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When we reviewed the Deskjet D5560 a couple of weeks ago, we were impressed by the price of this wireless inkjet printer, but the Deskjet F4580, reviewed here, is a full wireless all-in-one available for under £45. Aimed at the home customer who is more interested in printing documents than photos, it nonetheless can still handle the occasional photograph.
All cased in textured and gloss black, the scanner is well integrated into the case and the lid lies at the same level as the surrounding rim of the machine. At the front, the paper tray folds up out of the way, as with the Deskjet D5560 and as with that machine, you have to clear the desk in front of the F4580 before you start printing, and find somewhere to store the paper when you’re not using it, or risk dust and spillages on the paper.
The control panel is unusual in being recessed into the top of the device, below its surrounding rim, and uses a series of five LEDs to indicate copy settings. It has two LCD indicators, too, with the same custom ink indicator as the Deskjet D5560 and a seven-segment display for number of copies – a maximum of nine at a time.
The column of six buttons down the left-hand side of the control panel, for functions like black and colour copy and job cancel, are also unusual in all being made from one strip of flexible plastic – simple, but functional.
While you probably wouldn’t expect memory card readers in an all-in-one intended primarily for document printing, it would have been useful to have a front-panel USB socket, so you could print files from a USB drive. This would be hard to use without a more costly alpha-numeric LCD, though, to show the filenames it contained.
The Deskjet F4580 runs on the same two ink cartridges as its single-function counterpart and these clip into the head carrier, once you've folded down the front cover for access. Sliding in the cartridges and pressing them up into position is fiddlier than loading cartridges on some other machines.
HP provides drivers for Windows and OS X 10.4 and above on the supplied CD, but there's no indication of support for Linux users. The HP Solution Centre and a copy of Windows Live Gallery are provided, giving basic functionality for scanning, as well as printing.
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