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HP Photosmart C4280 All-in-One review



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HP Photosmart C4280 All-in-One


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Although HP sells more All-in-One machines than any other manufacturer, it's not generally known for its offerings at the entry-level - i.e. cheap - end of the market. The Photosmart C4280, though, costs only a tad over £50 and still has many of the attributes you would expect in a multifunction printer.

This machine has a remarkably small footprint, partly due to its foldaway design. The main aspect of this is the front cover, which folds down and becomes both the paper input and output trays. Using HP's trademark in-at-the-front/out-at-the-front paper path means printed pages end up resting on top of the pile of paper ready to be fed in.

Given the price of the Photosmart C4280, it's surprising to find it fitted with two LCD displays. As well as a monochrome status display which shows print quality, size and copy numbers, the 38mm colour LCD acts with three soft-function keys for selecting mode and other menu-driven functions.

The colour display shows photo thumbnails when you plug any of the common types of memory card into the four slots to the left of the paper tray at the front. It's a bit small for any detailed images and in fact, the screen image is not particularly good, but it's still far easier to select photos for printing with a screen, than to have to print a proof sheet and mark it up.

Power and USB sockets at the back are the only connections and the machine uses an in-line, black-block power supply which has to be secreted somewhere. It's about time HP started to build its power supplies into its machines, like its main competitors do. Buy all HP kit and you end up with a pile of blocks under your desk.

The front face of the Photosmart C4280 pulls down to provide access to the two Vivera ink cartridges, one black using pigmented ink and the other tri-colour with dyes. They clip in place very easily and, particularly if you buy the ‘XL' variants, shouldn't need replacing that often.

The software provided includes HP's Photosmart Express, which handles all the basic tasks you might require of the machine, including OCR. It installs simply enough and the device is then ready to go.

The extensive use of soft-function keys, where the function depends on what's showing on the LCD screen, makes the machine easy to navigate and is a simple solution to a problem which often plagues less expensive All-in-Ones.

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December 10, 2009, 11:12 pm

I bought this printer about 6 months ago and it has proved itself to be a right pain. The paper feed is atrocious and paper routinely fails to feed correctly. Pages often come through without any printing on them, or pages are printed out twice. Most irritating is this machine's insistence that there is no paper in the tray when evidently there is. The paper just refuses to budge, whilst the machine's LED blinks 'no paper in tray'. It is painfully slow to set up with minutes going by without it actually printing anything. Thankfully its now out of production, but is its replacement any better? Sort yourselves out HP and, please, stop producing rubbish like this.

Michele Angelucci

June 29, 2014, 4:41 pm

This printer is garbage. It printed a decent photo exactly once. Each attempt at printing after that has been awful...even after changing cartridges twice (another waste of money). Don't waste your time or money on this junk. Buy a Canon instead.


April 4, 2015, 11:37 pm

I have had this printer for more than 5 years. It has never given me problems until today. A carriage jam that I cannot fix. It's truly going to be sad to say goodbye to this printer.

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