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There are three Photosmart all-in-ones in HP’s range: the Photosmart, the Photosmart Wireless and the Photosmart Plus, which sits in the middle and is the subject of this review. It’s designed as a home machine, with a leaning towards photo print.
Like its stablemates, the Plus is decked out in textured and high gloss black and has a raised panel sticking up in front of the flatbed scanner lid, which contains a 61mm touchscreen with dedicated touch buttons down either side. Its position makes the screen very easy to use, as does the sensitivity of the panel itself.
Below the control panel are two memory card slots, which between them can take SD, MemoryStick and xD cards. There's also a PictBridge socket that will also read USB drives.
There are two paper trays integrated into the front of the machine, a 150-sheet one for plain paper up to A4 size and another for up to 20 sheets of photo paper. The photo tray automatically powers into the printer when you select to print on this media. Pages feed out to the top of the paper trays, though you have to extend a support and paper stop, considerably increasing the overall footprint of the Photosmart Plus.
This is a four-colour printer, which can take either standard or XL cartridges in the CMYK inks. The cartridges, which look oddly similar to Canon consumables, clip into the print head and the machine then completes an alignment page, which has to be scanned back in, before the first prints can be made.
Drivers are provided for Windows and OS X and Linux alternatives using the CUPS protocol can be downloaded from the HP site. In addition there is the usual mix of HP utilities, including Solution Center, and a copy of Windows Live Photo Gallery.
The printer can be connected via USB or Ethernet, but also offers wireless connection, though you have to connect temporarily via USB (a cable is supplied) to set up the link. This can be awkward if you’ve bought the machine because you have space restrictions on your desk.
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