HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £216.88

This is quite a strange name to give an all-in-one printer. There’s no model number on the end – this is the Photosmart Premium. What HP does if it wants to extend the range is unclear, but the Premium suffix is intended to imply a machine with all the extras and for a keen home user or even a small business, there’s certainly a lot under the hood.

A smart piece of industrial design, this is an evolution of recent HP styling. A neat Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) sits on top of a fairly standard flatbed scanner. The control panel is nicely laid out and appears to float at an angle in front of the machine. There’s quite a busy set of controls, including a full number pad for the machine’s fax facilities, as well as separate buttons for printing quick forms, doing photo reprints from the flatbed and automatic redeye removal from troublesome portrait shots. A 60mm colour LCD display at the left-hand end of the panel hinges forward to the vertical, should you need a different viewing angle.

Set into the control panel’s bottom lip is a pull-down tab for the CD and DVD loading tray, for direct disc print. To the left of the control panel are three memory card slots and a PictBridge socket and the 125-sheet main paper tray has a 20-sheet photo paper tray set above it. This is powered, so photo blanks slide into the machine when you select to print photos.

At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet connection, as well as for phone line and telephone handset, but there’s also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. To set up a wireless link with an existing network, you run the wireless network wizard from the control panel and enter your encryption key, before choosing wireless connection in the installation software on your PC or Mac and picking up the name of the device from a pop-up list. This whole process can be completed in a few minutes and the wireless connection is then completely transparent.

Other support software is the usual HP mix, including photo-handling, OCR and scanning applets. The only other thing you need do is install the five cartridges – the Photosmart Premium uses a separate photo black ink, as well as a high-capacity black for text print. The cartridges’ shrink-wrap and snap-off seals are so reminiscent of Canon ink cartridges that you have to wonder how close the link between the two companies is.

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