and it spits out several pages in the time it took the old machine to churn through one. By way of comparison the old printer took just over 2 minutes to print a typical 5-page word document over WiFi. The OfficeJet Pro spits similar documents out in under 30 seconds.

The next big (pleasant) surprise was double-sided printing. That always felt like a high-end printer feature. I could manage double-sided printing with the old ink-jet, but it meant running two print jobs and reloading the paper in between. It was such an error-prone, tedious process I’d usually just print everything single-sided. With the OfficeJet Pro, setting double-sided printing is a simple print panel tick-box, which the Mac remembers by default.

It’s super-convenient, makes it a lot easier to print single sheets, and saves a ton of paper. The next next-big- surprise was the OfficeJet Pro’s print quality. I work with big documents and graphic layouts, and looking at test prints is an important part of my work process. The OfficeJet Pro makes beautiful, crisp prints. The printer’s Normal setting is such an improvement, I haven’t even bothered with the Best mode. The Ink dries quickly and I have yet to smudge a page, even when grabbing them straight off the output tray.

This printer holds 10 times more paper than my old printer and more so if I added the second tray, so between double-sided printing and its increased capacity, I spend much less time mucking about with paper. I’d have to fix paper jams once or twice a week with the old printer. I haven’t had a single issue with the OfficeJet Pro.

I’m not the only one who loves this printer. My kids and my wife would frequently email me documents to print, or bring them into the office on a thumb drive, because my computer is the only one with a reliable connection. Now everyone connects straight to the OfficeJet Pro over WiFi, even from iPads and iPhones. And with the ePrint service, instead of emailing documents to me, they can send them straight to the printer and that’s made everybody happier.

Overall, the OfficeJet Pro 8730 is a fantastic printer. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars and I’m recommending it without reservation as a reliable, fast and efficient workhorse in the office of just about any small to medium sized business.

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