Review: HP Photosmart 5510

This inkjet is speedy and sports some nifty features, though it's hard to justify the additional cost over the HP Deskjet 3070A.

NameMultifunction printer: HP Photosmart 5510
At a glance:Good print and scan speeds,Prints are sharp and detailed, but limited by poor colour accuracy,Simple touchscreen interface, with direct printing from SD card
Summary:Good speed and some nifty features, but hard to justify the additional cost over the HP Deskjet 3070A.


The HP Photosmart 5510 boasts a sleek, low-profile design in matte-black finish accented by piano-black. The interface is entirely touch-driven, but for three physical buttons – power, ‘Wireless’ and ‘ePrint’. The controller looks like a little tablet or remote, and even feels like it should be removable, but isn’t.

Unpacking is particularly easy, as the printer comes in a reusable fabric bag with straps to lift it straight out of the box. The accessories are also packed in a small reusable bag; the only plastic waste is wrapped around the ink cartridges.

Setup is quick and easy using the on-screen instructions and touch interface. You can choose to watch animations that show you how to unwrap and insert the ink cartridges (more useful than it might sound). There are also similar instructions for loading paper. Software setup is simple using the included CD. Connecting Wi-Fi via WPS was straightforward.

Print speeds are advertised at 22ppm (pages per minute) draft, and 7.5ppm normal quality in colour. Our standard tests averaged 12.2ppm for monochrome text and lineart (the fastest in our roundup), 8.1ppm for monochrome graphics (second fastest), 4.3ppm for colour graphics and text (third fastest), and 2min 39sec per full A4 photo print (again, fastest). Seeing a pattern here? It’s not the quickest thing available, but it does perform well.

Despite the two models using the same ink cartridges, colours from the Photosmart 5510 don’t appear quite as rich as those from the lower-end HP Deskjet 3070A. Still, prints are sharp and show relatively low image-noise, but like the 3070A there’s a clear green tinge to dark areas in illustrations and photographs.

Text quality just pips the 3070A, and approaches laser-like sharpness and solidity.

Based on vendor information, costs are approximately 9 cents per black page, 30 cents per colour page with standard ink cartridges. Extended cartridges drop that to 8 cents per black page, 22 cents per colour page. Upfront costs for a full set of standard cartridges are $85, or $147 for the extended tanks.

Direct printing from SD cards and Sony Memory Sticks is supported, and is intuitive to accomplish using the Photosmart’s touchscreen interface.

The Photosmart’s 1200dpi flatbed scanner is quick at 12 seconds per page at 300dpi monochrome settings, and 4min 46sec per page at 1200dpi colour settings. Strangely, 600dpi colour scan times lag behind the average for its class, at 1min 17sec per page.

Scan quality is much the same as the HP Deskjet 3070A – scans are sharp and exhibit minimal noise. Scanned images seem slightly more washed-out than 3070A’s, meaning colours don’t appear quite as rich. Hues remain accurate, making the issue easily correctable in any image-editing software.

Altogether the Photosmart 5510 is good for high-speed text printing, while offering higher image quality than an entry-level colour laser. However, the green tinge to black tones makes it unsuitable for primary use as a photo printer. Scan speed and quality are both admirable, making this a fair option for those more interested in getting photos in to their PC than out.

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Harley Ogier

Harley Ogier

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Topics: aio, all-in-one, inkjet, multi-function, multifunction, mfc
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