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HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One review

Julian Prokaza
18 May 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
217
inc VAT
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Specifications

Thermal inkjet, 32ppm print speed, USB Hi-Speed, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, 468 x 473 x 283mm

HP's latest multifunction peripheral is more compact than Epson's PX800FW, and it's much better-looking, too.

It may be expensive, but it can print on both sides of paper, has a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) that can scan both sides of a sheet, plus USB, Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth interfaces, which may be unnecessary for home or home office use. There are lots of buttons, but the numeric keypad is sensible if you use the fax heavily.

The print engine is a five-tank, four-colour (CMYK and photo black) inkjet, and cartridges can be replaced both independently of each other and of the print heads. Paper feed options are equally flexible, with separate paper trays for A4 and up to 7x5in photo paper, plus a separate slot for printable CDs. When printing from memory cards, print functions are accessed using the 2.4in colour screen and four-way control pad. Like HP's Photosmart A636, the Premium Fax All-in-One detects the paper quality and adjusts print quality automatically.

Unfortunately, there were problems when it came to printing. Ordinary photocopier paper fed without any problems, but the feeding mechanism struggled with both postcard-size and A4 Advanced Photo Paper. The printer often damaged the leading edge of these papers and was unable to feed the paper though straight, resulting in misaligned prints.

These problems make the Premium Fax All-in-One little use as a high-quality photo printer, which is a shame since its print quality is great. Colours are vibrant, details are crisp and grain was all but invisible. Text output on photocopier paper was crisp, too. Our only complaint was that the printer struggled with areas of subtle shading on certain images.

If you're looking purely for a photo printer, Canon's iP4600 is considerably cheaper to buy, and produces slightly better-quality photos.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Maximum native print resolution9600 x 2400dpi

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A432ppm
Quoted speed, colour A432ppm

Tested Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.04m 55s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.03m 2s

Print Quality

Number of ink colours4
Number of ink cartridges5
Maximum number of ink colours4
Maximum number of cartridges5

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB Hi-Speed, Ethernet, Wi-Fi
Size468 x 473 x 283mm
Weight12.8kg
Noise (in normal use)55dB
Duty cycle2500 pages/month
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption idle7W
Power consumption active34W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper sizeA4
Maximum paper weight280gsm
Standard paper inputs3
Standard paper input capacity125
Maximum paper inputs3
Maximum paper input capacity125
Duplex (code, cost if option)Yes

Photo Features

PictBridge supportYes
Borderless printingup to A4
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsCompactFlash, MemoryStick, memmoryStick Duo, SD, MMC, xD
CD printingYes

General

Printer technologyThermal inkjet
Supported operating systemsWindows XP SP1, Vista, Mac OS 10.4
Other inkjet featuresDuplex printing, 6cm colour screen, duplex sheet-fed A4 scanner, fax, Ethernet, Wi-Fi,

Buying Information

Price£217
Consumable parts and pricesCMY photoK £15 each; K £26 (all Value size)
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge800
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)750
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/ho/wf28a/18972-18972-238444-410635-...
Detailswww.hp.co.uk

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.04m 55s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.03m 2s