HP PSC 1610 

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Multi Function Machines are getting smaller and neater, they now occupy a footprint smaller than an inkjet printer took not that long ago. Sometimes as here they are called All In Ones.

Size first, it is 44x28x17cm and weights around 5.5 Kilos. This is a four or six ink unit, you may wonder how it can be four or six ink, in the base configuration it is black and tri colour but for those special images the black can be replaced with another tri colour of different shades to give the six ink offering. When not in use either the extra tri colour or the black has a safe storage space within the unit.

Installation for me took a total of 23 minutes in two parts, the first section where it installs drivers and some basic programs took 7 minutes and the second part (where a message warns up to 35 minutes) took 16 minutes and here it fine tunes and installs OCR software etc. The software provided has become quite a slick suite comprising HP Director, HP Image Viewer and Document Viewer, there are other applets but for the majority everything can be done from the front end and let the software decide what package carries out your request. A full install took 780MB of my hard disc space.

Without the PC turned on – or even connected – you have an excellent colour copier that can even do some size reduction and or enlargement. It can also print images from a camera or camera card via the five slots in the built in card reader that can read 11 different card formats. There are a total of 17 buttons on the right top of the unit along with a two line LCD display for messages.

Once the PC is switched on with the software installed then this really becomes an indispensable piece of kit. You can read the ‘claimed’ print and copy speeds on the HP website (link below). Printing a 200 word document that all printer manufacturers claim as a standard I got a very acceptable 15PPM using the ‘Fast Draft’ mode that comes in near black, a lot of other manufacturers drafts are distinctly grey. There are a total of five print modes but for everything except the most important I would use the ‘Fast Draft’. Printing a real 1500 word document (four pages) comes in at 9PPM.

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For printing quality images up to A4 borderless this is excellent. A A4 borderless print on photo paper takes 6½ minutes and even using the four ink mode looks glorious. You can of course use the software to print a range of sizes together of a single sheet.

Standard copying is probably most easily carried out from the front panel but for more testing projects let the software work things out. Copies looked excellent and were all but identical to the original.

Scanning and OCR are really down to the software and here I was perfectly happy as well, I find HP Director makes all the decisions and can even produce automatic output for email, you select the document name and leave the rest to the software. It even places the output in a blank email for you to fill in the recipient name and add any message.

For anyone who prints both in black and colour, copies and scans a bit as well this sort of product is ideal, best of all it takes up little space and costs not a lot, the HP price is only £88.

Available from HP for £88 incl VAT.

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