This post was most recently updated on June 5th, 2020
The HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 is a great office printer, especially considering it is an inkjet printer. It’s my primary printer I use at home (I have four printers at home – it’s a problem). It’s fast and efficient, but beyond everything else, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 is innovative. There are a few features of this printer that show HP may not yet be done coming up with new ideas.
HP has been known for years as a great manufacturer of inkjet photo printers. And, if you’ve read my review of the HP LaserJet Pro MFC281fdw or the HP LaserJet Pro MFC477fdw, you know they’ve stepped up their game in the laser department in the last few years. They’ve worked hard to cover the market from very occasional home printing to heavy duty office use.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 is meant to be the printer which bridges the gap between business-class laser printers and cheaper home inkjet printers. They claim this inkjet printer can fulfill every printing need your business has. So, this HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 review aims to answer one question: Can this printer really hold up to heavy business use?
I’m going to kick off this HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 review with my favorite aspect of the printer; it’s fast! This printer can spit out up to twenty pages per minute of color and twenty-four of black. Also, after the first page, additional pages seem to print even quicker.
My fiancé uses this printer for all her homework, and she loves it. She is a procrastinator (read: drives me nuts). So, she usually ends up printing her papers from her phone while brushing her teeth. She loves that she doesn’t have to wait; her documents are cranked out fast, so she can speed off to a lecture.
I’ll talk more about speed later, but trust me, you won’t be disappointed with print speeds here.
I hate running out of paper. Like, to an unreasonable level. If I have to fill the paper tray on my printer three times per year, it’s still too much. It doesn’t make sense, but I rarely do.
For inkjet printers, you are typically lucky to find one with a 250-sheet paper tray. Well, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 has two 250-sheet paper trays. This is awesome for business customers. Put your letter size paper in one tray, and your legal size in the other. For me, I like splitting a ream between both trays, and not having to worry about storing my paper elsewhere. With the HP Officejet Pro 8740, there’s no more dusty, dirty paper drawer for me!
Liquid ink is way too expensive. Everyone knows it, so it’s silly to hide from the truth. It’s marked up almost as much as movie-theater popcorn.
So, whenever you find a printer that can save you money on your ink costs, it should be put on your short list. The OfficeJet Pro 8700 series uses HP’s 952 series of ink, which is their most efficient ink to date.
The 952XL cartridges print up to 1,600 pages of each color. This works out to a price-per-page of about two cents for each color. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 can also use a 956XL cartridge for black, which prints up to 3,000 pages, for 1.5 cents per page.
To put this in perspective, this is cheaper than any laser printer I’ve reviewed in the last year. It’s even cheaper than HP Instant Ink. I wouldn’t buy the larger cartridges is you print less than 500 pages per month, but, if you do, this will save you a lot of money over most alternatives.
That’s why we’re having an HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 review, because it’s probably challenging what you think you know about inkjet printers. And, it doesn’t stop here.
To summarize this section, if it can connect to a printer, it can connect to the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740.
This printer has your standard USB connection, as well as secure dual-band WIFI connectivity. It also has NFC capability, or you can print directly from a USB flash drive. You can print from an Ethernet network. You can even pair this printer to your Amazon Alexa. I don’t know why anyone would want to print with their voice, but you have the option, and that’s what I like.
For a business, options are key. You don’t want to build an office around a printer. You want to integrate a printer into your office. Whatever system you have set up, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 should fit right in.
Do me a favor. Look at your current printer. Chances are you can print from a flash drive. However, try to print a Microsoft Word document. Oh, you can’t? How Surprising.
Printers are typically compatible with two file formats: PDF and JPEG. Some printers, like Epson Workforce printers, will also work with TIFF, which is a lossless graphics file type. There are almost no printers which work with Microsoft Office file extensions.
But, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 does.
With this printer, you can print a Word or Excel document from a flash drive, no computer required. This printer also comes with OCR software, which means you can scan a document, and convert it to an editable Word document. Most of my customers have never thought of having this ability, but it is almost always a huge benefit.
Duplex Like A Pro
I’ve saved the best for last. Remember earlier when I was talking about innovation, well this is where it’s the most evident. With this printer, HP has completely rethought how duplex printing should work.
Instead of spitting papers out the front of the printer, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 prints papers backward, up onto a catch-tray. The reason it does this is so duplex printing will be faster. When you’re printing two-sided documents, the document won’t leave this printer until it’s done. Most printers finish the first side, then suck the page back in to print the other side.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 will flip your page inside the printer, and print the second side all at once. Also, this printer actually begins printing the second page while flipping the first. This means there is no downtime waiting for pages to flip, or between pages.
What does all this mean? It means twenty pages per minute of duplex prints. A Xerox copier will have a hard time keeping up with that.
This printer also has a single-pass duplex auto-document feeder. This means each two-sided page only needs to run through the scanner once, saving you even more time. If you work with two-sided documents often, stop reading now. This is the only printer you want.
This printer advertises a maximum monthly volume of 30,000 pages. For home users or small businesses, this is more than enough. However, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 is advertised as a business-class printer, and I know a lot of offices need more than that. If you have thirty users in a large real-estate office or legal firm, you’ll probably beat this volume rather quickly.
Instant Ink Isn’t Enough!
For this printer, you really don’t need to bother with Instant Ink. The reason is the top tier of Instant Ink only allows for 300 pages per month. If you are printing less than that, this is probably more printer than you need.
I Need Some Help Over Here!
The biggest complaint I get with this printer is with firmware. Most printers need occasional firmware updates, and heavier duty printers seem to need more. And, if you aren’t super tech savvy, you may forget and fall behind. As a result, you will probably have some functionality issues. And, as I’ve said in the past, HP’s tech support is hot swamp-garbage.
Do yourself a favor. Set your printer to auto-update its firmware. Boom, never worry about it again.
That’s all the cons for our HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 review. Let’s see where we stand.
The Verdict: Our HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 Review Result
So, I think it’s obvious the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 is a great printer. It’s fast, efficient, and innovative. Honestly, I find it refreshing that a tech company is even trying to improve their product these days. So, is the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 really a business printer?
Yes, with two huge caveats. First, if you print more than 30,000 pages per month, obviously look elsewhere. I’d recommend leasing a Xerox.
Next, don’t expect this printer to last you forever. If you are running a business, and you print often, you should know by now these things don’t last long. If you print over 1,000 pages per month, I’d expect about two years from an inkjet printer. Buy the SquareTrade and let them pay for your replacement.
If you replace your printer every couple of years, don’t consider it a loss. It’s an investment, and, if you choose the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740, it’s probably paying off.