As new technology finds its way into printers, it slowly filters down from the premium to the budget models. This seems to happen more quickly with HP printers than some other makes and the Photosmart 5510 is a good example of the kind of technology you can now buy for under £60.
This is a long, low machine, with simple and practical lines. The top of the flatbed scanner lifts without problem and the whole scanner section hinges up equally easily to get at the four, independent ink cartridges.
The small, neat control panel is touch-sensitive, with a 60mm touchscreen boarded down either side by three touch buttons. It's very easy to use and has separate indicators for wireless connection and HP’s remote printing ePrint function.
Directly below the control panel is the fold-down front cover, which becomes the paper feed tray. To the left of this is a flip-open cover for the dual memory card slot, which takes SD and MemoryStick cards. Unusually, this slot is very fiddly to work a card into. There are a couple of other slightly unfortunate design features in this machine.
For a start, printed pages stack up on top of the input tray. This is a common enough way of doing things with inexpensive all-in-ones, but here there's a swivel-out paper support, for some reason coloured brown against the black livery of the rest of the machine, and with a long flip-up paper stop, which is both flimsy and ineffective. As pages come through, they ride up the angled paper stop and often overcome the little ridge at the top which is supposed to stop them.
Then there's feeding 15 x 10cm photo blanks. It's not at all obvious that the paper feed tray pulls out, like a skeletal paper cassette, so you can feed small paper sizes into the bowels of the machine. It's in the manual, but if you’re the type who likes to work things out from first principles, it's easy to get confused.
The printer can be connected via USB or wireless, though wireless is the easier option, particularly if your router supports WPS setup. The ink cartridges clip into the head carrier very easily and the support software includes HP PhotoCreations and support for ePrint.