HP Deskjet 2540 Review

Think Twice

This printer doesn't have a large LCD or a touchscreen, and it doesn't support automatic duplexing. Our biggest concern, though, is that it uses only two inkwells.

Many HP Deskjet 2540 reviews are positive, but we're bothered by the fact that this is one of the few budget printers that uses only two ink cartridges, one for black and another for color. That means you'll have to replace the color cartridge as soon as one of the three colors runs low, even if the other two still have plenty of ink. Printers with separate cartridges for each color are less wasteful and more cost-effective. An expert from Trusted Reviews says the HP Deskjet 2540 delivers pretty good print quality considering its budget price (starting at $50, Amazon). Text is clean and sharp, colors are natural, and photos have nice detail.

The Deskjet 2540 claims a maximum print speed of 20 pages per minute for black text and 16 ppm for color when using draft mode. It performed pretty slowly in Trusted Reviews' tests, however, managing only 2.2 ppm when printing color graphics. An expert from Digital Versus likewise found the HP Deskjet 2540 to be a pretty slow printer, and scan times were lackluster, as well. This reviewer mentions a couple of additional drawbacks. The printer doesn't have an option for printing borderless photos, for instance, an odd omission even in a budget printer. She notes that the color accuracy in photos is very good, although prints aren't always particularly sharp.

The HP Deskjet 2540 can connect to a home Wi-Fi network but lacks an Ethernet port. The printer has only a small LCD and users control the printer with buttons rather than a touch panel. The highest print resolution is 4,800 x 1,200 dots per inch. This printer has a 60-sheet input tray and a smallish 25-sheet output tray, but that should be enough for home users. The printer supports manual duplex printing but won't automatically print on both sides of the paper, a cost-saving feature of our top picks. The HP Deskjet 2540 supports common paper sizes as well as less common sizes such as A4, B5, and A6. The copier prints a maximum of nine copies at a time.

The HP Deskjet 2540 has decent print output, but it lacks some features found on competitively priced budget printers, such as a full-size LCD interface, automatic duplex printing, a memory card port, and an input tray that holds 100-plus pages. The main deal breaker, though, is the fact that the printer has only two inkwells.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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