Hewlett-Packard Australia Photosmart A526

Hewlett-Packard Australia Photosmart A526
  • Hewlett-Packard Australia Photosmart A526
  • Hewlett-Packard Australia Photosmart A526
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Inexpensive, natural-looking colour palette

Cons

  • Slow, spartan controls

Bottom Line

The Photosmart A526's minimal-options approach to printing photos will be a relief for some, a frustration for others. But it's the slow printing that dampens its value somewhat, even if the photos are worth the wait.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 129.00 (AUD)

HP's low-cost Photosmart A526 aims for simplicity. If you'd rather print than fuss, this is the model for you -- assuming you can tolerate its relaxed printing pace.

This inkjet-based model is fairly compact and sports a handle for toting. The front panel unfolds to make the output tray and to reveal the media slots; this also triggers the input tray to unfold automatically from the back. The four media slots take most major formats; there's also a PictBridge-compatible USB port. The input tray takes both 4x6in photo stock and 4x12in panoramic stock. The tricolour ink cartridge loads easily into a lidded bay on the right side.

The control panel is minimal but usable. The tilted, 2.4in LCD is adequately sized for viewing images and navigating menus. Among the few buttons is one for reducing red-eye. A large Print button is flanked by left- and right-arrow buttons; you press it to confirm your settings. A button labelled 'OK', though, would make the printer easier to use -- we find it unintuitive to confirm settings by pressing Print. (We also prefer word labels over icons any day.)

The Photosmart A526's menus offer plenty of maintenance and how-to content, but just a handful of printing options. Photo Fix automatically tries to improve the sharpness, lighting, and colour quality of a printed photo; you can disable it. You can also select a level of print quality, or bordered/borderless printing. Want more? Install the printer on your PC so you can use HP's Photosmart Essentials software (or another program) to fine-tune an image before printing it. You can also use the Photosmart A526 to transfer photos from a memory card to your PC.

Photos we printed on the A526 looked very good overall. Flesh tones tended to look orangey, but other images looked natural. The larger issue was speed, or the lack thereof: prints took well over a minute to emerge. If you buy the black cartridge for $35 pack with enough ink and paper for 120 4x6in prints, the cost per page is a tolerable 29 cents.

Installing the printer on a PC takes a little while, because it loads a good dollop of software. HP's Solution Center interface centralises all the tools and applications, including a thorough on-screen user guide. The Photosmart's other documentation -- a setup poster and a printed "Basics" guide -- are clearly written and cover the primary usage issues.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?