The slightly odd name of this colour inkjet multifunction printer - HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One - clearly signals its ambition and its high end price.

If you don't need all of the extras included in the HP Photosmart Premium Fax, consider opting for its less expensive cousin, the HP Photosmart C6380.

The HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One's most notable feature is a nicely designed caddy system for printing labels on specially coated CD/DVD media. Another nice touch is the 50-sheet automatic document feeder's ability to scan legal-size media (the scanner platen handles letter-size pages only).

You also get a 50-sheet output tray and a 20-sheet photo tray with the HP Photosmart Premium Fax. Duplex printing and scanning are automatic (letter-size only), the latter via the ADF only. The control panel is pretty nice, with a tiltable, 2.4in colour LCD.

Connectivity options include ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth (for printing only). You can connect a camera and other media via the HP Photosmart Premium Fax's many slots, which accommodate CF; SD/xD; MS/Duo; and USB/PictBridge.

HP's speed claims of 33 pages per minute for text and 32ppm for graphics are achievable only in draft mode. In our tests at the HP Photosmart Premium Fax's default settings, the Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One managed 11.3ppm for text and 3.1ppm for graphics - still relatively fast for an inkjet MFP.

Print quality was reasonably good: Text looked fairly black and mostly crisp; and graphics, which looked blotchy (but mostly natural) on plain paper, sported smoother, better colouring on HP's own special paper.

Ink costs are basically average across the board.

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HP Photosmart Premium Fax: Specs

  • Print quality (black, best quality) Up to 600x600dpi
  • Print quality (colour, best quality) Up to 9600x2400 optimised dpi colour when printing from a computer and 1200 input dpi
  • Optical scanning resolution Up to 4800dpi
  • Enhanced scanning resolution Up to 19200dpi
  • Copy resolution (black text) Up to 1200 optimised dpi from 600 input dpi
  • Copy resolution (colour text and graphics) Up to 4800x1200 optimised dpi from 1200 input dpi on HP Photo Papers
  • compatible with: CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Secure Digital (SD)/MultiMediaCard (MMC), Secure Digital High Capacity Card (SDHC), xD-Picture Card
  • Ethernet, Wireless 802.11b/g
  • 64MB RAM: 10.4kg
  • 468x473x283mm
  • Print quality (black, best quality) Up to 600x600dpi
  • Print quality (colour, best quality) Up to 9600x2400 optimised dpi colour when printing from a computer and 1200 input dpi
  • Optical scanning resolution Up to 4800dpi
  • Enhanced scanning resolution Up to 19200dpi
  • Copy resolution (black text) Up to 1200 optimised dpi from 600 input dpi
  • Copy resolution (colour text and graphics) Up to 4800x1200 optimised dpi from 1200 input dpi on HP Photo Papers
  • compatible with: CompactFlash, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Secure Digital (SD)/MultiMediaCard (MMC), Secure Digital High Capacity Card (SDHC), xD-Picture Card
  • Ethernet, Wireless 802.11b/g
  • 64MB RAM: 10.4kg
  • 468x473x283mm

OUR VERDICT

You get some really special features for with the Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One's high price. Its older cousin, the HP Photosmart C8180, provides an interesting variation of its own: it can write to CD/DVD media and etch labels onto LightScribe-compatible discs.

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