Wireless networking and touch-sensitive controls help set HP's Photosmart C4780 apart from other entry-level colour inkjet multifunction printers.

Unfortunately the HP Photosmart C4780 comes with outrageous prices for its ink, and it has an extremely limited design.

The HP Photosmart C4780 offers a few extras and admirable support for its low price. Connectivity includes Wi-Fi and USB, plus two media slots for MS, SD, and xD cards. The 1.45-inch colour touchscreen is very easy to use, as is HP's onscreen Solution Center software, which centralizes printer settings, status, and other utilities. Its Help section offers much more useful support information (including animations) than the anaemic HTML-based user guide.

The HP Photosmart C4780's performance was adequate in our tests. Print speeds were average overall: 7.6 pages per minute for plain-text pages, 2.5 ppm for graphics. Text was dark charcoal rather than black, but looked very crisp even in small-point and ornate fonts.

Other colours in our test printouts tended to be slightly oversaturated yet still looked natural. There was some visible banding in large areas of continuous colour. Scan speeds were dismally slow; however the images showed accurate, if slightly pixelated, colours, and precise lines.

The HP Photosmart C4780's paper handling is adequate for light use, but it's a klunky design. The thick, plastic 80-sheet input tray drops open from the front of the printer; a sturdy plastic extension folds out to accommodate legal-size paper. Printed or copied output (up to 15 sheets) falls right on top of the input stack, which looks and feels awkward. Automatic duplexing is not available, but the driver will walk you through the steps manually.

Replacement inks for the HP Photosmart C4780 were among the most expensive on the market at the time of this review.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

PCWorld.com

HP Photosmart C4780: Specs

  • Inkjet, Thermal Inkjet Colour Printer, Standard Resolution: 4,800x1,200dpi
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 1000 Pages
  • Flatbed scanner, Resolution Enhanced: 1200dpi
  • 1.45in preview monitor
  • 802.11g wireless
  • 441.8x421.3x169.3mm
  • 4.752kg
  • Inkjet, Thermal Inkjet Colour Printer, Standard Resolution: 4,800x1,200dpi
  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 1000 Pages
  • Flatbed scanner, Resolution Enhanced: 1200dpi
  • 1.45in preview monitor
  • 802.11g wireless
  • 441.8x421.3x169.3mm
  • 4.752kg

OUR VERDICT

Attractive, easy-to-use controls and decent output quality might be enough to recommend the HP Photosmart C4780 - if the cost of ink weren't so high. It could be a good choice if you need wireless and don't print much.

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