Top inkjet all-in-one printers

These inkjet models offer something for everyone with a range of performance, price, and capabilities

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Rating:

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Pros:
Good print quality on both plain and photo papers
Automatic document feeder
Very good speed in most tests

Cons:
Scanner lid does not telescope for thicker media

Bottom Line: It may be photo-oriented but it's also efficient, with peppy performance, an automatic document feeder, and decent ink costs.

REVIEW:
Though HP's $199 Photosmart 7510 multifunction inkjet (MFP) looks strikingly similar to the company's Photosmart eStation, you cannot, as you can with the eStation, remove the LCD control panel and use it like a tablet. Believe us, it's the first thing we tried. But the Photosmart 7510 is a well-rounded unit (print/copy/scan/fax), with good speed and print quality, and sufficient features to address both home and home-office needs.

The Photosmart 7510 is easy to set up, and the software is first-rate. A printed setup booklet is in the box, but you'll have to go online to find the full user guide in PDF format. HP's instructions were unclear as to whether you could print, download, or read the guide; we downloaded the file without a problem and notified HP about the confusing directions. The 4.3-inch color touchscreen LCD panel has a clear, icon-based menu structure. The printer is also fully endowed with cloud-printing capabilities, specifically HP's own Web-based apps, and HP ePrint and Apple AirPrint for printing from mobile devices.

While the Photosmart 7510 is aimed at users who print lots of photos, its paper-handling features are more than adequate for a small or home office as well. The main paper tray holds 125 sheets, while a second tray integrated into the top of the main tray holds 20 sheets of photo paper up to 5-by-7-inch size. The real bonus is the 25-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF)--still too rare among home-oriented units. This feeder makes up for the fact that the lid for the A4 flatbed scanner doesn't telescope to accommodate thicker materials. The Photosmart 7510 can print and scan in duplex (both sides of the page).

For an inkjet, the Photosmart 7510 was fast in most of our tests. On letter-size plain paper (Hammermill Laserprint) at default settings, text pages emerged at a speedy rate of 9.6 pages per minute (ppm) on the PC and 9 ppm on the Mac; a 4-by-6-inch photo took 15 seconds (or 4 ppm). Switching to HP Advanced Photo Paper and finer-quality settings, the same photo took 33 seconds (1.8 ppm), and a full-page, high-resolution photo print on the Mac took about 2.5 minutes (a middling rate of 0.4 ppm). Scanning and copying speeds are a tad faster than average compared with other inkjet MFPs we've tested.

Output from the Photosmart 7510 is generally very good--with HP's penchant for cooler color temperatures. Text is sharp and dark at default settings, and monochrome graphics are rich, though slightly green. Photos printed on plain paper look nice, other than orange-ish flesh tones; on HP's Advanced Photo Paper, the quality is smooth and realistic, though in a somewhat solemn color palette, with darker areas gradating to black somewhat quickly.

The Photosmart 7510's ink costs are reasonable. The three standard color cartridges (cyan, magenta, and yellow) cost $10 each and last for 300 pages (3.33 cents per page), while the standard black costs $12 and lasts for 250 pages, or 4.8 cents per page (cpp). That's just shy of 15 cents for a four-color page. You can reduce color ink costs significantly with the XL cartridges, which are $18 for 750 pages, or 2.4 cpp. The XL black represents less of a savings at $23 for 550 pages or 4.2 cpp. The photo black cartridge costs $10 for 130 photos (7.7 cents per photo), or $18 for 290 photos (6.2 cents per photo).

HP's Photosmart 7510 does not follow this season's trend of tacking on CD/DVD printing--available in models from simple, sub-$100 inkjets to $400 flagships. But not everyone needs that feature, and the Photosmart 7510 is easy to use and good at just about everything else a home or home office user might want. Canon's Pixma MX882 is a similarly straightforward and competent choice.

This story, "Top inkjet all-in-one printers" was originally published by PCWorld.

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