HP Photosmart 375
The Photosmart 375 is one of the newest arrivals on 4"x6" printer market. HP has taken advantage of its experience creating the 375's predecessors, and made a new unit that combines a small footprint with efficient operation.
Design And Ergonomics
The basic version of the Photosmart 375 weighs only 2.4 lb (1.1 kg,) which makes it one of the most compact models - only the Canon Selphy CP500 is trimmer. Yet this is an inkjet and not a thermal sublimation printer. HP deserves credit for managing to combine everything you'd expect from a product in this category into this small a package.
First of all, in the connectivity department, nothing is missing. There are slots compatible with all the memory cards on the market, along with PictBridge and USB interfaces for the PC. You can also add an optional Bluetooth interface and a battery for standalone operation.
Despite all that, what really sets the Photosmart 375 apart is its LCD display. It's tiltable to give you the best possible viewing angle, and serves both for navigation in the menus and for previewing your photos. Several convenient retouching functions are also built in, such as red-eye correction and adding a specific frame to your shots. You can easily select the photos to be printed or print thumbnail sheets.
The only problem is that installing the drivers - a habitual bother with HP - takes close to 30 minutes, regardless of your computer configuration. But fortunately, your patience will be rewarded - the driver and the ImageZone software will let you make the most of the many possibilities this printer offers.
Since HP's new Vivera inks weren't available yet at the time of our tests, we used the Photosmart 375 with the previous generation of inks. Yet the print quality was still very good. While not quite at the level of the Epson PictureMate, the colors were brilliant - sometimes even a little too much so, since lighter shades had a slight tendency to be too light. On the other hand, black-and-white prints were disappointing - the results were pale-looking. However, a specific cartridge dedicated to black-and-white printing is available for use in place of the color cartridge.
While not excellent, the Photosmart 375's printing time put it in a good position compared to the other inkjet models. For once, HP doesn't lag behind in terms of speed, as has been the case with the latest generations of A4 printers from this manufacturer.
Cost Per Print
The HP 344 cartridge has very long life, and HP offers a pack containing no less than 130 sheets. It's true that the purchase price of the pack, at $45, is one of the highest, but in terms of cost per print that works out to 35 cents per photo, which compares well with the competition.
The Photosmart 375 is a success in practically every department. It's user-friendly, offers numerous functions, and boasts a reasonable cost per page. Its only weakness is a slight quality shortfall, but that will most probably be improved with the arrival of the Vivera generation of cartridges.