Pros Fast, great quality
Cons None yet...
Summary I'm one of the first to try out this new printer -- didn't know what to expect. After loading a pic from my CF card, the print head started zooming back and forth on the paper faster than any consumer printer I've seen to date. It took quite a bit longer than 14 sec, but the 14 sec was probably tested as the average speed on a lower quality, just like every other manufactuer tests their printers. Long story short, it's much faster than any other printer out there. Although the drops are a bit large, the quality was comparable to some of today's best inkjet photo printers... overall a must have for anyone looking for a great photo printer.Updated
People reporting any significant grainyness are using Advanced photo paper or paper not made for these printers at all... stick to Premium/Premium Plus if you'd like to have the highest quality possible. Advanced is dirt-cheap paper and you get what you pay for on that...
Pros Amazing Looking Prints - FAST - Solid Quality
Cons Flimsy Output Tray - Reccomends Advanced paper which is not top of the line
Summary HP did it again... With the 6 seperate ink carts, this printer prints some GREAT Pictures and faster than anything else.
If you have an 8450 you may want to upgrade. The only thing I do not like it the new output tray which is a piece that actually detatches and is kind of annoying.
They did however finally give you real try access. No more little levers... The Picture tray will disengage and engage automatically.
The pictures are brilliant. They reccomend the HP Advaned paper, a new paper in their line, however the Premium Plus is still considered the BEST so I do not know whcih is REALLY the best for this printer.
The printer is breadbox shaped. It is NOT able to be networked directly to the internet lke the 8450, something I never use anyway.
The setup works good, and it now updates the driver on install if needed.
Pros Excellent document print speed, decent photo speed
Cons Weird half-inch band of grainy printing about an inch away from right side of photo
Summary Having read about HP's revolutionary new print and cartridge design, I was anxious to see if it lived up to the hype. It does, and it doesn't. I've included ratings for each category to average out my mark.
The print speed is good, though the rated print speed cannot be achieved at anywhere near the highest levels of quality. I do believe that it is fairly close to the rated text speed with text-only prints at draft quality, but draft quality text/graphics are not amazing. Photos can take as little as 40 seconds using advanced paper at "Best" quality mode, but generally 4x6 photos done at best mode on Premium or Premium Plus photo papers will take anywhere from 1:30 to 2:10. Still fairly fast, though, so I would give the printer a good mark for speed. Keep in mind, though, this printer cannot compete with the Canon i960 or iP8500 in print speeds for photos, so if that's what you are used to, don't expect this to compete. These two printers will print a 4x6 at their best quality in 45 seconds or less.
Print Quality: 5
Generally the printing quality is quite good. Blacks on text and graphics printing from web pages and dox are good at normal and higher quality settings, colours are fairly accurate and well saturated. Unfortunately when I print 4x6 photos the quality is just not consistent enough. First off, the printing quality on advanced photo paper is plain horrid. The colours are very inaccurate, and the print quality seems grainy. On Premium or Premium Plus photo paper, 80% of the photo looks pretty good, but the last inch that is printed has a graininess to it that is very visible with the naked eye. On further examination it almost seems like somehow the printers heads go out of alignment vertically and cause a half inch "stripe" of very poor print quality where there are white spaces visible between the print dots. Very disappointing. I've tried troubleshooting this, but so far to no avail. If this wasn't the case, I'd give quality at least a "7" as the rest of the photo is fine at "Best" or the "Maximum DPI" settings.
The printer is nicely built, and the separate (and now automatic) photo tray and 8.5x11 trays are fairly well designed, though I found the bottom (larger) tray to be a bit fickle. Be careful to not jam it in, or you may damage it, as the plastic is not as thick as previous generation models. Otherwise the memory card capability, nice bright LCD screen, and nice automatic paper handling are a real improvement over previous Photosmart printers (like the 7960 and 8450). I do have to say that it is nice to be able to buy 6 cartridges and 100 sheets of advanced photo paper at $40.00 or so Canadian. HP has made great strides in this in comparison to previous models, especially with the easy cartridge handling, automatic head alignment, and ink recycling.
Now if they could just shrink the print dot from 5 to 3 picolitres, they'd be up their with Canon and Epson in this regard, though the visual difference is not what one would think it would be between a printer like this that does 5 picolitre drops vs. a Canon at 1 picolitre or an Epson at 1.5.
If I can find a way to fix that last half inch issue in photo printing I would gladly upgrade my rating by at least one point. Keep in mind while I'm not a pro-photographer, I have used enough Epson, Canon, and HP printers to know about all the subtle differences in quality. I'm still very happy with my HP Photo 8450 and Canon i960 even though they are not the latest and greatest. I purchased this printer to give me speedy photos and speedy documents. It does both, but the photo quality leaves something to be desired right now.
Pros Great photo quality prints
Cons Can be a little slow at highest resolution, installation was difficult, needed one-time calibration (using supplied utility)
Summary Another reviewer stated that anyone who likes this printer must work for HP. Well, I don't work for them, just for the record. I have been an amateur photographer for over 25 years and my father was a professional, so I think I know a little about color balance and sharpness. I've shot fine-grain print film with high-end lenses for most of those 25 years.
I had two issues with this printer in the beginning:
1. The software would not install. It took HP tech support about an hour to resolve.
2. The prints had an orange cast. HP support showed me how to calibrate the color using a utility that's somewhat buried in the software. That completely solved the problem.
Once these two issues were resolved, the printer started producing stunning prints of my digital photos (and my scanned negatives and slides). People have reported all kinds of printing problems here; I have had none of those issues. I've examined my prints closely, looking for the graininess that everyone complains about and can't find it. I bought this printer when it first came out, so it can't be that I have one with all the problems corrected. It makes me wonder if people are using it properly. Are they selecting the proper settings for photos before starting to print?
Granted, the installation problem shouldn't have happened, and other printers may not need calibration out of the box, but when it comes to print quality this printer is getting a bad rap. If you own this printer and don't like the color balance, you just need to take the time to calibrate it. It's not a long process.
Given the current selling price of this printer ($130-140), I don't think you can go wrong. With a built-in card reader, a nice size lcd screen and the ability to print directly from cards, it's a good deal for the money.
Pros Low ink cost, fast, easy set up.
Cons Finicky print heads, just like Epson.
Summary I got this printer to use for everyday printing because its much faster than the HP 895Cse I've been using. Compared to the 895 and HP 990, this printer is a leap forward. The speed even in draft produces very legible text,which is going to make it easy to save on ink. However when printing photos at the highest quality, the results were somewhat "muddy". I did everything I could to get the best photo prints I could, although acceptable, the results compared to the Epson R800 (which I use for all my photo printing) were inferior. Even compared to my older Epson 1270, the results on 8250 were obviously not as clear. But for most people it's going to be a very cost effective, easy to use and perfectly capable printer. I hope HP continues to work on this "new" technology and works on making the 8250 series printer print with smaller dots of ink. The 5 picoloiter dots of ink are huge compared to my Epson R800's 1.5 picoliter dots. Overall, I've always liked HP printers for everyday printing and the 8250 is going to make a great addition to my other printers.Updated
Just an update on printer. I've printed over 200 pages, with a mix of photos (printed on HP new advanced papers), greeting cards etc., and the self test (a feature that is turning out to be quite handy) reports the ink cartridges are still at 100% full. Looks like I'll get to do alot of printing for minimal cost. The photos I've printed impress people, and I've actually got a couple of people to purchase this printer. They have also been pleased. I'll continue to print my best photos on my Epson R800, but I will use this printer when I just want to share snapshots, without costing much.Updated
At first I thought that this was going to be a great photo printer, but after recently trying to print many borderless prints in a variety of sizes, this printer handles paper very badly. Sometimes sheets of of 4x6 or 5x7 paper would end up under paper tray. This would cause paper sensor type errors. The colors, especially green and red look over saturated, I'm sure this could be corrected through photoshop, but I simply printed photos on my Epson R800 without any problems, or having to correct colors. I still use the 8250 for everyday printing, but will not use it for photo printing.