Giving up on HP printers
Nerve-racking experience made me reconsider things
Last updated on 24 July 2022. Created on 3 October 2021.
I didn't like their laptops or other stuff. But when it came to printers, scanners, all-in-ones etc. for me, it was HP and the others.
For a while, I had a habit of taking a printed piece of paper and guessing if it was printed on HP or not. I had a 100% success rate. Very sure that 70% of that was luck but still.
In the year 2021 my printing and scanning needs went from 0 to a lot.
I actually didn't own a printer until recently because, in the last years, I had little use for one. I was better off going to a print center. Things change. Not a problem.
The true problem was that my parents still owned the HP M1132 MFP. So I wanted to make use of it when I visited them last week. And this is how the story begins.
The printer works via USB only. So I connected it to my MBP. What were my expectations? To automatically detect and install. Hit the print button and be done with it. What actually happened? None of that.
After fiddling around a little and not going anywhere, I took the Google route. After some forums and discussions and various links around the Internet (one of it had me download a 900+ MB file with 'drivers'), I ended up on the HP support website. Finally, some progress.
So here I am on the official website, where they ask me for the model of the printer. Here you go. I then takes me to another page.
On this new page, it automatically detects my OS. But not very accurate since it says it's Mac OS 10.5. Using the dropdown options I selected Mac OS 11 which was the latest available. I was actually using v11.5
So, I download this app called HP Easy Start. I install the app, it scans for printers and... my printer is not supported. It tells me that I actually need to download a different app. I feel at this point that it should have been possible from the self-service webpage to tell me this and not make me go through the process. Anyway, let's move on.
I arrive on a different webpage on their website which basically tells me I need to go the App Store to download it. And a link to the product page. Again, too many redirections but fine. Was my store connected to an Apple ID? No. So do that as well.
Finally, the new app called HP Smart gets downloaded and installed. Opened the app which had a big blue "Add a printer" button. Clicked on it. Nothing happened. Reconnected the USB and restarted the printer. Still nothing. I was already wroth. There was a smaller button at the top called "Set up a new printer" or something similar. Clicked on that, and I was taken to a wizard of sorts. Selected the proper options and waited for the scan to complete.
It took a while. Didn't find anything. Reconnected some stuff again, tried again with both options. Nothing. No luck, no success. I was out of patience and out of time.
I was very frustrated with this situation. Basically, older printers lacked support for newer operating systems. And that's not nice, is it now?
Combine this experience with news that newer HP printers won't allow you to print unless connected to the Internet and linked to an HP account. Crazy, right?
And this is the story of how I am not an HP fan any longer.
ps. I ended up, after a quick research with a Canon that I quite like so far. The strangest thing? On their website there's an app for the printer to be used for various actions. There's a Mac version, there's a Windows version and also Android and iOS. What was missing? A Linux version. But the next day, doing exactly nothing except for physically installing the printer and making a few test prints from my phone, the new printer was automatically available on Linux. Hit the print button and done. Exactly as I expected earlier in the story. Fun.