It’s becoming the norm for small offices and home users to buy a printer that’s multifunctional, including the usual trio of copying, scanning and printing functions – and if you’re lucky it’ll send a fax as well. However, the problem with most all-in-one printers is that they’ll do all their functions reasonably well, but only one or possibly two exceptionally well.
If you’re on a particularly tight budget and the bulk of your output is going to be printing text documents and presentations, with maybe a scattering of photos, and you need to produce a lot quickly, then HP’s latest could be ideal for you. It’s a printer; nothing more, nothing less.
From the moment you lift it from the box, you realise this is no flimsy, lightweight model. It’s unusually broad for a single-function printer (overall it’s 495 x 466 x 207mm) and weighs a meaty 9.5kg. A 250-sheet, front-loading input tray juts out from the centre with an extendable output tray above.
A front panel houses four separate HP Vivera ink cartridges and under the lid are two slots for the printheads. Once installed, it’s just a matter of installing the software and connecting the USB 2 lead and you’re ready for action. There are four simple control buttons on the lid (Cancel, Resume, Power and Configuration Page) plus an indicator for the depletion state of the various cartridges.
What this model has which the standard K5400 model lacks is a duplex unit that snaps into the back of the machine, and a networking facility. For around another £70, the K5400dtn version includes an additional 350-sheet feeder tray that fits underneath the current input tray. On the other hand, both the duplex unit and the extra feeder tray can be purchased separately and added later if you feel the need.
For performance and quality, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Whether it’s colour prints or plain text documents, this workhorse shoots those sheets out like rockets at a maximum resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 dpi. Documents are printed at quoted speeds of up to 36ppm black and 35ppm colour in draft mode, and 12ppm black and 15ppm colour in normal mode.
Colours are sharp and authentic (although without the vibrancy you’d expect from an exclusively photo printer) and the Vivera inks ensure that your photos in particular remain smudge- and water-resistant and are fast-drying.
Vista ready and Mac compatible, you can be sure that this printer will be instantly accessible and functional without having to download extra plug-ins or patches.
Contact: 0870 547 4747