HP – Photosmart 335 review

portable inkjet photo printer
Photo of HP – Photosmart 335
£150

The quality of office-based computer printers has reached such an advanced stage now that it’s not difficult to find equipment that’s tailor-made to your requirements and produces impressive results. But what about when you go off on holiday or to a party or weekend break and would like to see immediate prints of the snaps on your digital camera?

Hewlett Packard’s Photosmart 335 is specifically designed for this situation. It weighs a mere 1.4kg, has a stylish white casing that would look good next to an iPod and has a basic range of controls. It has five built-in memory card slots in the front (supporting CompactFlash, MultimediaCard, Secure Digital, SmartMedia and xD-Picture card) plus a PictBridge connection that can be linked to supported digital cameras.

You can also link the printer via USB (cable sadly not supplied) to your computer. The package contains some index card samples for calibration and test pages and some HP Premium Plus 15 x 10cm (6 x 4-inch) photo paper to run off your first few prints. You have the option to purchase panorama photo paper or even create photo stickers and passport photos.

The controls are on the flat top of the unit and comprise an on/off button, a print command, delete, cancel action, and ‘select photo’ control that will let you scroll through the pictures on the memory card and choose which to print, how many copies you want and whether you want to do any rudimentary enhancements (e.g. SmartFocus or Adaptive Lighting).

You can preview your choices on the 3.8cm LCD screen, although it would have been helpful to have the ability to tilt this up for easier viewing. The ‘select photo’ control button is very squashy to the touch, as are the scroll buttons beside it.

The printer comes with its own power supply but an HP internal battery can be bought separately (allowing up to 75 prints for each charge), as can a car adapter. A handy extra is the option of printing images from your mobile phone or any external device that uses Bluetooth technology by using a suitable wireless adapter.

Now the crunch question – what about the quality of the images? While you can print colour, black and white, sepia, text and coloured line drawings, you still only have 3 basic colours. Yet the results are surprisingly good, with pretty accurate skin tones, colour balance and shading, and only a hint of graininess (the maximum resolution for colour is 4800 x 1200 dpi).

Using Best quality (as opposed to Normal) it takes about a minute to print a photo and if you print via a PC, then you can make use of the supplied HP Image Zone photo and editing software to further improve your pictures before you print them.

Company: HP

Contact: 0870 547 4747


Verdict
This is a reasonably priced and good quality portable printer for fun occasions, with an impressive range of optional extras that includes a battery pack. The controls could do with an upgrade next time, though.