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HP Deskjet 9800

Buyer's Guide: 11 Color Inkjet Printers
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At a full retail price of around $300, the HP Deskjet 9800 is the most expensive printer in this buyer's guide (you can spend more on an inkjet, but you have to really work at it). What does this extra outlay get you? A whole lot, as it turns out: the 9800 not only supports double-sided printing (optional), it handles heavy and oversized paper stock, including thick cards, large envelopes and extra-long sheets. It also handles a wide range of photo stock, from 3x5" to 13"x19", as well. The unit even includes an alert facility to let you know when ink is running low in a cartridge.

The HP Deskjet 9800 cranks out lots of black-and-white papers, and does a bang-up job with color as well.

Print speed and resolution are on par with the HP Deskjet 4160 (30 ppm for black and white, 20 ppm for color, 1200x1200 black and white and 4800x1200 for color). It supports both USB and parallel port interfaces, but offers no memory card support or direct camera or mobile phone link-ups. Like the 4160, the 9800 also works with all modern Windows versions from 98SE through Vista, plus all Mac OS 10.x versions. Consumable costs for black, tri-color and photo cartridges are also about the same as for the 4160, though there are many more discounted bundles available for the 9800 than for the 4160. Print costs per photo are rated at from $0.24 to $0.40, including cartridges and photo paper (this won't put Walmart's photo department out of business, but it won't kill your pocketbook, either).

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