Hewlett-Packard Deskjet 5740

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Hewlett-Packard Deskjet 5740

Pros

  • Decent print quality

Cons

  • Lack of media card slots

Bottom Line

The HP Deskjet 5740 won't win any awards for speed or economy, but for all-around print quality, it's a good little performer.

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The HP Deskjet 5740 is a simple, reliable inkjet printer. Though not particularly eye-catching, it produces nice-looking prints.

Paper feeds from a 100-sheet-capacity tray at the front that sits below the 50-sheet-capacity output tray. You don't need special perforated paper to print borderless 4" x 6" photos: you can use standard 4" x 6" photo paper--and the 5740 can print without borders on letter and A4 sized paper, too. Beneath the cover you'll find slots for two ink cartridges. With the printer you get a black cartridge and a cartridge containing three coloured inks, for general-purpose printing. The printer can perform six-colour printing, too, but this requires a photo colour cartridge (with light versions of cyan and magenta inks) that you have to buy separately and then substitute for the black cartridge.

The 5740 doesn't break any speed records. In our tests, text pages printed at a moderate 5.8 pages per minute, and graphics at 1.5 ppm. Both speeds are slightly above average.

The 5740's print quality was good across the board. Text looked sharp, but bleeding between closely spaced bold lettering was noticeable. Line art looked excellent, with nice straight lines and no banding. Our plain-paper colour graphics displayed reasonably faithful colours and had enough detail in dark areas, but they were a bit grainy upon close inspection. On photo paper, the printer performed even better, generating sharp images, natural colours, and plenty of contrast even in darker areas. The greyscale image had a slightly greenish tinge, with smooth gradations and fine detail.

A new set of print heads comes embedded in each ink cartridge, extending the life of the printer, but increasing the cartridges' price.

The 5740 comes with a USB 2.0 port for connecting it to your PC, but no parallel port. If you have a digital camera, you may be disappointed that the printer has neither a PictBridge port nor a media card slot. HP software guides you through printing photos, enlargements and album pages.

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