Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Hewlett-Packard Australia PSC 1315
- PictBridge support, great software
- No individual print cartridges, slow print times
The HP PSC 1315 provides adequate photo-quality prints and document printouts, as well as very good scanning capabilities. It has an attractive price tag, and a PictBridge port, but lacks separate print cartridges for each colour.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
This rather attractive and compact unit from HP is inexpensive yet well featured and fast at printing text documents. It was not excessively loud during print operations, but its paper-feed mechanism produced some loud clunking.
Interestingly, the unit does not have an actual paper output tray; instead its output rests atop the paper input stack. This works quite well and means there are no extra components to fiddle with during installation, apart from the ink cartridges. Like most HP models, this one also uses a curved paper path for its printing.
For direct photo printing, there's a PictBridge port on the front panel, which is impressive considering the price tag.
The 1315 allows text to be printed in one of four quality modes: fast draft, fast normal, normal and best. All seemed to provide the same level of sharpness, with only the tone of the ink becoming darker as the quality mode was increased. Even in the best quality mode, text output looked slightly muddy and the extra ink required to make the text darker meant that a full page of text took 2 minutes 14 seconds to complete during testing.
At normal mode it took only 21 seconds, and at fast draft it took 16 seconds. Colour printing was vibrant, although some banding was evident.
The TWAIN driver for this device has a well-laid-out interface and includes the ability to descreen images. Our tests indicated that full colour A4 scans take just less than 50 seconds to complete and greyscale images less than 15 seconds. The quality of colour and greyscale scans, in particular, was very detailed in dark areas and in areas with many different levels of light grey. Even though we scanned with the descreen option enabled, we could still notice slight patterning.
The square shape of the PSC 1315 makes it easy to scan pages from large books and because the control panel resides to the left of the unit and in front, there is no chance of accidentally hitting any of the function buttons.
For OCR, HP provides IRIS software, which did a very good job on our test document, although it did mistake the letter "r" for the letter "t" in some words.
Photocopies were produced relatively quickly on this unit and the quality of colour copies was more than adequate. We did have to fiddle with the page layout settings a little bit to ensure that our entire image would be copied properly and not cut off. Black text was reproduced slightly muddier than on our original document.
A simple control panel and PC software called HP Director allows the user to execute most scan and copy functions at the press of a button.
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