HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 All-in-One Printer

HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 All-in-One Printer
HP's OfficeJet Pro 8740 replaces the 8630, a hard act to follow. Photograph courtesy of HP

Every now and then I come across a printer with very few flaws, and that was the case of HP’s OfficeJet Pro 8630 All-in-One Printer, a two-drawer version of the OfficeJet Pro 8620 reviewed here a while back. Not only was it fast, with great print quality, versatility, and capacity, but it also delivered a very acceptable per-page cost of operation for a midrange to high-volume multifunction printer, or MFP.

Like every great piece of equipment, the 8630’s retirement time has come; it’s time to talk about its replacement, the $399.99-MSRP OfficeJet Pro 8740 All-in-One Printer. When talking about updates, it’s often just an incremental upgrade—a few tweaks and feature add-ons here and there. But not this time, the new 8740, while it has somewhat similar specs, bears little-to-no resemblance to its predecessor; otherwise, it’s a fine little high-volume MFP.

Design and Features

As you can tell from the image accompanying this article, the 8740 not only doesn’t resemble the 8630, its new design doesn’t really look much like any inkjet we’ve seen—now or in the past. At 20.9 inches across, by 16.2 inches from front to back, by 19.7 high, and weighing a sturdy 40.6 pounds, it’s a little big for placing beside you on your desktop. Besides, this is a workgroup or team printer, so you’ll probably want someplace centrally located.

The good news is that it supports basic connectivity, i.e., Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and connecting to a single PC via USB, or you can connect peer-to-peer, as needed with Wireless Direct, HP’s equivalent to Wi-Fi Direct, or Near-Field Communication, or NFC. In addition, the printer itself can connect to numerous cloud sites, or you can print, copy, scan, or fax, as well as print or scan to a USB thumb drive, and other PC-free or walk up tasks.

All of this is handled via a 4.3-inch, customizable, color touch screen. Also impressive is the 50-sheet, auto-duplexing automatic document feeder, or ADF. This is a “single-pass” ADF, meaning that it can scan both sides of an original simultaneously; between it and the duplexing print engine, you can copy multipage, two-sided documents with relative ease.

Performance, Print Quality, Paper Handling

HP’s OfficeJet Pro printers (unlike Epson’s WorkForce Pro models, that come with the company’s PrecisionCore alternative printheads) use standard inkjet printheads—which is fine for most business environments. This new OfficeJet Pro model isn’t particularly fast; at just over 6 pages per minute, or ppm, it’s barely (if at all) faster than its predecessor. But it’s plenty fast enough for most small and medium-size businesses (SMBs).

The 8740 has a 30,000-page monthly duty cycle; in other words, HP thinks you can safely print that many pages each without damaging the printer prematurely. As for print quality, like its predecessor’s the 8740’s output quality, be it print, copy, or scan, is downright respectable.

As for paper handling, the 8740 comes with two 250-sheet paper cassettes and an 80-sheet rear tray, for a total of 580 pages from three sources, which isn’t bad at all.

Cost Per Page

According to HP, this AIO’s best cost per page is 1.7 cents for black-and-white pages and 7.7 cents each for color, which is slightly above the 8630’s 1.6 cents and 7.3 cents, respectively. If, in fact, you shop around for the best deal and purchase combo packs, you’ll get very close to the 8630’s numbers.

Overall Assessment

The OfficeJet Pro 8630 model that this printer replaces is a hard act follow. I’m not sure it needed replacing, but that’s life. Only time will tell whether the new design lives up to that of its predecessor.