HP’s latest all-in-one deserves the title more than most, as its full set of functions include printing, scanning, copying in colour or greyscale and faxing. It also has a full set of slots for 11 different types of camera memory card, so can be used to print digital photos independently of a PC.
The smart silver and charcoal device is conventionally styled with a flatbed scanner at the top and a six-colour inkjet mechanism underneath. Controls run from front to back on the right-hand side of the machine and below the control panel are the memory card slots, which also include a socket for directly connecting any PictBridge-enabled camera.
The control panel itself includes a 64mm colour LCD display, which can be used to show thumbnails of the pictures on a memory card and to navigate round the well-designed menu system. You can move around the menus using a jog-dial and a series of buttons.
At the back are sockets for a USB 2 connection and an Ethernet link: the device can be directly connected, so you can print to it from any machine on a network. Software support is good and includes scanning software with OCR capabilities, as well as useful, though not particularly sophisticated, photo-editing tools.
Hinge the top section of the Photosmart 2610 up and you can get at the twin print head carriers. You can clip in a three-colour cartridge alongside a mono black one, a three-colour photo one or a three-colour grey one. This is the first all-in-one device we’ve seen which supports photo greys, giving it particularly good greyscale print.
Printed output in general is very good, with crisp blacks and dense colours on plain paper, showing very little feathering into the fibres. When you use photo-coated paper, particularly HP’s own, output is excellent, with delicate tints reproduced accurately and strong colours coming out vivid and pretty true to the originals.
Print speeds are not up to the claims HP makes for the machine, but you can still get five pages of text out in around 45 seconds, and a 15 x 10cm print at the highest quality setting in just over a minute. Print costs come out at around 3.5p for a 5 percent cover black text page and 33p for a 20 percent full-colour print on photo glossy paper. Both print costs are at the high end of the cost band, but are not exorbitant.
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