The HP Photosmart e-All-in-One could be any low-end colour inkjet multifunction printer saddled with limited features and pricey inks.

Its solid performance and its access to a range of web-based printing apps make the HP Photosmart e-All-in-One an acceptable choice for home users, however.

Its performance was very good overall. At default settings on plain paper, the HP Photosmart e-All-in-One's text pages printed at a middling 5.3 pages per minute on both the Mac and PC. Output looked crisp, and it improved (though pages came out more slowly) at the highest quality setting. Snapshot-size photos printed on the PC at a rate of 1.8 ppm and looked marvelous on either plain or photo paper, albeit slightly darker than the norm. On the Mac, a much larger and more complex image took over 3 minutes to print on photo paper; colours were vivid but reasonably realistic. Scan and copy samples also looked good overall.

For the price, the HP Photosmart e-All-in-One's print/scan/copy feature set is a mix of interesting and underwhelming. On the interesting side of the ledger, the 2.36-inch colour LCD is flanked by touch- and context-sensitive controls. This TouchSmart frame is fun to work with, though its left- and right-arrow navigation makes scrolling up or down awkward. Press the Apps icon, and you can select from a preloaded set of 16 web-based applications for printing, say, paper crafts or news feeds or coupons.

HP plans to provide additional apps that you can download directly to the HP Photosmart e-All-in-One printer. This model also works with HP's new ePrint platform, which lets you send a print job via e-mail (if the printer is connected to a wireless network). Wireless and USB are standard, as are media slots for MMC, MS, and SD media.

On the underwhelming side, paper handling is limited. A front panel unfolds to accommodate all input - and also to catch output, which can get messy. There's no alternate path for thicker media, so even photos must negotiate a 180-degree turn, after which they exit slightly curved. The letter-size scanner lacks an automatic document feeder, and the lid doesn't telescope to accommodate thicker media. Manual duplexing works only on the PC. If you choose this feature from HP's own driver, you'll receive clear guidance for using it; but if you choose it from Microsoft's universal printer driver, you'll get a brief, misleading instruction. HP is aware of the issue and is working on it.

Like many other low-end printers, the HP Photosmart e-All-in-One suffers from high ink costs.

See also: Group test: what's the best budget printer?

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HP Photosmart e-All-in-One: Specs

  • Printer/copier/scanner
  • Inkjet colour photo
  • Monthly Duty Cycle (max): 2500 impressions
  • 2.4in Display
  • Memory: 64MB
  • Memory Stick, SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick Duo, SDHC Memory Card
  • Max Copying Resolution: Up to 600dpi (mono)/up to 600dpi (colour)
  • Max Document Enlargement: 400%
  • Max Document Reduction: 25%
  • Maximum Copies: 30
  • HP Thermal Inkjet
  • Max Printing Resolution: Up to 600x600dpi (mono)/up to 4800x1200 dpi (colour)
  • Optical Scanning Resolution: 1200dpi
  • Colour Depth: 48 bit
  • Hi-Speed USB, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n
  • 450x420x200mm
  • 6k
  • Printer/copier/scanner
  • Inkjet colour photo
  • Monthly Duty Cycle (max): 2500 impressions
  • 2.4in Display
  • Memory: 64MB
  • Memory Stick, SD Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick Duo, SDHC Memory Card
  • Max Copying Resolution: Up to 600dpi (mono)/up to 600dpi (colour)
  • Max Document Enlargement: 400%
  • Max Document Reduction: 25%
  • Maximum Copies: 30
  • HP Thermal Inkjet
  • Max Printing Resolution: Up to 600x600dpi (mono)/up to 4800x1200 dpi (colour)
  • Optical Scanning Resolution: 1200dpi
  • Colour Depth: 48 bit
  • Hi-Speed USB, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n
  • 450x420x200mm
  • 6k

OUR VERDICT

The HP Photosmart e-All-in-One performs well, and its web apps are a likable addition. Unfortunately, in other respects it's a pretty limited machine with expensive inks.

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