HP Photosmart D7560 colour inkjet printer

HP’s (NYSE: HPQ) Photosmart D7560 colour inkjet printer is one of the better inkjet printers we’ve tested. It offers pleasing print quality and features galore, making it an excellent choice for the home user and amateur photographer.

Not surprisingly, the US$149 (as of 3/3/09) Photosmart D7560 excelled at printing colour output on HP-brand photo paper, showing natural, though slightly yellow, images. On plain paper, the same photos and graphics exhibited some graininess and dark colours, but text samples looked nicely black and uncommonly crisp. Print speeds were average or better for all but one test.

The Photosmart D7560 is packed with features and easy to use. We particularly liked the 3.5-inch, tiltable, colour touchscreen LCD. Menus and instructions display on screen in easily readable text and vibrant colours. The three main, self-explanatory control buttons (Home, Print Photos, and Cancel) are arranged horizontally below the touchscreen.

The media slots accept Memory Stick, SD Card, XD Picture Card, and CompactFlash; the unit supports PictBridge, too. The main paper tray holds up to 125 pages of letter-size sheets; a piggybacked photo-paper tray takes up to 20 sheets of up to 5-by-7-inch photo paper. The most notable feature is the CD/DVD labeler for printing on specially coated media. The disc caddy stores discreetly under the printer, for use with the special input tray nestled inside the printer’s open front bay. You press a labeled lever to lower the tray; a menu pops up on both the LCD and your PC to guide you through the process. One high-end feature the D7560 lacks is networking–it has neither ethernet nor Wi-Fi.

The Photosmart D7560’s ink costs (at the time of this review) are mostly good. It ships with standard-size supplies: a 250-page black cartridge, plus four colours– cyan, magenta, yellow, and a special photo black for greater image depth–with yields of 130 to 170 pages. Same-size replacements cost $12 for black (a respectable 4.7 cents per page) and $10 each for the others, resulting in a rather steep 22.4 cents total for a four-colour page (excluding photo black). As for high-yield cartridges, the prices drop to 4.4 cents per page for a $35, 800-page black cartridge and 11.6 cents total for a four-colour page (each colour costs $17 and lasts 750 pages). In short, buying high-yield cartridges will cut the price of colour prints in half.

The HP Photosmart D7560 won us over with its feature-packed design and strikingly good print quality. If you don’t need to print on CDs or DVDs, check out its lower-priced, higher-ranked cousin, the HP Photosmart D5460.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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