HP Deskjet 2655 Review: How Bad Can Budget Be?

We live in a darn-near paperless world, where email reigns, text messages replace the passed-notes, and phone reminders take over for sticky notes. However, there will be that one time you need to print that random thing, and a printer will come in handy. When you just need a basic wireless printer, how bad is buying the cheapest one?

I've decided to test this out. I purchased an HP Deskjet 2655 for dirt cheap, $25 on clearance, which is less than the cost of some printer's ink cartridges. It's not the smallest printer, but it's very light. In the package includes the USB cable, which doesn't come with many printers, the power cable, and the instructions. Since the printer does not have a touch screen, you will have to plug it into a computer for setup. You can visit 123.hp.com/dj2655 for the link to the drivers and instructions, but if you have Windows 8 or 10, I recommend going to the Windows Store, and downloading an app called HP Smart, which makes the installation process much easier. It's very easy to install, and once it's done, you can unplug it from your computer. I've had no issue with the printer disconnecting from the network, so that's a plus.

The printer uses HP 65 ink, which has a pro and con. The pro is that the ink cartridges are dirt cheap, around $25 for both black and color ink. The con is they don't hold a lot of ink. I've printed about 10-15 pages of standard black-and-white documents, and the ink level already reads a little above 3/4 full, which seems pretty small. Of course, a low cost cartridge up front seems attractive, one thing I'm unsure of is if a more expensive cartridge would hold more?

The quality of prints are okay. It's not going to have laser printer quality for documents, but for $25, or the normal price of $50, I can't find myself complaining too much, it's just the caveat of budget-priced printers. Quality of scans are pretty good for those who want to digitize old photos, and it makes copies, which is exciting. It's also easy to manage on any device, so long as you know the local IP address on your network, you can access that and get information on how the printer is feeling, or perform maintenance at any moment. You can also set the printer up with a snazzy hp.com email address for fast printing, and some HP Instant Ink plan to send ink to your house for those who print a lot.

Just a personal note, when my local RadioShack was closing, they were selling everything in the store, including their fancy color laser printer for $500, complete with a lot of drums and toner. I totally didn't have the money for it, but I loved the idea of printing in the highest quality. But then I remembered I very rarely print anything ever, which brought my attention back to a budget inkjet printer. For when I need it, it's there and prints fast enough. When I run out of ink, I'm spending what I paid for the printer, or just $12 for the black cartridge, which is better than my old HP, which cost $40 for a black/color ink combo pack. No, this is not for an office. It's not for someone who needs high-quality prints. But this does work well for students, or for someone who needs to replace an aging printer which cartridges costing more than $50. So long as you understand you paid the bare minimum to print wirelessly, and in color no less, you'll enjoy this printer. 

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