printers

HP A536 Compact Photo Printer Review

All things considered, the HP A536 is a fairly average printer with not-so-average printing options.

December 08, 2011
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Depth of Blacks

Though eclipsed by other HP compact photo printer models, the A536 has a fair depth of blacks compared to all other printers. Unfortunately for it, though, there are other compact printers for a similar price that do far, far better. With a DMax measure of 2.11, you shouldn't notice too many problems with your prints, but you can do better. For more details on how we test the depth of blacks in prints, see here. More on how we test depth of blacks.

Detail

In short, the HP A536 does not handle detail recreation well. Not only does it have trouble with high-contrast situations, but it also seems to darken lighter details near dark backgrounds. As far as colors go, it manages to reproduce them fairly enough, but there is a color banding problem towards the darker end.

Sample Scan Comparisons
HPA536-SS.jpg

The HP A536 manages to reproduce fairly even and unartifacted color gradients, despite the overdarkening in the darkest end. Still, an overall average result.

If you take a look at the sample of the dog's face, you'll see that compared to the other printers, the colors of the handsome hound are crushed. This isn't limited to that one scan either; the reflections in Rosie the riveter's hair are also crushed into the darker surrounding colors.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Performance
  4. Print Speed
  5. Color Performance
  6. Detail Performance
  7. Usability
  8. Controls
  9. Connectivity
  10. Setup & Software
  11. Inks & Media
  12. Samples
  13. HP Photosmart A646 Comparison
  14. Epson PM 225 Comparison
  15. Polaroid Z340 Comparison
  16. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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