HP Photosmart 5510 Review
The HP Photosmart 5510 works well as a family printer that supports network sharing, and a decent print speed.
Meet the Photosmart 5510, an inkjet multifunction printer from HP. It provides a solid performance for the price, and the added scanner bed is a good feature to have in the home or dorm room. While it won't give you some of the more exotic high-end features of a pro-photo printer, it will do precisely what you ask of it. Keep in mind, though, that it's small profile is deceiving: it takes up a decently large amount of space.
Design & Usability
The Photosmart 5510 is a solid multifunction printer.
Setting up the HP Photosmart 5510 is not a difficult exercise, as it requires you to plug in the power and set up your computer connection. While plugging the unit directly into the computer is the simplest way to go, the installation wizard will also guide you through setting up your printer through a wireless connection as well.
On the front of the HP Photosmart 5510 are the controls, all centralized on a unit that looks a bit like an iPod touch. Once you've turned your printer on, you'll notice that some lighted areas on the "screen" of the control unit have become illuminated, and adapt to whichever menu screen you are on. There is a directional pad, OK button, toggles, and number/letter buttons available. The display on the HP Photosmart 5510 is a small screen on the control unit that is mainly used for settings menus and status updates, though the printer will often alert you on your computer itself. The Photosmart 5510 doesn't have an HD display, but it doesn't need to—it does its job and little else.
Like many other mid-range photo printers, the HP Photosmart 5510 comes with an internal 802.11n wireless card to allow using the printer as a shared device over a home wireless network. If you don't have a wireless router, you can always plug your printer into the USB port in the back of the unit.
On top of all that, the HP Photosmart 5510 also allows you to buy apps for your printer via the WebOS store. While HP's tablet and smartphone operating system may have flamed out, the printers still have apps uploaded to the market to enhance your experience with the Photosmart 5510 and others.
Features & Performance
Low color accuracy, but efficient ink use.
The HP Photosmart 5510 has an advantage over your typical entry-level printer with CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) cartridges, as it has four separate cartridges with only one color ink each. While this initially sounds to be a bit much, realize that you'll often run out of one color faster than others. If you only have to buy one cartridge when you run out, instead of all the colors, you'll waste less and spend less in the long run.
Paper is loaded into the front of the printer, on the bottom of the paper tray. It can't hold much paper if you're about to print a bunch of photos, but you should theoretically be able to cram 80 sheets of paper in there. We'd err on the side of caution, however, as the printer has a tendency to grab more than one sheet at a time if you load it up too much.
The HP Photosmart 5510 performs acceptably well for the price point, but the color error is quite high. On the other hand, the Photosmart 5510 has a fair print speed.
This would work well next to the family computer.
If you're looking for a family printer that supports network sharing, decent print speed, and a smart ink management system, the HP Photosmart 5510 is worth a look. While it isn't a super-premium printer, it does fairly well for an entry level offering, and should cover most of your low-volume print needs at home.
We would like to point out that its low capacity in the paper tray, as well as the comparatively small ink cartridges, mean that large print jobs will be difficult for you; if they are under 80 pages, you should be fine. Office workers will probably elect to get a dedicated high-volume printer for their needs instead.
If you've got just over $100 you're willing to shell out for a no-frills printer that should last you a long time, the HP Photosmart 5510 isn't a bad bet, and warrants a look. Take the time to compare features that are important to you, and decide for yourself what's important before buying.
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