printers

HP Deskjet 3050 Review

The HP Deskjet 3050 is an entry-level printer with a slightly better than entry-level performance.

May 31, 2012
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Science Introduction

By the numbers, this is a thoroughly average printer, but that's not so much of a bad thing at its price point.

Color Performance

While not perfect, most consumers won't notice any color deficiencies.

By generating a user-made profile, the HP Deskjet 3050 actually does a fairly decent job at maintaining a good level of color accuracy. While there isn't a pattern in which colors have the most error, the Deskjet 3050 doesn't have any huge outliers, or particular colors that it just can't seem to produce well.

Able to reproduce just over 47% of the total color gamut measured, the HP Deskjet 3050 does a fair job of reproducing a wide range of color values. While not ideal, you are very unlikely to notice any shortcoming of the Deskjet 3050 being able to reproduce the colors you ask it to.

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Print Speed

Moderately fast, especially for printing documents.

When you send a print command to the HP Deskjet 3050, you won't have to wait more than a few seconds before it starts working. Even over Wi-Fi, which can sometimes be a bit slower to transmit information than a USB cable, it does not keep you waiting.

If you elect to use your HP Deskjet 3050 to print photos, you should be aware that you can expect to wait about 3.39 seconds for each square inch of your prints. Knowing that, it should be no surprise that 4 x 6-inch prints will take about 74 seconds per print to crank out, and longer for larger sizes.

If you're looking for a printer that is more likely to see service printing documents, the HP Deskjet 3050 managed to roll out document pages at its best quality at a rate of 2.25 pages per minute. While this result doesn't set any speed records, the quality of the pages are quite good for what you could expect at that speed, so you should not be disappointed.

Detail

The HP Deskjet 3050 can produce deep blacks, but has trouble creating sharp edges.

It's important for a printer to have a deep black level to provide the widest range of contrast possible, and the higher the DMax measure is, the darker the black level. For the HP Deskjet 3050, this is not an area of measurable weakness, as it has a very good DMax measure of 2.93, meaning that your photos should not have any errors in shadows.

While the HP Deskjet 3050 does have the tools available for good detail performance, it falls short in some areas. Namely, it does not seem to be able to create sharp edges, and it has some artifacts in shadow detail, which is perplexing in light of its high DMax measure.

Gradients seem to look fine, as they do not show much color banding or other visible errors, though there are tiny artifacts that become visible as the picture is blown up. While the HP Deskjet 3050 doesn't struggle so much with larger pictures, smaller scans reveal some artifacting and loss of differentiation in high-contrast images.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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