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“I was looking for a quality printer specifically for...”

Written on: 22/09/2003 by amacgregor (1 review written)

Good Points
Unique 8 ink photo printing system
Borderless A4 photo capability - no more wasted paper, or time consuming cropping.
Print photo's direct from 11 different types of media cards
Unique Grey ink cartridge for superb b&w photography
HP's new PhotoRet Pro, for even better output

Bad Points
Photo size selection on the front panel is in metric, not imperial

General Comments
I was looking for a quality printer specifically for photo printing. I wanted to be able to easily print off snapshots directly from my camera or media card onto borderless 6x4" media, while also being able to print quality black & whitle photo's in larger sizes. Most photo printers I tried left a colour tint on b&w photo's, so imaes didn't have the crispness of an analogue photo. So I was delighted to see HP had addressed this issue with their new Photosmart range. The 7960 is the flagship model with an enormous LCD screen on the front of the device providing preview & selection of photo's on your camera or media card. They have also sped up the scrolling feature which is much faster. You can even print a storyboard of images from any video stored on camera/card. I use a Canon Ixus camera which uses CompactFlash media, which simply plugs into the front of the printer. You can then scroll through all the images on the card and select which ones you want to print. You then select the size from 6 x 4" right through to full A4 borderless. With each size, you are shown on the display any cropping of the photo that will take place to accomodate the different aspect ratio. You then select print and the machine does it's magic. The printer even had a automatic paper sensor so you don't have to worry about selecting the right setting for photo paper. The quality of output is the best I've seen, and the black & white output has a surreal quality about it, as the image is so sharp. Printing from Windows is just as easy, although you have to make sure you have the correct page setup when printing borderless A4, otherwise Windows crops the output. Essentially HP get round the limitations of Windows by introducing a new paper size, Borderless A4, and with this selected the borderless feature works beautifully. The 7960 has 2 USB ports, one on the front for plugging in your camera, and one on the back for computer, which is handy. Like previous Photosmart devices the 7960 has a 6x4" paper tray built into the standard A4 paper tray, so you don't have to change setup when printing photo's or normal documents. There is also an e-mail button on the front of the printer which automatically sends your selected photo's to your PC as JPEG attachments to a new mail. Honestly HP seem to have thought of everything, I couldn't fault it. One small gripe is that the photo sizes are in millimeters, not the standard imperial, but you soon get to know the sizes.

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