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9/10

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HP Deskjet D1660

At the entry-level end of the inkjet market, there are a number of printers available, but few at the price of HP's new Deskjet D1660. From Internet suppliers like Amazon, you can pick one up for well under £30, so what do you get for that kind of money?
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Few printer makers give any thought to how difficult it is to photograph a printer entirely clad in high-gloss black plastic, which reflects anything in its immediate surroundings and shows every fingerprint and dust particle. The Deskjet D1660 does both these things, but we accept that neither will be troublesome to the average customer.

As you might expect, the design of the printer is pretty simple. It has average width for an A4 printer, but is considerably less deep than most. It uses HP's trademark print path which takes paper from, in this case, a fold-down tray at the front and feeds it back out on top of the input stack. There's no output tray as such, but the technique is cheap and cheerful and works surprisingly well. As there's no cover to the paper sheets, you'll probably want to remove and store them when you're not printing, which is a bit fiddly.
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There's no control panel on the machine and a single power button with an inset green LED shows when the machine is active. A single USB connection at the back is the only way of getting data into the printer and a small, black block power supply provides low voltage power.

Pull down a small cover at the front and the twin ink and head cartridges move to the centre of the carriage for replacement. There's a black cartridge and a tri-colour one and these clip into place in a matter of moments. Software is basic, but adequate, and includes HP's Solution Center, as well as drivers for Windows and OS X. Given its simplicity, it takes a while to install.

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