The HP Officejet J5780 is an inexpensive multifunction inkjet printer that's suitable for a home office with light printing needs. Without an Ethernet jack, it's not suitable for larger, networked offices, while the lack of media card slots limits its appeal for general home use. For a home office, however, it serves up the right mix of features--fax, copy, scan, and print--for a mere $150. In terms of print speed and quality, it's a middle-of-the-pack machine. We think that a home office user would be satisfied with this printer, but we like the slightly more expensive Canon Pixma MP530 better because of its superior print quality, particularly with black text. If you can spare the extra $50, we say go for the Canon.
The HP Officejet J5780 is a compact all-in-one, which makes it easy to tuck into the corner of your desk. It measures 18 inches wide, 15.2 inches deep, and 9.3 inches tall, and weighs less than 15 pounds. A 35-page automatic document feeder sits on top of the scanner lid, which conceals an A4-size scanner. Even with the ADF, the maximum size document you can scan is A4.
Two trays serve as the input and output trays. The lower input tray holds 100 sheets of regular paper. The output tray has a pullout arm to help you keep longer sheets under control. While the input tray can certainly hold legal-length paper, it doesn't have a support arm, so the edge of the paper will rest on your desktop.
The control panel is busy, but well-organized. The buttons are grouped by task, and they center on a two-line text LCD. Each task (copy, scan, fax) has dedicated buttons for common options, such as redial and speed dial for fax and reduce/enlarge for copy, as well as menu buttons and dedicated start buttons (in both black and color). An alphanumeric keypad and five one-touch dial buttons round out the control panel.
The J5780 uses a two-tank system: one black and one tricolor. For improved color ranges when printing photos, you can swap in a tricolor photo tank ($25) for the black. Refill tanks come in both regular and high-capacity versions. The regular black prints about 200 pages and costs $15, while the large version costs $30 and prints about 750 pages. The regular tricolor costs $18 and prints 170 pages, while the high-capacity version costs $35 and prints 520 pages. Using the high-capacity tanks for the best value, we estimate that black prints cost about 4 cents per page and four-color prints cost about 10.7 cents per page. The Canon Pixma MP530's costs are lower for both prints.
The J5780 offers the standard set of features for a work-oriented all-in-one in this price range. It offers only a USB connection, so it's better suited as a dedicated printer for a single user. Unlike many other office-oriented all-in-ones, it lacks a built-in duplexer and media card slots (though you can still print photos from your PC). Of the two, we'd rather it have a duplexer for a home office.
When copying, you can reduce or enlarge over a range of 25 percent to 400 percent, using either preset values or custom values. For faxing, you can program up to five one-touch entries, and up to 80 speed-dial numbers, including groups. Incoming faxes can be stored in memory and reprinted later. If you'd like to block incoming faxes from specific numbers, use the Junk Fax Blocker feature (you'll need to subscribe to Caller ID). If you're scanning a document or image, you can save it to your PC, open it in a number of programs for editing, or use the optical character recognition feature to create an editable document. Once the scan is saved to your PC, you can use HP's bundled utilities to share, edit, and e-mail the scanned documents.
Among the all-in-ones in its price range ($50 in either direction), the HP J5780 was a middle-of-the-road performer. It printed black text at a rate of 6.0ppm, slightly behind both the Canon Pixma MP530 and the Lexmark X5470. It was quick with 4x6 photo printing, however, scoring 0.7ppm for a single print and an average of 0.77ppm when printing a 10-print batch. Its scan speeds were at the back of the pack: 2.8ppm for grayscale and 2.9 for color. And with copying (using the ADF), it fell in the middle again, with a score of 1.86ppm.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Copy||Color scan||Grayscale scan||4x6 Photo||Text|
In most of its tasks, the J5780 did a pretty good job, but its text prints disappointed us. The characters showed obvious flaws and jaggedness, and the text was "swollen"--everything looked big and puffy instead of being sharp and clean--even on coated inkjet paper. The color graphics print looked better, with good color reproduction. It did suffer from some jaggies, though, and overall, it was slightly washed out.
The 4x6 color photos we printed showed decent detail and color, though we noticed some graininess. We would've liked to see more brightness, too.
The J5780 did a pretty good job with grayscale scans, though compression in the dark end of the spectrum resulted in some lost details in the shadows of photos. Happily, the J5780 produced a great color scan, with true colors and sharp details. Overall, it's a middle-of-the-road printer and its quality would be good enough for basic office work, though it's not of a quality that's suitable for presentation materials. We liked the quality of the Canon Pixma MP530 better.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Color scan||Grayscale scan||Photo||Graphics||Text|
Service and support
HP backs the Officejet J5780 All-in-One with a standard one-year warranty, which is on par with the competition. While under warranty, you can get toll-free phone support 24/7 for free. HP's Web site has downloadable drivers, software, and manuals; e-mail and online chat tech support; FAQs; and a troubleshooting guide.