First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Hewlett-Packard Photosmart 7760
- Prints great glossy photos
- Must change cartridges often, doesn't come packaged with a complete set of inks, non-photo jobs are of lower quality
The 7760 prints terrific colour and black-and-white glossy photos, making it a good choice for users who don't mind swapping ink cartridges frequently.
Price$ 297.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)
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HP's Photosmart 7760 delivers great photo quality and is moderately priced. In addition, it's well-equipped to print photos from memory cards or directly from a digital camera.
The control panel's 1.8" LCD displays either photos or menu commands, and the flash-memory card slots on the front of the printer read all common media-card formats. You can connect an HP digital camera to the USB 2.0 port beside the card slots. From the LCD's menus, you select the images to print and the quality, size and number of copies. Also, you can rotate pictures, add simple frames, date-stamp and time-stamp them, and tweak colour and contrast. The LCD can display tiny thumbnails of nine images at a time from inserted memory cards.
Glossy photo printouts with the HP were outstanding, with fine detail, smooth textures and accurate colour. Greyscale photos printed with HP's new photo-grey ink conveyed remarkable contrast and realism.
There are a couple of gotchas to be aware of. First, the 7760 can use four different ink cartridges, but only two can be loaded at a time. The three-colour cartridge always stays in the printer; but depending on whether you're printing ordinary black text, colour photos, or greyscale photos, you'll use a different cartridge in the second well. If you print a wide range of materials, you'll find yourself swapping cartridges fairly often.
You'll have to pay more to get the complete set of inks, too: The printer comes with only the three-colour and photo inks; the cartridge for ordinary black and the cartridge for grey cost extra. In ink consumption tests, the cost of printing a page of colour plus black was slightly higher than the average. The cost of black-only pages from the 7760 significantly exceeded that of the average photo printer, however.
The paper output tray is sandwiched so tightly on top of the paper input tray that to add paper you pretty much have to slide the input tray out. And a fold-out extension flap for the output-support tray seems quite flimsy. Though the trays lack an envelope bypass, you can keep 4" x 6" snapshot sheets ready to print in a little well between the two trays; a lever easily slides the sheets into or out of the paper path.
Like many photo-oriented inkjets, the 7760 doesn't deliver top quality on other kinds of print jobs. Black text on ordinary paper looked clean enough but somewhat greyish. On ordinary paper, colour prints lacked detail, especially in highlights and shadows; colours seemed washed out, and transitions between shades looked rough. (Higher-quality inkjet paper significantly improved results for all of those document types.)
If you occasionally need to use the 7760 to print text, you'll find it fast enough; it printed at 4.6 pages per minute in our tests. In case you want to save paper on long text documents or want to produce pages for booklets, the 7760 supports an optional duplexer; you can also opt for a second, 250-sheet paper tray, as well.
HP's idiot-proof driver installation routine loads HP Photo & Imaging. A console common to all HP imaging hardware, this program provides access to various imaging applications. You also get HP Memories Disc Creator, for producing photo albums on CD, and HP Photo Printing, which provides basic photo tune-up features such as sharpening and colour correction.
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