HP Products: Going Downhill?

I recently purchased a HP deskjet 3820 printer and a HP 2300c flat bed scanner. Both of these products leave a lot to be desired which really surprises me. HP products used to be so superior, but now they are Mickey Mouse. (I wonder if the Packard Bell merger caused this?) Oh, and their website is useless, too.

Anyway, I am curious to hear what the SDopers have to say. Have you had similar experiences with recent HP products? If you were to buy something else, what brand would you pick?


  • Jinx

hm ! It seems you’re talking about computers …

I guess I’ll take my comments about steak sauce somewhere else !

I have a printer (2000C) that’s about 3 or 4 years old now. It’s never worked properly. It’s foever getting upset and flashing its lights at me for no discernable reason. I’m forever calling IT support (it’s a work machine) who are always baffled by it.

I was pondering this only the other day. It’s been a complete waste of money. There is no way I’d ever buy another HP deskjet (ok I didn’t actually buy this but it was bought for my use). We have a couple of elderly HP LaserJets which are just fine.

Dunno what I’d buy instead in the unlikely event the new bosses would cough up for a new one.

And HP baked beans aren’t as good as they used to be.

My last printer was an HP DeskJet 694. It served me well for a while, but the time came for replacement.

When looking for a replacement product, I was checking several different models. Eventually, I bought an Epson. The clinching factor was a picture that the store had that was printed by that Epson printer. I was blown away by the quality of the photo. Looking at the HPs in a similar price range (~ $100), I couldn’t find a comperable match in quality.

Zev Steinhardt

I have only owned 2 HP products - a all in one (Printer, scanner, copier) that i bought in 1998 and AFAIK, that one is still going strong (my parents have it now).

I bought a 940c in 2001 (Dec.) and just the other day it had a major malfunction. It had worked flawlessly for a year, and I was printing up a bunch of envelopes, all different addresses. I got to the very last one and the printer mangled the envelope. I unjammed it, but the carriage was stuck. I fixed that, but then the printer acted like it was possessed. It started grabbing sheets of paper, and would print one line of random characters ( %*&@@@@*&^%@@@) across the top line. Then it would grab another sheet of paper and do it again. It had printed about 5-6 sheets already before I could react. I turned it off and took away its paper.I disconnected it, (power and cable) and turned it back on, I refilled the paper tray, and it acted possessed again.

I finally had to re-install the printer software. Sometimes I really hate printers.

I think their qualityhas gone down in recent years due to increased competition. People don’t want to pay a premium for a lot of computer items if they see something cheaper on the shelves. I don’t think they merged with Packard-Bell though, you may be thinking of Compaq.

HP / Compaq, also known as HPQ, has suffered a horrible decline in quality overall.

At the time of the merger, they thinked and thunked about the various overlapping product lines, and decided to ditch the Compaq printer line entirely as it was dogcrap. Not a bad decision, considering HP has been known for years for making wonderful printers. However, yes, HP’s printers (inkjets, at least) have been crummy.

Post-merger, they also decided to keep the mediocre home PCs under both names to retain some semblance of store presence. However you looks at it, their home PCs are lousy.

In the server market, hare-brains prevailed and most of HP’s server line was gutted, leaving Compaq’s successful Proliants intact as well as the unique Tandem (aka Himalaya) and Atalla lines. The hare-brain part is they decided to rename everything “NonStop” which isn’t exactly true to begin with. Proliants and Atalla servers may be durable, but only the dual-processor, dual-disk, dual everything Tandems are capable of surviving catastrophes such as processor failure, or even physical harm. At any rate, last quarter, Dell overtook the combined HP/Compaq in server sales.

Bottom line is that HP is foundering and next month, gearing up for another massive round of layoffs. My sources say to expect around 15,000 or so more.

I had an old HP printer, lasted for years, and I decided to buy a new one a few years ago. That one died before it was two months old and had to be replaced. I bought a Compaq PC shortly thereafter. The thing never worked right, until I ditched the mutated version of Windoze that Compaq supplied with it and did a clean install of Windoze with M$ disks. Then, two months after the warranty expired my PC died. The only thing built by HP I’ve bought since the merger was a scanner. I spent hours trying to get it to work. I took it back and bought a TV tuner card instead. I’ll never buy another Compaq/HP product again.

I buy tech for my company and I find that our newest HP printers seem to break much more frequently these days. We still have 8 year old Laserjet 4m’s that are happily chugging along, but these newer newer printers seem to break every other year.

Scanners are more hit and miss. Some of the new ones are good, some are crap.

I have an HP scanner and an HP printer. The printer is a replacement for an Epson printer. The Epson worked fine for 3 years, but eventually decided that magenta was the only color I needed, besides paper white. The HP is only a few months old, but it has worked flawlessly, and for $99. If it doesn’t out last the ink, it will have been a reasonable deal. The scanner predates the Compaq merger and is still going strong.