By Matt Lake
HP's OfficeJet d145 takes the “multi” in multifunction to heart. Its designers took a typical feature set for flatbed scanner/copier/printer/fax combos and added more of everything to it. Forget a 10- or 30-page sheet feeder; the OfficeJet d145's can take up to 50. Need better color? Try 48-bit color depth. The copier platen handles legal-size paper, there's Mac and Windows support, and the printer can produce double-sided output. Oh, and there are slots for SmartMedia, CompactFlash, and Memory Stick for printing contact sheets and full images from your digital camera. Sure, you have to front an extra c-note to get the OfficeJet d145, but with all these extras, who's counting? Click here to check the latest prices on the HP OfficeJet d145.
Driving a tank
Getting started with the OfficeJet d145 is easy. The unit comes with two illustrated setup posters, one for Windows users and another for Mac aficionados. HP also includes a handy supplemental guide for Windows XP users. The OfficeJet d145 supports Microsoft Windows 98 and above and Macintosh OS 9.1 or later. It connects solely via USB (cable not included), but it has an open connectivity slot for an HP Jetdirect 200m print-server or parallel-cable adapter. The bottom-mounted paper tray holds up to 150 sheets of plain paper and supports various HP specialty papers, including photo paper, transparency film, iron-on transfers, and greeting cards; the output tray sits atop the input tray (see Figure A).
|The NP OfficeJet d145 was rated an 8 out of 10 and received a CNET Editor's Choice award.|
On the downside, the OfficeJet d145 is a bulky, 35-pound tank that needs to have its double-sided printer attachment snapped into place before it's ready to roll. And the unit we tested was very noisy, whirring, snapping, and grinding more loudly than the Canon MultiPass F50 while starting up and photocopying. The photocopier's lid caused us some trouble, too. It tended to slam down under its own weight. Also, its handgrip is small; larger hands can lift the lid more easily by gripping the sheet feeder, which often results in the paper guide falling off.
For an extra c-note
At $599, the OfficeJet d145 costs about $100 more than the MultiPass F50 and other d-series OfficeJets, but its unusual features—three card readers for digital-camera memory and the aforementioned duplexer—justify the price. The printer's overall high quality of photo printing makes the SmartMedia, CompactFlash, and Memory Stick slots a natural choice. When you insert a card, the unit's LCD gives you your options: printing contact sheets with thumbnails of all the pictures, printing all the images, or downloading them speedily to your computer. After viewing the thumbnail sheet, you can select some pictures for full-page printing by filling in circles with a dark pencil or pen (SAT-style) and pressing a few buttons on the OfficeJet d145's front panel. As for producing double-sided printouts, you can do this with a few selections in the computer's print-dialog box or by selecting options in the photocopier's LED menu.
Quick, not dirty, color
In CNET Labs' tests, the OfficeJet d145 discharged itself honorably. While plain-paper text appeared gray with slight hairs, quality improved when we used HP's coated paper. The OfficeJet d145 had little difficulty with our graphics and photo test documents. Both plain- and coated-paper graphics looked excellent, with good color matching and attention to detail, especially in the tricky shading, line-drawing, and photographic elements of our document. The test photo also looked excellent, with smooth skin tones and vibrant color. And while the HP's grayscale scans lagged behind those of the MultiPass F50 in terms of both speed and quality, the OfficeJet d145 did reproduce slightly better color scans.
You do pay a premium for the quality of the output, however. The OfficeJet d145 costs 5.2 cents per page of text and 21 cents per color page. That's between 1.5 cents and 2 cents more per page than the MultiPass F50's output. With heavy use, these cents will quickly add up over the years you'll be using the printer.
The OfficeJet d145 comes with a typical one-year parts and labor warranty. Free (but not toll-free) phone support is available Monday through Friday from 5:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. and Saturdays from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. PT during the warranty period. After the warranty expires, phone support is available for a fee. The HP Web site offers e-mail support, troubleshooting tips, drivers, and manuals.
If you can afford its premium price, the OfficeJet d145 offers more features than you'll know what to do with. With its 50-page sheet feeder, three media slots, large scanning area, and good overall performance and output quality, the HP is sure to meet the needs of any small or midsize business.
CNET Labs performance
The OfficeJet d145 left the competition far behind in our color and copy-speed tests (see Tables A and B). While its text speed fell short of the MultiPass F50's, it still managed a respectable 4.6ppm.
Multifunction printer speed
Multifunction printer quality
Click here to check the latest prices on the HP OfficeJet d145. Table C lists the specifications for the HP OfficeJet d145.
This article was originally published by CNET on March 21, 2002.