Printers Have Evolved
But, when did we first start print things?
You’d have to go further back than you might think, to around 3500BC, to be exact. It was then that the Persians put seals on their printed documents written on clay using a cylindrical disk. Since then, we have had a variety of efforts. Imprints on pottery and on cloth are probably the most known prior to the printing we know today.
The history of the printer, as we know it, began in Seattle in 1938 when electrophotography was developed. We call it Xerox printing. It formed the basis of printing for many years and was the forerunner of today’s laser printers.
Let’s use ink…
The first Inkjet was invented by Canon in Japan in the 60s. Whilst it is still slower than laser printing, the quality can often be better, and where a high-quality print is required, especially something involving photographs, it is an Inkjet printer that usually prints it.
Today’s Inkjet printers are technical beasts compared to the originals. However, we are going to take a look at a very basic product in our HP OfficeJet 5255 Printer Review. But, before we do, what about HP?
A confused history surrounds HP, or Hewlett Packard as we knew them. They are an interesting company in many ways, and they have had their share of bad days. They developed good computer systems in the 60s and 70s but were just not blessed with a lot of foresight. The HP3000 was a good example.
IBM eventually finished them off as a computer hardware company with a series of competitive products. HP failed to grasp that their computers were as good as everyone else’s, but their operational software wasn’t. IBM won the battles because of its superior software and some very persuasive salesmen and women. Something that eluded not only HP but most of their competition.
Then comes the new blood…
Until that is Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Bill Gates awoke from their slumbers. Wozniack was actually employed at HP and took them a prototype he created. They rejected it five times. Wozniack left and took his ‘Apple 1’ with him. The rest of the story is history.
They are known these days not so much for their computers but peripherals. And printers are a large slice of their business. They produce at all levels, and OfficeJet 5255 is just one of a very large range. They are one of the few companies that are still able to compete with the Japanese in this market.
So what is the HP OfficeJet 5255 Printer all about? Let’s have a look…
HP OfficeJet 5255 Printer – An Overview
The 5355 All-in-one printer is an upgrade on the previous model, the HP OfficeJet 4650. They have made some improvements that include a better platform for connections and a slightly faster print speed.
Versatile and practical…
The concept of this printer though, is still as a multifunction printer for home or a small business. It offers printing and copying, scanning, and fax facilities. The dpi is quite reasonable for a budget range printer at 4800 x 1200 dpi.
However, the print speed by modern standards is painfully slow at 10ppm for black and white and just 7ppm for color. In today’s printing world for desktop printers, that is about as slow as it gets.
It will accept a range of paper sizes, which we will look at later, but they range from 8.15 by 14 inches right down to only 3 by 6 5 inches. For media purposes, borderless printing is available at up to 8.5 by 11 inches.
Need to scan a document?
You can use the flatbed or the automatic document feed for scanning, and it will produce a 1200 dpi resolution. It has the facility for double-sided printing, but copying and scanning are only by manual feed.
This is a printer designed with the home very much in mind, and it is compact in size. It measures 17.52 x 14.45 x 7.52 inches and weighs 14.44 pounds. Included in the package are two HP63 cartridges, one black, and the other a three-color cartridge.
As we have already said, this is an all-in-one printer. That means it can print, copy, scan, and fax. It also has a 35 sheet automatic document feeder, and you can load up to 100 sheets in the paper tray.
This is not a printer that will copy or print reams of documents. It is aimed at home use or possibly a small business; therefore, it has its limitations. It has been built to be turned on, do a few copies or print a few pages, do a scan or send a fax and then go back to sleep again. And then in a day or two, you can wake it up to do it all over again.
It is rated at 1000 printed sheets per month, but the maximum that is recommended is only 400.
All of the basic functions operate well but with varying levels of efficiency. We have already mentioned both print speed and the fact that you need to manually operate it for double-sided scanning and copying.
All very simple and basic then, but exactly what you would expect from a budget range machine.
It might not have double-sided printing for scanning or copying, but it does for straightforward printing. It will operate with standard A4 and Legal sized letters. Also, with the paper of 4 by 6 inches, 5 by 7, and 8 by 10 inches. It will also print No 10 size envelopes.
The color printer performance is one of its plus points. It reproduces vivid colors and offers borderless printing up to 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
We will cover its connection options in a separate section. But you can print from phones and tablets or from a desktop computer using a USB connection. The print options are good and include printing PDF files, flyers, and other documentation for business presentations, and email attachments.
Nothing to get particularly excited about with its onboard controls. That can be viewed as a good thing, and it is not loaded down with functions you may never use.
It has a basic LCD display touch screen measuring 2.2 inches. This shows the status of the current print job, and you can use it to edit and change settings. It will also inform you of the status of the ink levels. A useful addition.
As the printer and what it can do has evolved, one of its big steps forward has been in communications. At one time, a printer was just that. Now it is a printer and a communicator.
The OfficeJet 5255 has improved communication over its predecessor, the 4650. It connects to your computer with USB 2.0 for day to day print options. Or it can use the built-in WiFi for wireless printing, and you can send it documents from your mobile phone using ApplePrint or Moptia, and also HPs own ePrint. It will also print from other online services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud.
Use the app…
HP has its own HP Smart app, which is a combined driver and interface. It will link your printer to your advice and also give you some extra features. There are some interesting things you can do. One is to use the camera on your phone as a scanner, simply connect up to HP Smart, and you can scan documents to Cloud services or to a computer.
It also includes an option they call Smart Tasks. This allows you to set presets applicable to your online workflow. You can, therefore, apply automation to the operations you use frequently.
This might be scanning to a chosen site or sending emails to certain folders, basically any activities you regularly perform. Tasks can be set up and edited as you go along.
As we have said, the standard communications are using USB when connecting to a single computer. There is also WiFi and HPs own equivalent to WiFi Direct, Wireless Direct.
For your photo edit and print, there are HPs Photo Creations. This is a very basic photo editor, but it does have some useful features. There are also some templates for calendars or greeting cards. In the back of the machine is a phone port that you can use to send and receive faxes.
Communication with your printer has come a long way. This might be a budget entry-level machine, but it carries many of the advantages that are to be had from new innovations.
One of the big advantages of HP printers these days is their subscription program for consumables. This is called HP Instant Ink. If you are going to print more than a hundred pages each month, you need to consider it. Ink cartridges can be expensive, as we know, but this cuts the costs down.
You will get black and white and color cartridges with the machine, but you will need to replace them fairly quickly. There is a small monthly subscription, the first two months of which are free. But it does guarantee cartridges delivered to your home, and shipping is included. It certainly is worth looking at as it could well save you both money and time.
Pros And Cons Of HP OfficeJet 5255 Printer
- Simple to use with a nice, compact design.
- Impressive scanning functions.
- Excellent connectivity options.
- Expensive two-cartridge system.
- Very slow printing speed.
- Average printing quality, but it is an affordable printer, so that’s understandable.
Looking For More Superb Printer options?
If so, check out our in-depth Best Black and White Printers Review, our Best Printers for Art Prints review, our Best Printer for Mac reviews, our Best Color Laser Printers reviews, as well as our Best Printers for Photos review.
If you need a lot of photo printing, then it’s worth checking out our Best Photo Printers review. Want total portability? No problem, take a look at our Best Portable Photo Printers Reviews! Or if you’re mostly scanning? Check out our Best Portable Scanners Reviews and our Best Scanner for Artwork Review in 2023.
HP OfficeJet 5255 Printer Review – What We Think?
We have used HP printers before and always found them to be reliable and efficient. This is a good example of another machine that has those attributes. It is an entry-level machine, and the print speeds aren’t going to set any records, but it has some good features, and for a low-volume printer, it does the job perfectly.
One very attractive feature is the Instant Ink program, which can reduce the printing costs dramatically, which is great for your pocket.
Set at a price point that is very attractive, it is an excellent buy for a home or small business.