Today we take a look at the HP Smart Tank 7301. It is HP’s latest color all in one supertank printers. Designed for a small offices with a priority on security and costs that have a low to medium color print volume.
The HP Smart Tank 7301 is an upgrade from HP’s first generation of smart tank printers. Previous Smart Tank printers such as the 651 were slower, lacked auto duplex, and had a restrictively low duty cycle.
The HP Smart Tank 7301 adds auto duplex, slightly more speed, and much greater duty cycle. HP’s printing apps remain the same however they’re pretty good for what they do in my experience.
HP’s Smart tank printers now add the same built in security features found their laser printers. It’s the only inkjet printer on the market with these built in security features.
The HP Smart Tank 7001 was recently reviewed as well. The only difference is the addition of the document feeder in the 7301.
Features found in these inkjet printers make me think HP may have considered them competition for some office laser printers. If you print a lot of color in your office and aren’t satisfied with the quality, give the HP Smart Tank 7301 some consideration.
This review focuses on other supertank printers from Epson, Canon, and Brother. Though relevant information regarding laser printers and cartridge based inkjet printers will be included too.
Why This Printer?
Why someone would want this supertank printer is because they are looking for a basic, easy to use color printer that is inexpensive to operate. Security may be a priority. A low impact on the environment would also be a plus.
While previous models may have been lacking in the feature department, HP has made up for that in the HP Smart Tank 7301 .
HP decided to include built in security features found on higher end laser printers with this inkjet. Something new to any inkjet printer and appealing to many businesses.
The placement of an ID card copy button on an already sparse control panel is a savvy appeal to medical and government front offices.
If you’re looking for a way to save on printing costs, a supertank printer is a great solution.
The HP Smart Tank 7301 operating costs are much lower than any cartridge based inkjet printer.
This high ink capacity has another appeal to anyone who dreads the routine task of filling supplies. If you’re tired of regularly installing toner cartridges, adding a bottle of ink every year or so may sound pretty good.
The newer generation of supertanks have more features and higher paper capacity than previous generations.
The HP Smart Tank 7301 uses pigment based black ink and dye based ink for color. Monochrome documents will have archival properties while colors will be vivid. It also meets HIPAA and GDPR standards.
The HP Smart Tank 7301 is made from over 25% recycled plastic material. Through HP Planet Partners program, ink bottles for this printer are eligible to be recycled.
Why someone would consider this printer:
- Low operating costs
- Easy to setup and use
The HP, Canon, and Epson supertanks have similar connectivity options, ink costs, document feeders, duplex, and print speeds. The Canon and Brother are a couple pages slower than the HP and Epson.
The HP, Canon, and Epson take 250 sheets of paper, have USB, ethernet, and wireless connections. Copy, print, and scan are standard for the Canon Pixma G7020, Epson EcoTank ET-3760, and HP Smart Tank 7301.
Only the Brother MFC J805dw has fax. Since HIPAA compliant internet fax services exist, analog fax isn’t necessary.
Ink bottles for the HP, Epson, and Canon yield 6,000 to 8,000 pages depending on the color or model. Canon bottles cost $12 for 6,000 pages. Epson bottles cost $13 for 6,000 pages. HP bottles cost $15 for 8,000 pages.
Whether it’s for HP, Epson, or Canon, they all cost a fraction of a penny for B&W pages and just over a penny for color. Depending on how often photo paper is used the price per page can increase dramatically.
The Brother Inkvestment yields are 800-1,200 pages. It isn’t the thousands of pages of the other supertanks but much more than the typical inkjet which is lucky to get 100 pages.
Brother’s Inkvestment costs run about a penny per page in B&W and under 5 cents per page in color. Which is more than a supertank printer costs but much less than the 15 cents a page costs of a traditional inkjet printer
Benefits and Drawbacks
Low operating costs are probably the biggest benefit of the HP Smart Tank 7301. Of any supertank though.
HP’s usually are easy to use, the control panel is a little bare. HP offers a mobile phone app for expanded control panel operations.
The built in security of the HP is a rare find in an inkjet printer. Which should be appealing to any small office.
I’ve not had the opportunity to put to the self healing WiFi to the test. But anything to help the Wifi should be an improvement.
This supertank printer has an accessible print head. Some brands assume it lasts the life of the printer therefore are not accessible.
Supertank printers are unlikely to run dry and damage the print head. As opposed to cartridge based inkjet printers.
Perhaps the biggest drawback is print speed. The HP 7301 is slow compared to the printers most front offices are used to.
Another benefit is HP’s printing apps. HP Smart printing app can integrate with Quickbooks to make shortcuts for routine tasks.
The app also includes many free printables (signs, calendars, cards, etc). Scanning and printing from mobile devices is simplified with the app too.
A drawback I found is the smart guided lighting feature. It cycles the internal scan lamp every other second. From certain angles it’s annoying.
Quality and Speed
To test the HP Smart Tank 7301 print speed, I printed pictures of cats and dogs. Less coverage than ISO/IEC 19798 and 24711 standard color test pages but they served my purposes. My B&W test pages were just emails, so much less coverage than a standard ISQ/IEC 19752 B&W test page
My color test pages clocked in at 8.5 pages per minute and my B&W test pages clocked in at 15.5 ppm. Only average for an inkjet printer. Laser printers are much faster by comparison.
The test pages I printed showed above average quality for text, but average quality for color. The Canon and Epson have better color quality from what I’ve seen. Text from my test pages was too close to see any difference.
To be thorough, I tested the weight and dimensions with a standard scale and ruler. I weighed the HP 7301 at 17.5 lbs. My measurements revealed a printer 17 inches wide, 14.5 inches deep, and 10 inches high. Ink tank printers are slightly wider than other inkjet printers but are an average weight.
What the HP has going for it is low operating costs, ease of use, and security. From the print apps to rarely having to add ink this printer is among the easiest to use.
Epson has a 2 year warranty and great quality to offer. While the Canon has a good paper feed system and great quality as well, neither have the built in security of the HP.
Security features such as Sure Start BIOS protection, run-time intrusion detection, or firmware whitelisting capabilities are rare finds in any inkjet printer.
I like the Epson print driver and the Canon print driver has some nice features too. HP print drivers are plain but easy to use.
The Brother has a fax to offer but slightly higher operating costs. After a few thousand pages the lower operating costs of the HP Smart Tank 7301 will make up the initial price difference.
The color quality of the HP Smart Tank 7301 is close to a photo inkjet printer and better than a laser printer. Text is acceptable for office use but laser printers do deliver sharper text if you look at it under a loop.
Printing apps from the other brands are very ordinary and I usually recommend Mopria apps. HP Smart printing app is above average and one of the few apps worth installing.
While the HP initial cost is slightly higher than the others, the security and simplicity more than make up for it. The HP Smart Tank 7301 would be a great addition to any office, especially a medical or government front office.
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No. It does not have fax function. An internet fax service is a good alternative though.
No. For some reason HP left that function out.
Yes. It has auto duplex.
Standard ink bottles yield 8,000 pages.
Sealed ink bottles should last about 3 years. The ink inside the tanks will be the same. Printheads on the other hand will begin to dry out after a week or so of inactivity.
The Copier Guy, aka Dave. I’ve worked on scanners, printers, copiers, and faxes since 1994. When I’m not fixing them I’m writing about them. Although, I’m probably better at fixing them. I’ve worked with every major brand. As well as several types of processes. If it uses paper I’ve probably worked on one.