The HP DeskJet 2742e is a small, all-in-one inkjet printer designed to perform basic printing and scanning tasks. The plastic body feels solid, but the compact size of the printer means accessing paper jams and cartridges through the front panel above the output tray may be difficult for users with larger hands. Although the color accuracy is outstanding, the photo quality is very poor, and 4" x 6" photos come out tilted. It has a high-resolution flatbed scanner, but it lacks an automatic document feeder, so you'll have to load each page manually. Unfortunately, like many other options in the DeskJet 2700 lineup, it has a very low page yield for both black and color documents, a very slow print speed, and a relatively high cost-per-print.
The HP DeskJet 2742e is a disappointing printer for family use. The quality of the printed photos is poor as there's banding in gray areas and overall graininess. Though it has a high-resolution flatbed scanner, it lacks an automatic document feeder and can't perform duplex scanning tasks. Also, when we tested photo print quality, 4" x 6" photos came out tilted even when we adjusted the paper sliders to fit the paper size.
The HP DeskJet 2742e is terrible for office use. It has a very low page yield, which results in a high cost-per-print, and the print speed is very slow. While it does have a scanner, it lacks an automatic document feeder and can't perform duplex scanning. It also can't perform automatic duplex printing, so you'll have to manually turn over each page of a document. Though the printer feels well-built, users with larger hands may have difficulty accessing the ink cartridges and paper jams through the small front panel above the output tray.
The HP 2742e is inadequate for student use. It has a very low page yield for black and color documents and a high cost-per-print. The first page prints out relatively quickly, but subsequent pages are slow to come out. Although it has decent connectivity options, you can't print over a Bluetooth connection or from external storage devices. On the upside, the printer feels well-built and is compact enough to fit in small areas such as dorms.
The HP DeskJet 2742e is bad for black and white printing. It has a very low page yield for black-only documents, resulting in a high cost-per-print over time as you need to replace the cartridges frequently. Although the first page doesn't take too long to come out, subsequent pages take a while. It's also fairly difficult to access the ink cartridges and paper jams if you have larger hands, as the space is fairly tight due to the compact size of the printer. On the upside, it does feel well-built.
The HP DeskJet 2742e performs passably for casual photo printing. While the color accuracy is outstanding, the photo quality is poor. There's banding in gray areas and overall graininess in the photos. The print speed for photos is very slow, and the high cost-per-print for color documents adds up over time. Also, we encountered an issue with 4" x 6" photos coming out slanted even though we adjusted the sliders on the input tray to fit the paper size.
The HP 2742e has poor build quality. The port for the power cable is positioned in the middle of the printer's back instead of in the corner, causing the cord to stick out. You can access paper jams and print heads through the compartment above the output tray, but larger hands may have difficulty as the space is rather tight. The printer lacks a front paper tray and only has a rear feeder in the back, which can only hold 60 pages. Also, you can't raise the scanner lid's hinges to fit thicker items, and you can't access the ink cartridges unless the printer is on. On the upside, the plastic body feels solid, and the power cable is removable, so you can easily replace it if needed.
The HP 2742e's display screen is bad. It's a small LCD screen with icons to display WiFi connection, number of copies, and ink levels for each cartridge. While you can't tilt or swivel the screen, you can still easily read it when standing in front of it or looking at it from the sides, but the text isn't as clear if you're sitting. There are also seven physical buttons, which you can use to resume or cancel a job, begin copying jobs, and see the printer information.
The HP DeskJet 2742e has a terrible cartridge system. It only uses two cartridges: one black and one tri-color, and they both have very low yields, so you'll have to replace them frequently. Fortunately, there are high-yield cartridges available.
Note: During setup you can enable HP+, meaning that your printer will only accept HP cartridges for the duration of its use. The printer accepts third-party remanufactured cartridges, but using them may void the warranty.
The HP DeskJet 2742e has poor scanning features. Its lack of an automatic document feeder makes it cumbersome to scan multi-page documents since you need to use the flatbed. There also aren't any extendable hinges on the flatbed cover, meaning you can't properly scan thicker items like books. On the bright side, you can save scanned documents as searchable PDF files, making it easy to look for specific passages in scanned text documents.
The HP DeskJet 2742e has a poor cost-per-print. Although the cartridges are relatively affordable, you'll need to replace them frequently the more you print. However, you can subscribe to HP's Instant Ink service, which will automatically send you a replacement cartridge when you run out.
Even if you only print in black, most inkjet printers continue using the color cartridges for servicing tasks, so you'll likely still need to replace them eventually.
The HP DeskJet 2742 has a bad printing speed. Though the first page comes out relatively quickly, subsequent pages take much longer regardless if you're printing black or color documents. It also takes well over a minute to print a photo.
Update 01/05/2022: We initially listed the maximum weight as 75 g/m², but this is incorrect. While it's the maximum for plain copy paper, the user manual advertises the heaviest weight for other types of paper as 300 g/m².
The HP DeskJet 2742e's color accuracy is poor. It can't properly reproduce most colors, so even casual users will notice that most photos aren't rendered accurately on paper.
The HP DeskJet 2742e supports a Bluetooth connection during setup only, so you can't use it to print.
The HP 2742e works with the superb HP Smart App. You can use it to print photos and documents, scan with the flatbed or your camera, and even send mobile faxes. Also, you can perform maintenance tasks like aligning and cleaning the printheads, and you can also update the printer's firmware or manage your HP Instant Ink subscription. However, keep in mind that printing certain file formats is only possible on iOS.
Note: During setup, you have the option to subscribe to HP+ Printing which allows you to access cloud-based connectivity, six months of HP's Instant Ink subscription service, and an extended warranty. However, once enabled, you're unable to use third-party cartridges.
The HP DeskJet 2742e is a Walmart-exclusive model that comes in three color variants. We tested the Blue Steel model, but it's also available in Cinnamon and Sequoia, and we expect our results to be valid across variants. You can see our unit's label here.
Like other printers in the DeskJet 2700 series, the HP DeskJet 2742e is designed to perform basic printing and scanning tasks. While the color accuracy is among the highest of the printers we've tested, the photo printing quality is rather poor, and 4" x 6" photos come out on an angle. It's similar to other budget, all-in-one inkjet printers in that it has a high cost-per-print and low page yield for both black and color documents.
The HP DeskJet 2755e and HP DeskJet 2742e are nearly identical all-in-one printers designed for family use; however, the 2755e performs marginally better since it has a slightly higher color page yield and slightly lower cost-per-print. Also, the 2755e prints higher quality photos as the photos from the 2742e come out on an angle. However, neither printer can automatically print double-sided, so you need to manually flip over your page each time.
The HP DeskJet 3755 and the HP DeskJet 2742e are compact inkjet printers, but the 3755 is better overall. The 3755 is much better for photos thanks to its nicer photo quality and more accurate colors. Also, it can print more pages before its black ink cartridge runs out. On the other hand, the 2742e has a higher color page yield, meaning it's better if you mostly print graphs, posters, and other color documents that aren't photos.
The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3730 and the HP DeskJet 2742e are all-in-one inkjet printers designed for different uses; however, the Epson is a better printer overall. The Epson has more scanning features, including an automatic document feeder and fax capabilities. It also has a lower cost-per-print, and it has three separate color cartridges as opposed to only one tricolor cartridge like the HP. The Epson can also perform automatic duplex printing, while the HP requires you to manually flip over your pages each time. On the other hand, the HP has much better color accuracy, but the quality of printed photos is much worse than the Epson.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e and the HP DeskJet 2742e are inkjet printers designed for different uses. However, the OfficeJet performs much better thanks to the much lower cost-per-print, higher page yield, and quicker printing time. Unlike the DeskJet, the OfficeJet supports printing with an external storage device and Ethernet connection. Also, it has an automatic document feeder that can scan double-sided sheets in two passes. In addition, the OfficeJet can perform automatic duplex printing, while the DeskJet requires you to manually flip over your page each time.