HP Photosmart 7520 – £170
The HP Photosmart 7520 is a new printer model for which we have the first review.
Setting up this printer is probably the easiest job I have done in a long while. To make things easier HP has incorporated an animated tutorial on the printer’s 10.9 cm LCD touchscreen. A set of installation inks are included for priming the printer, this process takes about 5 minutes and then you are prompted to load a sheet of plain paper for the automatic print head alignment. After this you can install the printer and driver from the supplied CD or via the internet.
The A4 test print was made with HP Premium Plus Photo paper using the Best setting, this took 2 minutes 32 seconds to complete. The 7520 may not be the fastest printer in this test, but the colours are terrific. The print displays vibrant colours throughout each element, the cotton reels display good detail and saturation, although the brown reel lacks warmth, the blue reel is a touch darker than the original. The baby’s skin colour is near perfect and the scenic photos closely match the original files.
The colour gradients have a smooth transition from white to solid colours, the solid colour swatches are bordering on the oversaturated, especially the green and the blue patch is almost midnight blue. The central B/W photo also displays a slight magenta cast under artificial light but is totally neutral under daylight viewing. The shadow areas on this print are probably the best in our group test, detail has been maintained in both shadow and highlight areas.
The large 10.9 LCD touchscreen is a joy to use, there are plenty of image editing options when printing direct from a memory card (SD) or from a USB memory stick, albeit many of the options are very basic adjustments. There are several options for scanning; you can scan for e-mail, to memory card, USB stick or directly to your PC. Although I had been printing using an USB cable from my PC, I kept getting an error message saying it could not find my PC. I resorted to scanning to a USB stick. The Copy function did a good job scanning photos and directly printing to Photo quality media. The scanner also has an Automatic Document Feeder. Other features include; Fax, duplex printing, and using the printer to download templates and forms directly from the HP website – the printer must be connected to the internet for this.
- Print quality
- Large LCD screen
- Ease of use
- Scanning options limited
- Design, bulky unit