HP DeskJet 2742e Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed Oct 13, 2021 at 10:20 am
HP DeskJet 2742e Picture
5.6
Family
2.5
Small/Home Office
5.3
Student
4.1
Black & White
6.1
Casual Photo
Current deal: The HP DeskJet 2742e has dropped in price on amazon.com. See all Printers deals
Type All in One
Technology Inkjet
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
No

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.

Our Verdict

5.6 Family

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.

Pros
  • Outstanding color accuracy.
  • Plastic body feels solid.
  • First page comes out relatively quickly.
Cons
  • High cost-per-print for both black and color documents.
  • Takes over a minute to print photos.
  • 4" x 6" photos may come out slanted.
  • Slow print speed for black and color documents.
  • Can't raise scanner lid's hinges to fit thicker items.
2.5 Small/Home Office

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.

Pros
  • Plastic body feels solid.
  • First page comes out relatively quickly.
Cons
  • High cost-per-print for both black and color documents.
  • Slow print speed for black and color documents.
  • Can't raise scanner lid's hinges to fit thicker items.
5.3 Student

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.

Pros
  • Plastic body feels solid.
  • First page comes out relatively quickly.
Cons
  • High cost-per-print for both black and color documents.
  • Slow print speed for black and color documents.
  • Can't raise scanner lid's hinges to fit thicker items.
4.1 Black & White

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.

Pros
  • Plastic body feels solid.
  • First page comes out relatively quickly.
Cons
  • High cost-per-print for both black and color documents.
  • Slow print speed for black and color documents.
  • Can't raise scanner lid's hinges to fit thicker items.
6.1 Casual Photo

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.

Pros
  • Outstanding color accuracy.
  • Plastic body feels solid.
  • First page comes out relatively quickly.
Cons
  • Takes over a minute to print photos.
  • 4" x 6" photos may come out slanted.
  • Slow print speed for black and color documents.
  • 5.6 Family
  • 2.5 Small/Home Office
  • 5.3 Student
  • 4.1 Black & White
  • 6.1 Casual Photo
  1. Updated Oct 13, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Oct 08, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
5.0
Design
Build & Design Quality

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.

Design
Dimensions
Height 6.1" (15.5 cm)
Width 16.7" (42.5 cm)
Depth 12.0" (30.5 cm)
Weight
7.9 lbs (3.6 kg)
3.0
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
1.2" (3.1 cm)
Touchscreen No

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.

Design
In The Box

  • Power cord
  • HP 67 Black ink starter cartridge
  • HP 67 Tri-Color ink starter cartridge
  • Reference and Set Up Guide

2.7
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
1
Black Cartridge Model
HP 67 Black
Tested Black Page Yield
5.49 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
104 prints
Color Cartridge Model
HP 67 Tri-Color
Tested Color Page Yield
2.59 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
59 prints
Third Party Cartridge
Yes
High Yield Cartridge
XL
Drum Unit
No Drum Unit

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.

6.2
Design
Scanner
Scanner
Yes
Scan Flatbed
Yes
Scan Sheetfed
No
Automatic Document Feeder
No
Duplex Scanning
No
Scan Resolution
1,200 DPI
Scan Color Depth
24 Bit
Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"
Fax
No
Copy
Yes

The HP DeskJet 2742e has a passable scanner. The printer has a flatbed scanner that scans at a high resolution, but it lacks an automatic document feeder, so scanning long documents can be tedious since you need to load each page manually on the flatbed. Also, you can't raise the scanner lid's hinges to fit thicker items such as textbooks or magazines.

Printing
5.1
Printing
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
15.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
16.99 US$
Black Only Printing
0.154 US$/print
Color Printing
0.288 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.772 US$/print
Ink Subscription
Optional

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.

4.1
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
3 PPM
Color Document
2 PPM
Photo Printing Time
95.0 s
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
8.2 s
Duplex Printing
Manual
Input Tray Capacity
60 pages

The HP DeskJet 2742e 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.

9.0
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
7.02

The HP DeskJet 2742e's color accuracy is outstanding, and it should be good enough for most casual color printing. However, its accuracy may not be good enough for professionals requiring exact color reproduction.

5.0
Printing
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
No

The HP DeskJet 2742e has poor photo printing quality. The colors aren't well-defined, and photos have a bit of graininess to them. There's also banding in gray areas. Also, we encountered a problem during testing where 4" x 6" photos were printing on an angle, even when we had adjusted the slider on the rear input tray to fit the photo size.

We base these results on the actual physical photo, not the scanned image provided for reference above, which may not represent the printer's photo print quality.

Printing
Printing Size
Letter (8.5" x 11") Yes
Legal (8.5" x 14") Yes
Tabloid (11" x 17") No
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Yes
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Photo (2" x 3") No
Photo (4" x 6") Yes
Photo (5" x 7") Yes
Mobile App And Connectivity
7.0
Mobile App And Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
No
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
Yes
External Storage Support
No
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes

The HP DeskJet 2742e supports a Bluetooth connection during setup only, so you can't use it to print.

7.0
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App For Home Use
Mobile App Yes
App Name HP Smart
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Yes
PDF
Yes
Microsoft Office Files
No
Text Files (TXT)
No
Webpages (HTML)
No

The HP 2742e works with the HP Smart App. You can scan, print, copy, and send faxes all through your mobile device. With the app, you can also perform maintenance tasks such as cleaning and aligning the print heads and managing your ink subscription.

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.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

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.

Compared To Other Printers

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.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best cheap printers, the best printers with cheap ink, and the best printers for college students.

HP DeskJet 2755e

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.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e

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, and it also has an automatic document feeder and can perform duplex scanning tasks. In addition, the OfficeJet can perform automatic duplex printing, while the DeskJet requires you to manually flip over your page each time.

HP DeskJet 3755

The HP DeskJet 3755 and the HP DeskJet 2742e are both compact, inkjet printers that work better for different uses. The 3755 has a slightly higher page yield and a slightly lower cost-per-print for black-only text documents, and it has a higher photo printing quality. Alternatively, the 2742e has a much better cost-per-print for color documents, produces more accurate-looking colors, and it has a high-resolution flatbed scanner, which the 3755 lacks as it only has a sheetfed scanner. 

HP DeskJet 2755

The HP DeskJet 2755 and the HP DeskJet 2742e are nearly identical inkjet printers with similar page yields, but the 2755 performs marginally better. The 2755's print speed is also a little bit faster than the 2742e. The 2742e has better color accuracy; however, the 2755 prints higher quality photos as images from the 2742e come out slanted. Unfortunately, neither printer can automatically print double-sided, so you'll need to manually flip over your page each time.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3730

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.

+ Show more

Discussions