My old HP deskjet printer gave up the ghost recently. And when I say\r\nold, I'm talking ancient: at least eight years old, and probably\r\npushing a decade. So it was time to get something new. I finally\r\nsettled on a new HP, the [URL="http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/store_access.do?template_type=product_detail&product_code=CB055A%23B1H&jumpid=oc_R1002_USENC-001_HP%20Deskjet%206988%20Printer&lang=en&cc=us"]Deskjet 6988[/URL].\r\n\r\nI'd not even really looked at printers for years, so I was pretty\r\nignorant of what was available on the market. A project for work led\r\nme to [URL="http://www.printer.com/"]Printer.com[/URL]. They've got this system where you can tell it how\r\nyou will use a printer, and it will return a list of printers that\r\nseem right for your needs. This particular HP came up second on my\r\nlist. The networking capabilities were what really sold it. I can't\r\ntell how much that's a vital part of the internal workings of the\r\nprinter and how much is a marketing thing, but I can say that all my\r\ncomputers can find the printer, and getting them to was the easiest\r\npart of the process.\r\n\r\nThe hardest part was installing the printer on the first computer.\r\nFor some reason, the installation CD didn't want to autorun, so I\r\nended up having to “explore” the CD and manually launch the\r\ninstallation software. After that, everything went pretty smoothly.\r\n\r\nThe printer itself is a dream. Its footprint is about the same as my\r\nold one, but not quite as tall, which means I can put another shelf in\r\nover it, if I get to feeling ambitious. It's easy to use, and though\r\nthe expanded list of options I had to choose from was initially\r\ndaunting, I was able to navigate through them to get what I wanted\r\nwithout having to resort to the manual.\r\n\r\nEven when just printing greyscale text, the printer does take a nearly\r\nhalf-a-minute to “think” about the job before it starts. Once it\r\ndoes, though, it's fast! Pages spit out rapidly with even print\r\nquality all across and down the page. Pictures are just as good, with\r\nvibrant colors. Really complex pieces do get a hint of horizontal\r\nlines if you hold the page up to the light just so, but the\r\nblack-and-white gets horizontal lines really bad if you choose the\r\n“cheap” greyscale option, so avoid that unless quality isn't that\r\nimportant. Colors are good and vibrant and seem very solid, with no\r\nsmearing or ghosting, and every pixel appears to be where it's\r\nsupposed to be. Keep the paper tray full, though; when you get down\r\nto the last dozen or so pages, it has a tendency to grab more than one\r\nat a time.