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Print Performance

Multifunction printers call the tune
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In text mode, print speed is as usual for HP: very impressive. In draft mode, we achieved 12.5 ppm, and remember that HP draft mode offers a quality almost equal to the normal mode results of the competition.

Progress has been equally remarkable in photo mode. The speeds vary a little depending on the type of paper-the Photosmart 3210 is compatible with micro porous and absorbent paper; the former prolongs the lifetime of the prints and the second increases print speed. If you need speed then you can produce an A4 photo in 90 seconds, a time that you can multiply by three for absorbent paper. A special sensor detects the type of paper by reading the bar codes printed on the reverse of HP's photo stock. With paper from another label that lacks the bar code, print throughput will be slower.

Cost Per Page

The use of separate cartridges enables the Photosmart 3210 to provide an excellent cost per page, which helps offset the slightly higher initial purchase price. The black cartridge is of notably large capacity, and a page of text will cost no more than 1 cent to print. A 4x6" photo will cost 30 cents, which puts the Photosmart 3210 at the same level as the best 4x6" models.

Scanning And Copying

The digitizing component of this unit hasn't been overlooked either. The integrated scanner has a resolution of 4,800 dpi, which makes it one of the most precise on the market. In terms of speed, it is capable of scanning a preview in 8 seconds and a digitization at 300 dpi in 17 seconds. We're still not at the level of Epson's multifunction printers here, but that's still excellent.

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