Although they have their pros and cons, cartridge-based printers can sometimes be more troublesome and frustrating to use than you’d like.
HP Officejet H470b
Efficient printing on the go
- Battery, small, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi not built-in, some colour issues
For those who travel a lot and need to print at short notice, the H470b provides the perfect solution. It’s small and portable but still provides excellent quality text. With the additional options of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, the printer is extremely versatile.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The H470b is the latest business-focused mobile printer from HP and it is the successor to the 460cb. While there are some minor improvements we'd like to see, there is little to dislike about the H470b. It is one of the most versatile and portable printers on the market for people who are on the move.
Weighing 2.27kg and with dimensions slightly larger than an A4 sheet of paper, the H470b is designed for portability. The printer comes packaged with a leather case for extra protection. This can be left on the printer while using it, although changing the ink cartridges requires it to be taken off.
The H470b's connectivity is impressive. The retail model only allows a standard USB connection, but users have the option of purchasing separate dongles to enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. There is an integrated Wi-Fi profile switch on the printer. This allows users to save up to three different wireless profiles. We would have liked Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to be built directly into the device rather than being optional add-ons.
Mobility is maximised through the H470b's replaceable 2300mAh Li-Ion battery, which HP claims is capable of printing up to 480 pages per battery charge (charging it takes two hours). This rating is based on a USB connection and printing at normal quality; real-world usage will probably result in slightly less battery power. The majority of our testing was done over either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but even then we managed to print nearly 75 pages at differing qualities before the battery ran out. Given the relatively short charge time required, the battery will suffice for most daily business and travel tasks, although it may require a nightly charge for heavy use.
Printing speeds were slower than conventional printers, but still acceptable. Draft quality text documents printed at 5.7 pages per minute; normal quality pages printed at 2ppm, which is slightly faster than the 460cb. Text documents with colour graphics were slightly slower: 5.9ppm at draft quality and 2.3ppm at standard. Standard 4x6in photos printed in 1min 40sec. The printer's small size prevents it from competing with conventional printers and multifunctions in regards to speed, but for portable use this is more than acceptable.
Quality was quite impressive. Unlike some of the text accuracy issues we had with the HP Photosmart C7280, documents from the H470b had clear, readable text that wasn't messy. Colour was somewhat exaggerated; this can be explained by the use of a two-ink system. It's clear that HP doesn't encourage using the H470b as a regular photo printer – the included software doesn't allow A4 photo printing – although it promotes using the printer to make marketing materials in-house. Straight colours were easily printed by the H470b, but it had some problems with photos integrated in documents — even the simplest pictures exhibited a high level of banding. 4x6in photos weren't as susceptible to this issue, although they retained a low level of banding. Better handling of banding issues would have been appreciated, but the H470b's text results are sufficient for business usage.
The H470b is one of HP's most efficient printers, with a cost per page of 20c. Page yields are appropriate for normal usage, and an optional ink holder accessory allows opened inks to be safely kept if needed.
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