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

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

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.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?