Image: Hugh Threlfall
May 07 2010
So we are agreed, then, that “solution”, when used to mean “product”, is a dreadful, ugly, geeky word. That you can only logically talk about a solution if you explain in the same sentence the problem it solves? Indulge me, and I promise not to mention it for another month. Here’s the deal: if technology companies call and say, “John” – never my real name – “We’d love for you to hop over to Scranton/Yokohama/Basingstoke to see our new solution,” and the solution in question turns out not to be a liquid mixture in which the minor component is uniformly distributed within the major component, but a gadget or some software, then I reserve the right to call their solution, if it’s no good, a problem.
So anyway, I want you to see a brilliant portable printer solution I’ve discovered from HP. Its Officejet H470 really is a solution to a problem you will recognise: that it’s really hard to find a portable printer that’s any use for a hard-fightin’ business trip, a compact machine to print out perfect-quality A4 stuff, speedily and in reasonable quantities, in black and white, or colour, in hotel room, car or jet. I’ve been trying to find one for yonks – and that’s the big, imperial yonk I’m talking, not the tiddly metric one. I needed a serious portable printer for my latest China trip. Nobody had anything. Then HP came up with this.
I can’t begin to tell you how good it is. The little Officejet – 34cm x 18.5cm x 8.5cm, and just over 2kg – even runs on its own battery and was the star of my trip, even allowing for its slightly naff, too small, faux-leather case.
Put another way, the Officejet H470 is a disgrace to the brotherhood of printers: any printer worth its ink knows it’s a matter of principle to break down, run out of ink, and generally foul up, especially when its owner is in a hurry. Yet almost nothing I could throw at this beauty put it off its stride. It’s quiet, fast, seems to need no software installation (not on a Mac, anyway) and the print quality is exceptional.
Hit “print” when the Officejet isn’t plugged into mains or laptop? No problem, sir. Plug me in when it’s convenient, and I’ll quietly get on with the job. The paper’s a little crooked? No need to fret, sir, just rip out the crooked sheet, I’ll politely go “ahem” and carry on where I left off. It even prints by Bluetooth to save you having to carry a lead. This understated gem is the Jeeves of printers.