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There appears to be a sort of unwritten law which says wide carriage printers are used by graphics professionals, who pooh-pooh any of the light-hearted fripperies of their standard carriage counterparts. These are Real People, who don't need memory card slots, LCD displays or PictBridge sockets. Thank goodness HP realises the truth; that graphics professionals are more likely to be using digital cameras than most of the rest of us and are just as likely to want to print pictures from them, only bigger.
The Photosmart 8750 Professional can print at widths up to A3+, but also down to 15 x 10cm. It uses HP's classic design where paper is loaded into a feed tray at the front, performs a 180 degree turn, is printed on and feeds out to a secondary tray directly above the first. In this case, to save desk space, the feed tray is extendable. If you're feeding A4 paper, it pulls out just a bit, but if you need to print A3+ you pull it out all the way. The output tray telescopes, so you can adjust its length to match.
Loading 15 x 10cm print sheets into such a large printer can be a problem, but HP has developed a little extending finger, which pushes small paper into the bowels of the machine as you close the tray.
Click on a small panel at the back of the top cover and an LCD monitor and control buttons swivels into view – very Thunderbirds. While this doesn't go the whole hog and include a colour LCD, it does provides status information and indicate the photos you have selected to print from a card or camera. There are memory card slots for all the major types of card and a PictBridge socket for direct camera connection. The printer will happily produce a sheet of thumbnails and you can then type in the numbers you want to print. Not as convenient as previewing on a colour screen, but at least you can print from cards, without powering up your PC.
You can connect the Photosmart 8750 Professional via USB 2.0 or Ethernet sockets and installing the support software is fairly painless. The printer driver, as you might expect, offers a huge range of different paper sizes and you can set up print parameters and save these as custom configurations, if you need special settings regularly.
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