This review appears in the May issue of PC Advisor, on sale now.

The HP Deskjet 6540 made waves in our colour inkjets chart for over a year. Those still lamenting its demise will be glad to see that the firm's 5940 model offers a lot of the same, at an even juicier price.

Thankfully, it inherits the wonderfully sleek design of the 6540, and benefits from a carefully thought-out external control panel that makes it a cinch to adjust settings. Unlike its predecessor, the 5940 makes an excellent workmate for the digital camera enthusiast. Its front-mounted PictBridge port allows you to whip in your pictures without even switching on your PC.

The bundled software allows access to a host of options and extensive control over your pictures. If you're a serious photographer you'll still want a high-grade third-party package, but for the newcomer the Image Zone suite does a splendid job.

This is a thoroughly user-friendly printer. We particularly like the fact that the 5940 can automatically sense the media being used – you no longer have to go into the settings every time you change paper type.

We weren't quite so bowled over by print speeds, but inkjet manufacturers are notorious for overhyping in this department. HP promises 30ppm (pages per minute) and 24ppm in mono and colour respectively, but we managed at best 14.3ppm and 7.1ppm. However, you'll struggle to find a sub-£100 inkjet that's faster in terms of real-world performance.

The second-slowest speed setting offers pretty good quality and works at perfectly usable mono and colour rates of 8.3ppm and 2.8ppm. The Normal setting produces superb print quality, with bags of colour and image definition, at 6.4ppm and 2.2ppm.

HP Deskjet 5940: Specs

  • Max resolution 4,800x1,200dpi
  • claimed print speed B=30ppm C=24ppm
  • actual print speed B=14.3ppm C=7.1ppm
  • ink costs B=£21 C=£24
  • print life (pages) B=800 C=450
  • supports USB 1.1/2.0
  • 1-year warranty
  • 500x300x225mm
  • 3.6kg
  • Max resolution 4,800x1,200dpi
  • claimed print speed B=30ppm C=24ppm
  • actual print speed B=14.3ppm C=7.1ppm
  • ink costs B=£21 C=£24
  • print life (pages) B=800 C=450
  • supports USB 1.1/2.0
  • 1-year warranty
  • 500x300x225mm
  • 3.6kg

OUR VERDICT

We miss the Deskjet 6540, but the 5940 is a more than adequate substitute. It offers excellent print quality on both text and graphics, fast speeds, great looks and a wonderfully thought-out software interface. With PictBridge included, it even has features for digital camera users. With a mouthwateringly low price tag of £76, this inkjet practically orders itself.

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