Review: HP Photosmart 5510
Priced at just under R1 000, the HP Photosmart 5510 is an affordable printer that is well suited to home use.
It boasts some great features that I wasn't expecting to find on a printer in this price range, such as wireless printing, scanning and the ability to print straight from an SD card.
Look and feel
Matt black finishes give the Photosmart 5510 an executive feel. Weighing about 5kg, the 5510 is light enough for one person to transport. It is also compact enough to fit on a small desk. The fold-out paper tray helps save desk space, and when fully loaded, A4 paper only sticks out a few centimetres.
The 5510 has a power connection and USB input at the back. This allows the printer to be neatly positioned on a desk without cables obstructing the user's work area. An SD card reader is situated at the front on the device and paper is also easily loaded from the front.
The Photosmart 5510 has a touch-sensitive screen, which makes selecting functions incredibly easy. Functions are represented by labelled icons. To the left of the touch-screen, there are home and return keys, making navigation simple.
The printer is easy to set up and comes with installation CDs that let users install drivers onto their PCs in a step-by-step process. To access the wireless functionality, users simply select the wireless icon on the touch-screen.
The Wireless Setup Wizard will search for any wireless networks in range, and users can connect the printer to a network by selecting it and entering the network's password. Once the printer is connected to a wireless network, users can print from any device on the same network.
Unfortunately, when printing from an iPhone, the format of the photo needs to fit the paper selected. For example, when printing a square Instagram image from an iPhone, the top and bottom of the photo will be cropped in order to make the photo fit onto an A6 sheet of photo paper.
When printing from a computer, users have more control over the size and printing preferences, so they can format photos to the size of the paper in the printer tray as well as control colour profiles.
The 5510 does not have the speed or paper capacity for office use. (It stores less than 100 A4 sheets.)
The HP Photosmart handles saturated colours very well. Blues, yellows and greens are richly textured, and skin tones appear natural and smooth. Photos printed with crisp contours and great detail. Black and white printing on paper was excellent, with solid blacks and no lines.
I did notice, however, that the 5510 battled to print photos with high contrast and high saturation, such as sunsets. In these instances, there was a banding effect around the brightest areas similar to what one would see on low-end LCD screens. There was also banding when I printed out A4 photos.
The printer lets users scan and copy documents and there is also a Passport function, which lets users print passport photos to scale.
In a nutshell
The HP Photosmart 5510 is a great multifunctional printer for home use. Added features, like the ability to print passport photos and to print from smartphones and tablets, make it a great device for most families and home users.
Considering how many people take photos with their mobile devices, the wireless printing functionality is great. It also means users who do not have a computer can still print their own photos, either from their mobile devices, or directly from their cameras' SD cards.