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HP Photosmart 5520 review




  • Recommended by TR

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HP Photosmart 5520
  • HP Photosmart 5520
  • HP Photosmart 5520 - Display
  • HP Photosmart 5520 - Card Slot
  • HP Photosmart 5520 - Cartridges
  • HP Photosmart 5520 - Feature Table
  • HP Photosmart 5520 - Speeds and Costs
  • HP Photosmart 5520


Our Score:



  • 60mm touchscreen with touch buttons
  • AirPrint and Android App support
  • Good running costs for budget printer


  • Messy paper stop design
  • Awkward memory card slot
  • Paper tray restricted to 80 sheets

Key Features

  • ePrint remote and wireless direct printing
  • SD and MemoryStick support
  • Sensitive touch panel
  • Four separate ink cartridges
  • Duplex print
  • Manufacturer: HP
  • Review Price: £70.00


HP’s mainstream, home all-in-one printer has just been updated to the Photosmart 5520, by the addition of a duplex print engine and improved wireless printing, for a range of mobile devices. It manages to combine a low-profile design with a good feature set and an impressive turn of speed.

HP Photosmart 5520 - Design

The low-profile case is a dark brown that could easily be mistaken for black and has pleasantly rounded corners. Its top is well-balanced and lifts easily to load single sheets up to A4 onto the flatbed scanner.

In front of the scanner, slightly to left of centre, is a 60mm touchscreen with single-function touch buttons down either side. Although quite small, both screen and buttons are very sensitive and it's easier to use these controls than to operate some smartphones.

HP Photosmart 5520 - Display

The control screens are well-designed and it's easy to navigate via the icons and menu options, even though the screen doesn't support multi-touch.

HP Photosmart 5520 - Features

Below the touchscreen, at the left-hand end of the front panel, a small flip-open cover conceals a single memory card slot, which can take both SD and MemoryStick cards. While it's quite innovative to have a combo reader like this, slotting the cards in can be awkward, as you have to hit the insertion angle quite precisely.

HP Photosmart 5520 - Card Slot

The slim front panel folds down to become the feed tray, though there's no dust cover for the paper. The same tray takes both plain and photo sheets and pulls out from the front of the machine for loading 15 x 10cm blanks.

A support swivels out from the front edge of the tray with a secondary support and paper stop flipping over from its end. This is an awkward arrangement to catch printed pages and substantially increases the overall footprint of the printer on the desk.

There's a single USB socket at the back, but wireless is the most versatile connection and is easy to set up. Lift the scanner section up and the printhead, with its four individual ink cartridges slides into view. It's very straightforward to remove and replace these cartridges.

Crofty Smith

February 23, 2013, 10:14 am

This printer is a load of ole tosh - nothing but paper jams and the print quality is dreadful - the black bleeds into colours no matter what paper u use and lines accross pictures even after cleaning and doing all the fangled jobs you are supposed to - my last hp was great until the black refused to work which apparently is a common problem with hp printers - nut this is rubbish

Chris Ryan

February 24, 2013, 5:26 pm

Very pleased with this printer. Nothing like the issues described by Crofty below - maybe a replacement is in order??
Print out is superb on photos and documents, leagues ahead of the Canon Pixma it replaces which was a similar price point.
So easy to print straight from the iPad or Mrs iPhone without transferring it via email then to a PC etc - though not yet got it set up with my own Galaxy S3 yet (a job for another day).
Print out is very quick too, again in comparison to the Pixma for all black and colour print jobs so far.
Built in apps are icing on the cake, daughter must have used half the included cartridges in the 3 hours it has been in the house doing mazes, Disney and Dreamworks print outs, but not a worry as the ink prices are relatively low too.

Joycey Scott

April 13, 2013, 5:49 pm

I am on my second HP printer 5520 and unhappy to say that printing photographs with all the right ink and paper is still producing a very poor quality. I am very disappointed as my previous HP printer was very good. This printer will be returned for a refund, I'm not messing about anymore.

John Brooks

April 24, 2013, 11:03 pm

Just lost a 5510 series after about a year of service, bought this to replace it and have to say this is not an improvement. Why can't I see the tools menu on my pc monitor or am I missing something? It is a pain in the backside having to get down on my knees to check ink levels etc. If I am missing something will someone from the world of tech please let me know. Cheers


August 20, 2013, 12:58 pm

Awful printer. I have had it replaced and still have problems with just terrible print quality. The print cartridges needs replacing all the time, even though we hardly print anything. Would rather pay more for a better printer than this pile of rubbish. Cheaper to buy a replacement than keep buying new ink.


August 23, 2013, 11:14 pm

Can anyone tell me why ,my printer which has took, before wont accept my memory stick,put the stick in and told me no memory stick press ok.
Can you tell me if I am doing any thing wrong.


September 2, 2013, 2:19 am

Never had a bad Hp printer till now. the 5520 runs out of inks after few uses and when they are replaced they don't work. 2 out of four. Running all the tool options just use more of the little amt of ink in the new cartridges. Noisy as heck and wireless interferes with other computers .

Not Happy

September 2, 2013, 3:40 am

Very disappointing printer. Bought primarily because it can also scan only to find it doesn't scan properly! Can't 'scan to computer' if you're using an iOS operating system unless you only want it to scan a 1cm square of the document. Can't 'scan to email' because it gives five error messages before it will actually send it, then after 30mins to scan 2 pages and send them to my email (cos it won't scan them to my computer) the scans are useless anyway! Terrible quality and a file that can't be read by Windows or Mac software (I've tried both).


September 3, 2013, 5:23 pm

try any Linux OS they are free and work


September 5, 2013, 6:00 am

Constantly has paper jams, prints terrible quality images. The only perk is the ability to receive and print emails, but obviously doesn't help when it's constantly jamming (even when there's no paper in there). I have replaced as I am extremely disappointed.


September 28, 2013, 5:07 pm

I have had three different HP printers from my local Tesco; each returned in less than one week.
The HP Photosmart 5520 Series 143 refused to even print out a correctly aligned piece of its own printed graph paper; the HP logo at the bottom right corner was missing. The scan of the Printer Test Page was missing the top left half rectangular lined boundary. Packaging and lid HP label strip was also missing. Possibly a returned item ?
The other cheaper printers would not produce a clean Printer Test Page and even scanned and printed even worse.
Fortunately Tesco shop manager will pass all of this to Tesco HQ and have words with HP ref their Quality Control.
Prompt cash refunds were offered and accepted.
These results were shown to Staples and PC World but they had not had any similar feedback. Perhaps a bad batch at local Tecos ?


October 16, 2013, 12:44 pm

just received a replacement under warranty from HP due to poor quality photo printing but replacement is just as bad. I have an old HP 4280 that prints far better quality photos than this "photosmart" model.


October 24, 2013, 9:09 pm

I'm a bit disappointed that it does not appear to have a onscreen control centre, like the c309a. Its cheaper than the c309a its true.


February 1, 2015, 1:09 am

Definitely the worst printer I've ever purchased. Paper doesn't align properly. Borderless printing doesn't work due to poor alignment. Paper jams regularly. Print quality sucks. Stops printing correctly even with plenty of ink remaining.


September 23, 2015, 8:47 am

never in my life I bought a printer that was that useless. I thought to buy a HP again, as for years I had HP and it was really good. Ink is out in no time, paper jams, really slow, wireless doesn't work or take ages (totally useless feature, just jam the cable in, than it works fine), not user friendly at all! HP could have done a better job than this crap!! So no new ink for me, I will buy a whole new printer.


October 4, 2015, 1:49 pm

And here I thought I was the only one having problems with this printer. Simple (but pricey) solution.......going to buy another printer and it certainly won't be another HP.

And I can remember when Hewlett Packard was synonymous with quality.

Therese Leignel

March 11, 2016, 12:39 pm

Avoid this at all cost - a complete waste of space - the very wrost printer I have ever come across - everything absolutely everything goes wrong with it - quality of print ZERO - jamming all the time, printing 10 pages at the same time - unable to read what you print - AVOID if you want to keep your sanity

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