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HP Photosmart C5280

>> Monday, January 5, 2009

The HP Photosmart C5280 uses a body design similar to what we've seen with the Photosmart C5180. It stands 17.8 inches wide, 15.2 inches deep, and 8 inches tall, and weighs a mere 15.7 pounds. The 2.4 inch color LCD is top mounted on a panel that swivels through about 90 degrees, so you can easily see it whether you're sitting or standing. The on board buttons include task buttons, menu buttons for photos, scan, and copy, a red eye removal button, and start buttons.

Additionally, there are the usual menu navigation buttons, including a four way rocker, OK, and back. Four memory card slots are mounted on the front of the unit and take all the major card types, though some require adapters. Unfortunately, this model lacks a USB PictBridge port, so you can't print from a PictBridge enabled camera or a flash thumb drive, as you can with the Dell Photo 966.

Paper handling is simple the input and output trays are combined into a single cassette, with the output tray on top. The main input tray can hold up to 125 sheets of plain paper.

Additionally, a dedicated photo paper tray is mounted into the output tray and can hold up to 20 sheets of 4x6 photo paper.

One new feature on this printer is the ability to print directly onto the back of specially coated CDs and DVDs.

The disc feeding mechanism folds down sit to atop the output tray and a disc tray is hidden under the input tray.

The Photosmart C5280 uses a two tank ink system one black and one tricolor tank, though you can swap out the black for an optional tricolor photo tank for six color photo printing. Both black and regular tricolor tanks come in regular and XL (or high capacity) versions. The regular black costs $15 and prints roughly 200 pages, while the XL version costs $30 and is good for about 750 pages.

The regular color cartridge costs $18 for about 170 pages, and the XL version costs $35 for about 520 pages. Using the XL versions for best value, we calculate that black text costs about 4 cents per page and a full color print costs about 10.7 cents per page both numbers are low for an inexpensive inkjet printer. The monthly duty cycle is 3,000 prints.

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