The HP OfficeJet 3830 is one of HP’s most affordable home printer options. It’s small, simple, and extremely cheap.
When reviewing printers this cheap, there’s a caveat: these printers are made to be disposable. They are barebones, basic, featureless printers made to be used, abused, and replaced. With that said, let’s get into it.
Early Bottom Line:
The HP OfficeJet 3830 is what it is: a simple, cheap printer. Home users, particular older or less techy users, will find this printer familiar and easy to use. However, heavier users or businesses may feel misled by the “OfficeJet” title.
What is an OfficeJet Printer?
An “OfficeJet” printer is HP’s line of small business and home office printers. The term carries a history of high quality inkjet printers, with a few duds here and there.
Who is an OfficeJet Printer for?
Typically, HP OfficeJet printers are made for small businesses and home office users. These printers are more oriented for heavy document printing over photo quality. However, they do have the option to print photos as well. OfficeJet owners should be printing on a frequent, consistent basis to justify the cost of the machine.
This HP OfficeJet 3830 review will outline what this printer can handle and who this printer is really for.
What You Need to Look For
When buying an inkjet printer for a home office or small business, ink efficiency and print speed should be the primary deciding factors. Other things to consider are size, paper storage, and extra business features.
Let’s be real; this is the main reason you’re considering buying this printer. Maybe you don’t print often, or maybe it’s a gift for someone else. But the bottom line is you want something that’s cheap.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting the best deal. You just need to be realistic and realize that the cheapest product is never going to be the best product. This printer might be good enough for what you need it for, but it likely won’t be.
Be honest about what you need. If you need to print a few pages per month, and it doesn’t matter how quickly, then this printer might be fine. If you are looking for a printer to run your business from, then you’re wasting your time here. Check out a real office printer instead.
- One of the good things about cheap printers is they tend to be on the smaller side. Most customers who want an inexpensive printer also want something that will stow away easily, and this printer fits that bill.
- At just under seventeen inches wide and fourteen inches deep, this printer will easily fit in the corner of a desk or in a computer cabinet.
The biggest reason I sell this printer is because customers find it familiar. It feels like the same printer they had in the nineties. For older customers, or customers who are less technically minded, something simple and familiar is comforting.
Instant Ink Compatible
I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: HP Instant Ink is awesome. Specifically for a printer like this one, where the ink isn’t very efficient, it’s essential to offset the printing costs.
HP Instant Ink allows you to pay a monthly subscription for your ink, which will save you money. They even have a free plan if you print less than fifteen pages per month.
Check out my full review of HP Instant Ink.
Just to be clear, you are under no obligation to enroll in HP Instant Ink. This printer will work just fine without it. It’s just recommended, because the cartridges will add up fast.
That’s it for the good, now it’s time for the bad. Brace yourselves.
This printer takes HP’s 63 series of ink cartridges, which are more commonly used for photo printing. The black will only print about 190 pages, and the color will only print about 165. And that’s text documents. For photos, divide those numbers by ten.
HP does offer the 63 XL cartridges, which yield 480 pages of black and 330 of color. However, that’s still 8.3 cents per page of black, and 12.7 for color. And then there’s another issue with the price.
If you need to replace both cartridges for this printer, you’re going to spend as much as this printer is often on sale for. You get twice as much ink as the starter cartridges, but it still feels wrong.
One last efficiency issue is that the color ink comes in a tricolor cartridge. While it’s nice to only have two cartridges to consider, this is a bad thing financially. If you run out of yellow ink, you need to replace the cyan and magenta as well. They leftover ink just goes to waste.
Without HP Instant Ink, the ink costs on this printer are a financial nightmare. I understand not everybody wants to sign up for an ink subscription. However, without HP Instant Ink, you’ll literally spend more for ink for this printer in a couple years than you would have just buying a laser printer.
Rear Paper Feed
The HP OfficeJet 3830 doesn’t have a closed paper tray underneath. It only has a paper feed in the rear of the printer. This is an issue because it decreases your storage capacity, leaves your paper vulnerable to dust, and increases the amount of paper jams you’ll experience.
Low paper storage
This printer’s rear feed only holds up to 60 pages of paper. This means you’ll be replacing the paper more often than you’d probably like. You’ll also need to find somewhere to store the extra paper. This is a big sticking point for this HP OfficeJet 3830 review.
I’m not a patient person, and I hate slow printers. They make my skin crawl. The HP OfficeJet 3830 is an exceptionally slow printer.
The HP OfficeJet 3830 will print up to eight pages per minute of black and just six of color. And that’s a text document. Photos will likely take at least one minute per print. That’s just too long for any decent size print job.
I don’t know how HP can justify calling a printer this slow an “OfficeJet.”
This printer has a small, basic, monochrome display. It’s boring, and less intuitive than the larger color touchscreens most printers have these days. Even older customers will find this cumbersome as touchscreens become more and more standard fare.
This printer is as barebones as it gets. Beside having a fax function, this printer doesn’t include any non-standard features.
That might not seem like a big deal to some, but no scan-to-email, no duplex printing, and no security features are pretty big letdowns for an office based printer.
That’s all the good and bad for our HP OfficeJet 3830 review. So what’s the verdict?
The Bottom Line
This HP OfficeJet 3830 review has shown that this printer is not a good option for small businesses or really any office use. It is slow, inefficient, and can’t handle any significant monthly output.
So who is this printer good for? Older people who print their Christmas letters once per year. Or college students who need a “ramen noodle option.” Customers who need something small, cheap, and easy should take a look at the HP OfficeJet 3830.
As I said above, I’d only recommend this printer for customers who need the cheapest option possible. For anyone who needs an actual OfficeJet printer, I’d recommend taking a look at something more reliable.
Check out the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015. It’s much faster and more efficient than the OfficeJet 3830. While it takes up more room on your desk, it’s built to handle heavier monthly output, and it will save you a ton of money on your ink costs.
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