Hp Photosmart D5360 Review

by : Allan Haddow

The HP Photosmart D5360 is an inexpensive single function printer. It looks of a part with the rest of the Photosmart series, has four memory card slots on the front but no PictBridge USB port. The control panel consists of a 1.5 inch LCD screen and paper is handled from two trays, the lower handling up to 125 sheets of regular paper, and the upper acts as the output tray as well as holding up to 20 sheets of photo paper. It also has a duplex unit built in.

Printing is done via two cartridges: a black HP350 (containing 4.5ml of ink) or HP350XL (25ml) and colour HP351 (3.5ml) or HP351XL (14ml), the XL versions offering far better value for money. A photo cartridge (HP348) is also available for higher quality photo prints (it replaces the black cartridge).

Features are minimal. Pictures can be printed from a memory card but selection is limited to one photo at a time, the one on the screen. It is not possible to select photos from a range of dates for example. You can only choose to print either one or three pictures on a page.

If you are printing without your PC your only editing option is for removing red-eye, everything else has to be done using the supplied software loaded onto your PC. Options available include cropping, flipping, rotating, resizing, using colour and light tools, and adding special effects. One interesting feature of the D5360 is its ability to print directly to specially coated CDs and DVDs.

How does it perform? On the face of it for a sub ?100 printer it is not too bad. Print speed of both text and photos was reasonable if not outstanding but print quality was mediocre. Text was a bit fuzzy while colour blocks in graphics were marred by graininess. Photos were bland because of compression; dark parts were less dark and lighter parts less light than they should be. There was also considerable graininess. It also seems strange that HP would choose to release a photo printer that doesn't include a PictBridge USB port that clearly reduces its functionality.

The mediocre nature of the D5360 was really thrown into relief when compared with Canon's cheaper multi-function Pixma MP470. This offers more functions, prints at about the same speed but with better quality prints. Indeed one of the few real pluses of the HP printer is the inbuilt duplex unit but this hardly makes up for its other faults.

The conclusion? Although the HP Photosmart D5360 offers reasonable value for money it does not excel at anything and better value is available from the likes of the Canon Pixma MP470. As such it cannot be recommended.