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HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e review: An inkjet workhorse worthy of a small office

17 Jun 2021
Price when reviewed 
228
inc VAT

A super-speedy inkjet printer that can give a laser a run for its money, ideal for printing text in volume

Pros 
Speedy prints
Ink subscription is convenient
Dual paper trays
Cons 
Disappointing photo prints
Running costs not cheap
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With the OfficeJet Pro 9022e, HP isn’t just selling you a printer but trying to change the way you think about printing itself. Although you can certainly buy this printer and use it like any other, HP fully intends it to be a flag bearer for its HP+ ink subscription service.

In some ways, this is a positive thing: signing up gets you six months of free ink; it also adds an extra year on the warranty, taking it up to three years in total. The downside is you have to contractually tie your new printer into the service, and forgo using non-HP cartridges.

The 9022e that we’ve reviewed here is essentially the same as the OfficeJet Pro 9020, but with all the elements you’ll need to get started with HP+.

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HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e review: What do you get for the money?

Few printers are small and compact, but the HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e is larger than most. Measuring 437 x 396 x 318mm (WDH) and weighing 11.6kg, it requires a significant slice of desk to sit on.

If it looks a bit more like a laser printer than an inkjet, it’s a deliberate ploy – everything about this printer screams office efficiency, from the 35-sheet automatic document feeder that sits on top of the scanner, to the dual 250-sheet paper trays in the base. The paper output tray juts out between the two.

The printer is operated via a slick touchscreen in the top right corner, which can be tilted upwards and out, making it easier to view and operate if you’re standing over it. HP is good at these touchscreens, and this one is just as responsive as the rest for swiping and tapping. It’s not as bright, crisp or colourful as a smartphone screen, but it’s good enough.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e review: Is it easy to use?

If you were thinking of connecting this printer to a PC using its USB port, you might be put off by the sticker over the port, imploring you to use Wi-Fi instead. That makes sense as, if you’re going to use HP+, the printer has to be connected to a network.

Thankfully, Wi-Fi setup is incredibly simple. You use the HP Smart app, which can be installed on a mobile device, Windows PC or Apple Mac. This uses the Wi-Fi on your device to find and connect to the printer and to automatically transfer your network’s credentials so it can be found by other devices. There’s also an Ethernet port, so you can hardwire it to your network if you prefer.

The apps for all devices have a uniform look and there are plenty of tools available to make printing easier. You do get a slightly different selection, however, depending on the platform – from a smartphone or tablet, for example, there are options to scan from the camera and print from photos, features that are missing from the PC/Mac apps. The app also connects well to all the usual cloud-based services, including Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.

You can even create your own shortcuts that link services, allowing you to do clever things such as scanning straight to your email app or sending photos of receipts straight to cloud storage.

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HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e review: What are speeds and running costs like?

HP’s OfficeJet Pro range is designed to churn out prints fast, so it can be shared between multiple users on a network. The 9022e doesn’t hold back on this front. At 16 seconds, it’s not particularly fast to drop the first page, but from then on it’s blistering.

When printing mono pages it passed the 20ppm barrier, making it the fastest text printer we’ve reviewed this year, and the list includes laser printers. It slowed down a little when printing in colour, dropping to 8.5ppm. That’s still quick for an inkjet, but a colour laser printer – such as the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw in the chart below – will typically be faster. Colour duplex prints slowed the printer further, dropping it to 4.6ppm. It’s no slouch in this department but it isn’t going to win any gold medals.

Thankfully, the scanner doesn’t hold back when printing copies. In our tests, a mono copy was produced in 11 seconds, while a colour copy took 17 seconds. The document feeder slowed it back down to average speeds, but it’s certainly still impressive overall.

Print costs are slightly complicated, thanks to HP’s Instant Ink subscription service. If you sign up to HP+ you get the first six months free, which could save you hundreds of pounds if you hook up to one of the pricier plans.

At best you can print for around 3p per page (it doesn’t matter if it’s a colour or a mono print), but you have to get close to printing the maximum amount in order to make it pay, otherwise you’re paying for prints you don’t produce. There are a range of plans you can opt for, all based on the number of pages printed per month. Here’s a guide to them all:

Pages per monthPrice per monthCost per pageRollover pagesExcess per page
1599p6.6p4510p
50£1.994p15010p
100£3.493.5p30010p
300£9.993.3p90010p
700£22.493.2p2,1007p
1,500£44.993p4,5007p

And here’s how it works. Instant Ink monitors your printing remotely, keeping track of how many pages you’ve printed (it’s worth noting that even a cancelled print counts against your quota if some ink has hit the paper). If you don’t use your entire allowance, pages are banked and used against any overprinting in subsequent months, although you can only bank twice the number of pages as you have in your monthly allowance.

While HP is monitoring the volume of your printing, it keeps an eye on your ink levels and sends replacement cartridges before the current batch runs out, which is possibly the best part of the service. You’re also sent an envelope so you can send your spent cartridges back to be recycled.

Interestingly, if you want to buy cartridges off the shelf, it could work out cheaper still. At the time of writing, HP was selling all four cartridges in a bundle for £90. The black cartridge can print 1,000 pages, while the three colour cartridges can print 700 pages each. Presuming they all run down at the same rate, the price per page works out to 2.9p.

If you find yourself running through the cartridges at different rates, black on its own costs £30 while the three colour cartridges are £22. This works out slightly more expensive – 2.9p per mono page and 3.1p per colour page – but still better than all but the highest volume subscription costs. If you can find HP cartridges at a discount, you’ll be quids in.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e review: What’s the print quality like?

Unfortunately, the print quality of the HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e is disappointing. In colour prints we saw some banding in areas of solid colour when printing using standard settings. These are relatively spread out, but once you spot them you won’t be able to unsee them. Switching to best quality fixes the problem, but a reasonable-quality print shouldn’t be reserved for the highest settings.

Despite the speed at which it flies out of the printer, text is better. Close inspection (with a magnifying glass) shows it’s a little rougher than printers that take a little more time and care over their prints, but there’s not that much in it.

When it comes to photos, however, the print quality is disappointing. Large areas of black in our test prints came out blotchy and colours were generally washed out. Clearly, this printer isn’t intended for keen photographers.

In contrast, the scanner performed reasonably well. Colour copies produced direct from the printer’s control panel were a little washed out, but scanning a photo direct to Windows at 1,200dpi produced detailed, colourful results.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e review: Should you buy it?

A busy small or home office is going to find the HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e a useful device to have around. It’s easy to set up, easy to use and prints text documents at a phenomenal rate. The option to have 250 sheets of two paper types ready to print, and an ink subscription to ensure it never runs dry, means you don’t have to do much to keep it running.

For home users prepared to wait for their prints, however, there are better products. Printing a lot of photos? Get yourself a Canon Pixma TS8350; it produces vastly superior results. And although the 9022e isn’t particularly pricey to run, the cost-conscious could find a better price per print elsewhere, too. Epson and Canon have tank-based printers that drop the price per page down to 0.2p for mono prints.

In conclusion, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e strikes a good balance between speed and print costs and it’s exceptionally convenient to own. However, those seeking the highest quality or lowest costs are better off looking elsewhere.