Review: HP DeskJet 1010

Introduction and design

Don’t let the low price fool you. The HP DeskJet 1010 delivers great quality for printing photos and documents, but doesn’t come with the frills of scanner or fax capabilities. HP went with a simpler is better approach to the DeskJet 1010 printer – a uni-function printer solely focused on producing great prints in an affordably priced package.

Few companies still make single-function home inkjet printers, and it’s nice to see that HP hasn’t given up on this segment of the market. The DeskJet 1010 also competes with multi-function home printers priced under $100 (£63, AU$129), including the Wi-Fi enabled Canon PIXMA MX472 ($49, £31, AU$63), the HP Envy 4500 e-all-in-one ($64, £40, AU$83) and the Epson Expression XP-420 small-in-one wireless printer ($69, £43, AU$89).

The DeskJet 1010 is the base model in HP’s expansive printer lineup. Wireless printing is available on the HP DeskJet 2540 ($59, £37, AU$76), but that feature essentially doubles the cost of the DeskJet 1010.


Constructed of a simple white plastic with black plastic accents, the design of the HP DeskJet 1010 is inoffensive. When the paper trays are not open, the tapered rectangular box design feels a bit underwhelming, but because the DeskJet 1010 doesn’t come with a flatbed scanner or additional functionality on top of printing, the unit occupies minimal space on a cramped desk.

HP DeskJet 1010 review

The printer measures 17.99 x 16.22 x 10.31 inches (457 x 158 x 262mm) when the sheet feeder and document tray are open. When everything is closed, the printer is a lot more compact at 17.99 x 8 x 5 inches (457 x 203.2 x 127mm).

At its price, you cannot fault the plastic construction. At just 4.4 pounds (2kg), the DeskJet 1010 feels a bit hollow. However, the plastic material still feels solid, and I never felt like any latches or doors would break.

Unlike many printers on the market, HP uses a power adapter with a special tip for the DeskJet 1010. This shouldn’t be a problem unless you damage the power tip or lose the adapter.

There are no user controls or buttons on the DeskJet 1010 except for a single power button.


Setting up the DeskJet 1010 is a simple affair. Once I took the printer out of the box, I lifted the big black plastic panel on the top of the printer, which serves as the top-loading sheet feeder. Prints will come out the front, and a thin lip at the top front can be pulled down for the output tray.

HP DeskJet 1010 review

The power cord plugs into the rear. HP did not bundle a USB cable for this printer, so you’ll either have to reuse an existing USB cable or purchase one separately.

After the document output tray is pulled down, there is a second plastic door. Pulling down on the notch on the plastic opens the door, and from there you can install the ink cartridges. HP includes a standard black and a tri-color cartridge with the printer. Replacement cartridges, if purchased as a combo set, cost $28 (£18, AU$36). Because the printer ships with ink, this essentially brings the cost of the DeskJet 1010 to approximately $2 (£1, AU$3).

Even though installing the ink cartridges is not tricky, I found that it does take a bit of pressure. The printer won’t work unless you hear a solid click when the cartridges are installed.

HP DeskJet 1010 review

Setting up the hardware took a few minutes total. All that’s left is putting paper into the rear, top-loading paper feeder. The sheet feeder can handle approximately 60 sheets of paper. There is a horizontal slider that you can slide to adjust the width of your paper for specialized jobs, like printing a narrow brochure, a small postcard, envelopes, labels, or photos.

Downloading and installing the software took under 10 minutes to complete. HP includes a CD with the appropriate installation files and drivers, but I opted to go to HP’s support site to download the latest software available for my Windows 8 laptop.

The important thing to note is that you should not connect the USB cord to your computer until the setup wizard instructs you to do so.

Print costs, specifications and performance

When looking at printers, the cost of the printer is just one portion of your ownership cost. Shoppers should also look at the cost per print.

With the DeskJet 1010, even though the printer is affordably priced, users with high volume print needs may want to invest in a more expensive small office printer. These printers may cost more upfront, but you’ll get more output from the ink cartridges leading to a lower per-page cost.

Print costs

The standard black cartridge has a 190-page yield and costs $23 (£14, AU$29), while the standard tri-color cartridge costs $21 (£13, AU$27) and has a 165-page yield. This equates to a cost of 12 cents per page for black-and-white prints and up to 25 cents per page for color prints. HP also sells a combo pack, which bundles both black and tri-color cartridges together, at a lower price of just $28 (£17, AU$36).

HP DeskJet 1010 review

For users with higher volume print needs, an XL ink cartridge will cost a little more up-front, but will give you more prints in the end, resulting in lower print costs. The black and color XL cartridges cost $31 (£19, AU$40) each, with a yield of 480 pages and 330 pages respectively. With the XL option, print costs drop to just seven cents per page for black-and-white prints and 16 cents for color.

Compared to the Epson Expression Home XP-420, the per-page print cost for the DeskJet 1010 is more expensive. Using standard cartridges, the XP-420 delivers black-and-white prints at seven cents per page and color prints at 21.5 cents per page.

As long as you’re just printing the occasional report or family vacation photo and not your next novel, the costs are manageable. Even so, the per-page costs don’t go as low as 2.6 cents for black-and-white prints and 11.6 cents for color on the Epson Workforce Pro WF-4630 ($200, £130, AU$253) or 1.3 cents for black-and-white and 6.1 cents for color jobs on the HP Officejet Pro x551dw ($299, £200, AU$380). The costs drop further with these larger workgroup inkjets when you buy the XL cartridges.


  • Print speed: 7 ppm black-and-white; 4 ppm color
  • Print cartridges: 2 (1 black, 1 tri-color; XL cartridges available)
  • Print costs: Standard cartridges: $0.12 black-and-white, $0.25 color; XL Cartridges: $0.07 black-and-white, $0.16 color
  • Print resolution: 600 x 600 color and black-and-white
  • Paper sizes: Letter, A4, A6, B5, DL envelope (110 x 220 mm), Paper (brochure, inkjet, plain), photo paper, envelopes, labels, cards (greeting)
  • Paper capacity: 60 sheets
  • Compatible operating systems: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (SP3)* or higher (32-bit only); Mac OS X v10.6, Lion, Mountain Lion
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0 only; no wireless support
  • Dimensions:  17.99 x 16.22 x 10.31 inches (457 x 158 x 262mm)
  • Weight:  4.4 pounds (2.00kg)


Performance of the DeskJet 1010 is on par with other inkjets from Canon and Epson. The DeskJet 1010 doesn’t benefit from HP’s PageWide Technology on more expensive OfficeJet inkjets. PageWide technology means that the print nozzles span the width of the page so the print head doesn’t have to move back and forth.

As a result, PageWide printers are quieter when printing, and the print speed is vastly improved. The DeskJet 1010 isn’t too noisy, but the movement of the print head is definitely audible.

Lacking the PageWide technology, the seven pages per minute for black-and-white prints and four pages per minute for color prints is about average. In fact, the speeds are within range of the Epson Expression Home XP-420 printer’s 9 pages per minute for black-and-white and 4.5 pages per minute for color prints.

HP DeskJet 1010 review

Although I didn’t notice any paper jams with the rear paper feeder, the feeder sometimes doesn’t pull paper in evenly. This results in misaligned prints. The problem occurred rarely, but it’s something to consider.

Using Epson matte photo paper, I noticed that the ink drains much faster when the DeskJet prints photos (HP did not provide photo paper for this review). Another thing to consider when printing photos is that even though you can buy pre-cut photo paper in 4 x 6- or 5 x 7-inch sizes, the DeskJet 1010 will leave a small border around your prints as it doesn’t support borderless photo printing.

Photo image quality is surprisingly good for a $30 printer. Pictures appear pleasing, though colors lack the depth, saturation and dynamic range that significantly more expensive photo printers offer.


The DeskJet 1010 doesn’t do much. It can’t wirelessly print nor can it scan, copy or fax. What it can do is print, and at $30, HP delivers a more than capable printer in a compact package. If you don’t need all the fancy options and want a solid, reliable printer to print a few sheets here and there or the occasional photo to share with grandma, this printer delivers an exceptional performance-to-value ratio.

We liked

The DeskJet 1010 delivers great quality prints at an extremely affordable price tag. For users who need a straightforward printing experience and don’t need or want the frills of scanning, duplex printing, faxing or copying, the compact size of the DeskJet 1010 makes it an attractive option for small offices, apartments and cramped dorm rooms.

We disliked

Without built-in Wi-Fi, you cannot wirelessly print to the DeskJet 1010. This means that despite its compact size, the printer must be within range of a USB cable to plug into your computer or a laptop. As such, the most natural home for the DeskJet 1010 is either on a desk or an adjacent printer stand.

The DeskJet 1010 sacrifices post-PC convenience in favor of a lower price. The DeskJet 1010 won’t work with Apple’s AirPrint on iPhones and iPads. Because smartphones have replaced digital cameras for many people, the lack of Wi-Fi support with the DeskJet 1010 means you can’t print your photos directly from your smartphone without first transferring those images to a PC or Mac.

Final verdict

The DeskJet 1010’s low acquisition cost is hampered by higher print costs compared to other inkjets on the market. This makes the DeskJet 1010 less attractive to students who need to churn out lengthy term papers or dissertations, but if you need to quickly print a few sheets occasionally, you can’t beat the price of HP’s offering.

This great value is only available if you’re willing to live in a wired world. Lacking built-in Wi-Fi, you’ll need to tether your PC or Mac to the printer over a USB cable, and you can’t print your favorite vacation photos directly from your smartphone or tablet.