HP's Photosmart 5510 is an all-in-one Wi-Fi printer with a great colour touchscreen and support not just for cloud printing, but also HP's clever Web Apps.
Despite this, the printer is relatively affordable, as you can buy it online for around £70.
The 5510 has a low-slung design, similar to Brother's recent J series multifunction models. This does mean that its footprint is quite large, so you'll need a fair amount of space to accommodate it on your desk. The all-black look does give it quite a professional air and the colour 2.4-inch touchscreen on the front looks ace and makes this model very easy to set up and use.
The 5510's paper handling design isn't all that impressive, though. You load sheets into a pull-out paper tray at the bottom, which can hold up to 80 sheets. Printed results are simply fed out on top of this and held in place by a rather flimsy pop-up holder that feels like it'll snap the moment someone applies any sort of pressure.
Sadly, this model doesn’t have a PictBridge USB port, but there is a memory card reader hidden behind a flap at the front that accepts Memory Stock and SD cards.
The colour screen is a real boon when it comes to setting up this model. There are onscreen animations to guide you through installing the four separate ink cartridges, adding paper to the tray and setting up the printer to either work over USB or Wi-Fi.
If you use Wi-Fi you get access to HP's Web Apps, which lets you grab content directly from the Internet. For example, you can print colouring-in pages of cartoon characters using the Disney app, or the day's top news stories via the Yahoo app.
What's more, you can also use the printer for cloud printing. Setting up cloud printing is actually very straightforward. You just connect your printer to your Wi-Fi network, press the print button and a page will be printed with your sign-up code. You then register your code at eprintcenter.com and your printer will be assigned an email address that you can use for cloud-based printing. Anything you email to this address will be printed. You can also enable Google Cloud Printing by registering this email address with Google's service.
Scanning and copying
The scanner at the top does an impressive job of capturing accurate colours and fine detail when scanning photos or graphics documents. It also helps the printer to produce speedy photocopies. For example, it took just 18 seconds to produce a black and white copy of our test page. The results were also above average, as the tricky images in our test sheet didn’t look that far off the quality of the original.
On the downside, there's no automatic document feeder, so if you need to photocopy a multi-page document you have to do it manually by placing each sheet on the scanner's glass surface, which is time-consuming.
Speed, quality and cost
For a model in this price bracket, the 5510 is a speedy performer. Its time of 1 minute 12 seconds for printing our 10-page black and white text document was among the fastest we've seen from a multifunction inkjet model. The results were excellent too, with the sharpness and clarity of the text comparable to that of a laser printer, which is not something you can often say about inkjet output.
When it comes to graphics, unlike some of HP's recent budget models, speed didn’t suddenly desert it. Our 10-page business presentation took 2 minutes 22 seconds to print and it completed 10 pages of our colour graphics test document in 2 minutes 29 seconds. These results are right up there with the fastest inkjets around and comparable to printers costing twice the price.
The print quality was also very impressive. Colours looked very strong and bold on the page and the lack of banding on large blocks of colour helped our business presentation test to look very solid and professional.
It was also very quick to print our 4x6-inch photo, taking just 34 seconds, which is among the fastest we've come across on an inkjet. Again, the results were well above average, with vibrant colours and impressive rendering of shadows and darker details.
Using the high-capacity cartridges and the best prices we could find online, print costs actually worked out as quite reasonable. A black and white page costs 2.8p per sheet, while a colour page works out at 5.2p, with both of these figures including 0.7p for paper costs. That compares well against most of the competition, although Kodak's printers are cheaper to run.
This is a fine printer from HP. Its print quality is first rate and it knocks out pages at a fast pace. It's also relatively economical to run over the longer term, and the touchscreen makes it easy to set up and use. The only downside is the rather flimsy paper holder.