Top positive review
Goodbye Canon...HP is Simple, intuitive, and frustration-free!
February 22, 2016
Short version: If you want a reasonably priced, reliable printer that is simple to install and easy to use, this HP Officejet 3830 is a great choice.
Set-up: The set up takes less than 15 minutes to complete, and it instantly works with all your devices on the same wifi network. There's no need to download a particular app (though it offers a good one if you like that sort of thing), nor does it require any special set up with your computer.
Use: This printer is self-explanatory and intuitive. The touch screen isn't very large, but it's much more responsive than the one on my old HP Envy 100, so it's actually an improvement for me. If you can use a regular sized touchscreen smartphone, you can use this with no problem.
Ink: After comparing the various manufacturers' ink cartridge options for ink jet printers, I've found them all to be comparably priced, but I prefer HP, because (1) it requires only two cartridges (black & color), whereas other printers often require one black and three or more color cartridges*; and (2) the HP Instant Ink program (which is optional) is cheaper and extremely convenient. *I know some people have complained about the single color cartridges, preferring to use individual colors to conserve ink. My response to that complaint is twofold. First, in my experience, when one color is out, the other colors are close behind, so the convenience of the combined cartridges is worth it. Second, any ink waste that results from the combined color cartridges is minimal compared to the "waste" generated from separate color cartridges. With combined color cartridges, there is one cartridge, one sealed package, one paper insert and one outer box. With individual color cartridges, there are three (or more) plastic cartridges, three sealed packages, three paper inserts and three outer boxes. That's a lot of unnecessary waste!
Other issues: The only other concern that's been raised in the Amazon reviews is the paper feeder. Apparently a few people have complained that it grabs several pages at once, causing paper waste and jams. I've noticed that sometimes the paper doesn't fully load into the feeder, and when that happens, it can cause this problem. The paper feeder itself is a bit awkward. Still, as long as I make sure the paper is properly and fully loaded, I don't have this problem. All things considered, this is a fairly minor problem with an otherwise excellent printer.
Long Version - HP v Canon:
I literally gave away my brand new Canon MG7520 printer and replaced it with this HP Officejet 3830, and I couldn't be happier. After my trusty old HP Envy 100 took a spill off my desk and shattered, I researched printers online to select its replacement. I've always had HPs at home and work, but I wanted to find the best value regardless of brand.
Although the expert and consumer reviews were generally all over the place, with printers receiving 4.8 stars on one website and 2.4 stars on another, I noticed that on most sites the Canon printers were rated the highest of all the major brands. Based on that research, I bought a Canon MG7520 on sale at Best Buy.
Though I'm no computer expert, I have set up a number of similar printers for myself and my family members, and based on my experience, I knew it shouldn't take more than about 15 minutes to connect my new Canon printer. Over one month and countless wasted hours trying to get that thing to work, I finally packed it up and donated it to Goodwill (the Best Buy return period had long since expired, and I didn't want to waste any more of my time, even just trying to sell it on Craigslist).
During that month of fruitless efforts to get the Canon printer to print something other than the Printer Connection Settings sheet, I tried everything to get it to work with any of my devices. I used the included installation disk; I downloaded the drives and software from the website; I manually installed the drivers; I followed the instructions in the box and the (different) instructions online; and I even talked to Canon customer support several times. Nothing worked.
After waving the white flag, I bought this HP Officejet 3830 from Amazon. Two days later (thank you Prime!), it arrived. Ten minutes, 47 seconds later, it was printing from my desktop, laptop, phone and tablet. I never even had to look at the instructions.
HP install: Plug in, enter wifi password, insert paper, print.
Canon install: Plug in, choose LAN connection type, enter wifi password, download app, change LAN connection type to "offline" set up, register printer, change LAN again, select online options, try to connect, if connection fails even when connected, try to decipher cryptic installation instructions, start all over, etc etc. You get the idea.
Does Canon print better photos? I wouldn't know, but I've heard it does. If you're buying a printer primarily for photo printing, perhaps Canon is the way to go. But if you need a printer for everyday, household/small business printing needs, I highly recommend HP, and in particular I recommend the HP Officejet 3830. It's easy and it works. Oh, and the photos look just fine.