The C8180 uses six separate ink cartridges -- black, light cyan, light magenta, cyan, magenta and yellow -- and each has its own dedicated bay underneath the hood. We're happy to see that each cartridge is easily replaceable at a fairly reasonable price. Most cartridges cost around £12, which is reasonable for a photo printer at this price.
HP includes its standard one-year warranty with the Photosmart C8180.
HP's Web site also has easy-to-use features including FAQs, driver downloads and troubleshooting tips.
The C8180 printed much slower in all three of our test categories compared with other printers in the same price range. The discrepancy is most obvious in photo prints -- the HP printed almost half a page per minute slower.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Thankfully, there's more to be said for the HP's photo quality than its print speed. The text documents we tested on the C8180 came out very clear with bright, outstanding colours and dark black lines. The colour spread came out even with zero fuzziness or jagged edges, even at smaller points.
The printer also produced very pleasing A6 photos with accurate colour reproduction in skin tone and an even hue across the page. Some of the lighter colours appear undersaturated, even on HP's own Premium Glossy Photo Paper, but overall these prints will satisfy some of the most nitpicky photo enthusiasts.
Like many of the printers in HP's Photosmart series, the C8180 produces better quality colour scans than grayscales. We noticed a significant amount of compression in the grayscale scans with serious gradation issues at the dark end of the spectrum. This problem is almost nonexistent when scanning colour prints, where we were actually impressed with the level of evident detail and representation.
The HP C8180's photo quality is better than average and the hardware is well-designed, but the lack of an auto-document feeder and painfully slow print speed prevent us from giving this otherwise excellent rating.
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday