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HP Photosmart 2710

This is one full-featured ink-jet all-in-one printer. Not only can you print, copy, scan and fax from the Photosmart 2710, you can do it wirelessly! With built-in 802.11g, Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports, this all-in-one can connect to just about anything. You can also convert it into a six-color photo ink-jet printer by installing an optional $25 photo-ink cartridge.

The Photosmart 2710, which is at the top of HP’s Photosmart line, also includes a big, 3.5-inch color LCD to make it easy to print sans computer. The 2710 unit we tested can make copies, fax documents and—by using the camera media slots or direct print USB port—print photos without the aid of a computer.

The Photosmart 2710 uses a 1,200 dpi, four-ink system that uses two ink tanks—one tricolor and one black. You can convert the 2710 into a six-color photo printer by swapping out the black ink cartridge for an optional photo cartridge that includes photo magenta and photo cyan as well as black. We were able to print over wired and wireless networks, but printing a 10-page Microsoft Word document while the printer was connected wirelessly took about 25 percent longer than when it was connected via USB 2.0. Scanning a 4-by-6-inch photo at 300 dpi took about 10 percent longer on the wireless network.

While judging the Photosmart 2710’s print output, we were happy to find clear, legible text at small point sizes—not laser-sharp text, but very good for an ink-jet printer. The printer also produced very good fine lines and gradients. When printing our Macworld test image with the printer’s standard 4-color ink set at its highest resolution, we saw some noticeable dot patterns, and the colors were a little on the red side. Swapping in the photo-color cartridge helped smooth out the print, especially in lighter areas of the photo. However, the print was still a little red.

The 2710’s flatbed scanner can capture 48-bit color (16 bits per red, green and blue channel) at 2,400 dpi. Interestingly, the scans were quite different depending on the bit depth we selected in the scanner driver. Aside from the 24-bit scans being about half the file size as a 48-bit scan (as you’d expect), the 24-bit scans were also sharper and more saturated. Actually, though, they were a little too sharp, exaggerating dust and scratches.

Not surprisingly, the 2710’s scans were better than the scans from our recently reviewed Epson Stylus Color CX4600 (   , December 2004 ) all-in-one printer, with its 24-bit at 600-dpi maximum resolution, but not as sharp or color accurate as the 48-bit CanoScan 9950F (   , January 2005 ) scanner. Again, wireless works, but it’s a bit slower than if the unit were directly connected via USB 2.0. A version without wireless capabilities and with a smaller, 2.5-inch LCD, the Photosmart 2600, sells for $300.

A copy of our Macworld test image made directly from the unit (at “Best” quality) looked pretty good too, though it was noticeably softer and less detailed than the prints from our computer.

As for other features of the Photosmart 2710, we were able to send and receive faxes, scan to the included OCR (optical character recognition) software and print photos using the media slots in the front of the unit. We were also able to use some of the HP Instant Share features that allow you to select photos and send an e-mail to friends and family that links to a Web page the software creates for you. The Web page lets the recipient view, download, order photo prints from Shutterfly, or print to a local printer. We couldn’t use the print feature with Safari, but it worked well with Internet Explorer. We also had trouble connecting to the Instant Share service directly from the printer, but it worked fine when using it from the HP Image Zone software.

Timed Trials

10-page Word test 1:27
22MB Photoshop image 4:27
600dpi, 8-by-10-inch (24-bit) scan 1:00
1,200dpi, 4-by-6 inch (48-bit) scan 7:02

Jury Tests

Graphics Print Quality Very Good
Text quality Very Good
Photo Quality Very Good
Scan quality Good

Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable

Specifications

Number of cartridges 2 – one tricolor, one black or optional ($25) photo cartridge
Cost to replace ink/ toner cartridges $25 for color, $20 for black ($45)
Optical Scanner resolution 2,400 ppi (48-bit color)
Printer resolution 4,800x1,200 dpi
Included Software ReadIris, HP Image Zone software
Special features Wireless and wired networking connectivity, 3.5-inch LCD

Macworld’s Buying Advice

The Photosmart 2710 is a feature-packed multi-function ink-jet printer with both wireless and wired network connectivity. Although you could buy a better printer and scanner as separate components, the 2710 is a good bet for those looking for quality prints from a well-integrated, all-in-one device.

HP Photosmart 2710
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