Top positive review
311 of 317 people found this helpful
Much better than the average all-in-one
on October 27, 2010
I waited to try all four features of this printer before reviewing it - document printing, scanning, photo printing, and photocopying. Generally, this printer is a beauty, both looks-wise and operationally. There is a pop up screen with a very bright menu that also displays photos. You are supposed to be able to edit them right there, but I didn't actually try that feature of this printer. The sleek, shiny, black rounded body has very cool back-lit buttons for all the functions right on the top. You can also control them from the computer. I found myself going back and forth between both, for both everyday functionality and the set up.
I have to say a REALLY great feature about this printer, which I didn't expect to love as much as I do, is the wireless printing capability. You don't have to keep this printer anywhere near your computer, just an outlet. If you have a laptop and like to use it in front of the TV, you will absolutely love the freedom it provides.
I would rate all of the individual features rate highly except the document printing. Here's my review of the features from best to relatively worst:
1. Photo printing - prints either directly from your card (no computer needed technically). You can print up to 600 dpi with this. The photos are crisp and clear, and color is accurate. The only thing I didn't like was the extremely rudimentary photo editing software. It is easy to use, yes, but it doesn't do much. If you want to retouch your photos, use either Photoshop or one of the free pieces of software. I like Picasa even. That may be simple, but it's better than this. Smaller printer paper loads from the back of the machine. Regular paper goes in a drawer in the front, which I really liked.
2. Photocopying - I find it's a relief to have a photocopier for the occasional document that needs photocopying. Here you'll have a color copier too. The colors also rendered accurately here.
3. Scanning - I tried a document and photos (you can scan your signature and then cut and paste it into letters, btw, which is a nice touch if you're sending out cover letters online). It did a great job on all kinds of documents, as well as my signature. Remember though that you can only print at 600 dpi with this machine, which may be a deal killer for a handful of people. The photo scanning wasn't quite up to the quality of the photo printing however. I scanned in a photo of my mom, and boosted the contrast slightly. The picture came out warmer and less detailed than the original photo. You can correct this on Photoshop, but in my opinion you shouldn't have to. Again, I was a little stymied by the fact that the photo editing software was so rudimentary - but if you have different software you should be able to work this out.
4. Document printing - this printer comes with two black cartridges - one is much larger than the other one and is just for printing. I have a small laser printer and am spoiled by it, so that is the caveat. First, the documents print out very slowly. It takes a while to prepare itself to print, and then when it does start to print, it's pretty slow. That was actually the only thing that disappointed me about this printer. The document quality is very good, but in my opinion doesn't reach the near-laser quality that some of the HP printers do. Considering this is an all-in-one, you can't kill it for that issue. However, because of that and the slowness I wouldn't recommend this printer to anyone who regularly does things like college term papers, or other things where you print out large documents on a regular basis -- the lack of speed would drive you crazy. I also liked my resume better on the laser printer, naturally. But the slowness and lack of laser-like crispness are what killed one of the stars on this rating. There was a cool thing about printing though - the front door automatically pops open when the printer starts. I liked that.
I would say that this is an excellent printer for people who want really good photo printing, need scanning and photocopying capability, which are also good, but don't have large print jobs on a regular basis. The user interface and the beauty of the thing itself make it a complete pleasure to operate. Never thought I'd be saying that about a piece of electronic equipment. The ink cartridges are kind of small, so that's another consideration unless you can find a good, cheap dealer on E-bay.
Installation - this is one where you have to be ready. Plug and play this is not. You have to load the printer head, the printer cartridges, and keep going back and forth between the computer and printer screen (which gives you directions) to set it up, no matter what the directions say. Give yourself an hour, because it may not go that smoothly. I actually had no problems - already had a wireless router and didn't have to go through what some others have, but it was tedious and I did notice that you have to pay as much attention to what the computer is saying as what the printer is telling you to do, and found installing the printer head less straight forward that it should have been.