Printing documents on paper may seem archaic to some of us who grew up in a digital world.
But having tried different brands of home and office printers over the years, what I found to be truly antiquated are the clunky user interfaces on many of these printers.
Manufacturers may have added touchscreens to newer models, but they have often neglected to improve the user interface.
Fortunately, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 All-in-One printer comes with a modern, intuititve touch- based interface that puts my concerns to rest.
Take its home screen, which has a convenient shortcut icon for the ID card copy function, as well as one for scanning a document to an attached USB storage drive.
YIELD: Up to 2,000 standard pages per XL cartridge (black) and 1,600 pages per XL cartridge (colour)
PRINT RESOLUTION: Up to 1,200 x 1,200 dots per inch
SPEED: Up to 24 pages per minute (black), 20 pages per minute (colour)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5
More importantly, you can customise the shortcuts with your own favourites by pressing and holding the icons to delete or add them to the home screen.
For instance, I was able to remove the fax option as I did not need it.
The 4.3-inch colour touchscreen is big enough for four shortcut icons. It is also responsive and bright
Like many modern printers, you can print to the OfficeJet from a mobile device. You do not even need a Wi-Fi network.
Just install the HP ePrint app (for iOS and Android), which has a sleek and contemporary interface. It can use Wi-Fi Direct to send documents in your mobile device, as well as files located in supported cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, to the printer.
The OfficeJet also supports one- touch printing via near-field communications, so you can tap the phone to the NFC icon on the printer to establish the connection between the two devices.
The printer's output tray deposits the printouts below the scanning bed and behind its touchscreen, not at the side like some printers in this class. HP says this design not only reduces the printer's footprint, but ensures that your printouts will not land on the floor.
It took around 20 seconds for the first page to be printed, but once the printer hit its stride, it managed 20 black and white pages at normal quality in a minute. However, this is slightly below the maximum 24 pages per minute print speed touted by HP.
The OfficeJet can also print double-sided pages at a good clip, managing around 16 pages per minute.
Print quality is good, with crisp text for documents. This inkjet printer is versatile enough to do a decent job at photos, though I would recommend getting a proper photo printer if you regularly print photos.
It handled large print jobs, such as a hundred-page document, without major issues, though it did print a page over two sheets of paper once.
There were a couple of paper-jam incidents when I tried the duplex print option, but they were easily resolved by following the onscreen instructions.
• Verdict: A modern all-in-one printer with a user-friendly interface and support for mobile devices.