It has been a while since Olivetti marketed an ink-jet printer, but with the ANY_WAY it has launched into the home multi-function market with a range of smart-looking devices. The ANY_WAY photo wireless is at the top of the range and, as its name suggests, it’s designed to print photos and to work with a wireless connection.
First impressions are all good. The angular, all-black design is broken by a strip of indicators and buttons along the front edge of the scanner section and by an LCD display set into the machine’s foot. Buttons arrayed around this display only light up when you insert a memory card into one of the slots, again in the scanner edge. The machine provides for all the common card types, including xD and MicroDrive.
The base of the device is an odd place to put an LCD display and it’s easy to see why all other manufacturers choose to set them higher up on their all-in-ones; you can view them close up. On the ANY_WAY, you have to be at a pretty low angle for the top of the screen not to be obscured by the scanner housing, positioned above it. You also have to be quite a way away, which makes the screen awkward to use for viewing photos.
A pair of supports rise like little antennae from the rear of the machine to support around 75 sheets of paper at a time in the input tray. Prints feed through to a telescopic output tray at the front and the machine can handle paper from A4 down to 15 x 10 photo blanks and beyond.
There are three ways to connect the ANY_WAY photo wireless to other devices, apart from memory cards and a PictBridge camera link. The most conventional is a USB 2.0 link at the back, but the device also offers Bluetooth and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. In each case, you install the software and then connect the ANY_WAY.
The Wi-Fi setup is a bit fiddly, as you have to get the correct wireless settings to the printer before disconnecting the USB cable, to force it to communicate through the ether. Bluetooth works in a similar way, but you can’t have both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth activated at the same time, which is a shame. With Bluetooth selected, you can print from a Bluetooth-equipped camera-phone or camera.