We trust that budget users shopping for a printer like the HP 3050A will value cost over print speed, but it's also helpful to know that this is a capable, if not slightly faster than average printer compared to the competition. Though the differences are negligible across all four speed tests, the 3050A did achieve top-tier results in our 10-page slide presentation test, and performed slightly faster than the photocentric HP D110a in all four tests.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Presentation Speed (PPM)||Photo Speed (1 Sheet)||Color Graphics Speed (PPM)||Text Speed (PPM)|
We wouldn't expect an entry-level printer to output flawless photos, and the 3050A certainly met those expectations. Overall print quality suffers as a result of the tricolor cartridge, and graphics-intensive samples like those for the presentation test mentioned earlier appear faded and blotchy right out of the machine. The biggest offenders, of course, are snapshot photos, and it doesn't take a printer editor to see the color inconsistencies and overall lack of vibrancy here. You probably won't feel comfortable using the 3050A to print a birthday card for friends and family, but we're confident in its ability to produce decent-quality handouts for around the office.
Service and support
The HP Deskjet 3050A is backed by HP's exclusive enhanced support services: a dedicated toll-free number, troubleshooting over online chat with an HP expert, and a one-year warranty that guarantees repairs with "Next-Day Business Turn Around" and offering brand-new replacement units for the first 30 days after purchase.
In addition, HP offers an added Accidental Damage Protection and a Pick-Up-and-Return program that sends an authorized courier to pick up your failed equipment and deliver it directly to an HP-designated repair facility.
You can find more warranty information by visiting the HP Support Web site, which also features online classes, FAQs, driver downloads, and troubleshooting tips, as well as a new shopping buddy that puts you in a chat room with an HP sales rep so you can ask questions before you buy.
If you're shopping for an attractive printer for light use around the office or in your home, the HP Deskjet 3050A delivers acceptable quality prints and the convenience of mobile printing using ePrint. Photographers and busy offices should keep shopping, but light users who don't want empty wallets will find an excellent performer in the 3050A.
Find out more about how we test printers.