HP Photosmart C4280 

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This All In One product is small and when closed will probably be inoffensive enough to get past the lady of the houses ‘lounge patrol’.

HP Photosmart C4280 all-in-one printer

The HP Photosmart 4280 is cream with a grey lid and input tray. This is a four ink (two cartridge) solution. The dimensions are 42x26x16cm when closed the front folds down to form the paper input tray and this adds 15cm to the 26cm depth when A4 paper is stored in it (face down) the printed pages are delivered face up just above this.

There are nine buttons in a row on the left edge and a small 3x2.5cm LCD screen is on the front edge, this however is fixed so you need to conform to it, however it is slightly tilted down at the front and is fine from most angles.

On the front of the unit still on the left of the drop down paper storage tray are four card slots so it can be used to print photos direct. When connected to a PC these show as a (single) drive letter in My Computer, do not upset it by inserting more than one card in the four slots at a time.

Doing my standard printing tests in 'fast draft' mode you get good clear black printing, the ubiquitous 200 word document prints at 20PPM while a more normal 1500 word document spread over four pages prints at 15PPM.

Printing A4 borderless pages using Windows Printer and Fax Viewer or HP Photosmart Essentials came out at around the same time, printing in best mode on photo paper at around 4 minutes this is with both a single image and four images on an A4 sheet. Not that fast but the quality of both was good. I am somewhat surprised that the more full featured Photosmart Premier was not included.

You can of course copy both black and colour pages while the PC is off or even disconnected. Here I use the preset default settings, a black copy took around 40 seconds and a colour one around a minute. Remember my timings are from pressing the copy button to print a single copy.

Scanning from the flatbed is as easy but of course you do need the PC to be connected and switched on, you can scan from the unit but providing it is switched on it is probably easier to insert the page in the flatbed and then do everything from the PC.

The optical scanning resolution is 1200DPI, the hardware scanning resolution is 1200x2400DPI and by enhancement it is possible up to 19200DPI.

Print quality was excellent - even in draft mode - and I was happy with everything I scanned or copied. Print speeds were quite near what was claimed, the scan speed for documents was slow but accurate and some colour documents looked as good as the original. If you give a good original the scanned output will be good, OCR of a text page will also be good providing it is not folded or creased, if it is you may need to make a few changes.

Why buy an inkjet printer when a unit like this is almost the same size and not that much more expensive than even a basic printer and you then have the ability to print direct from camera cards, to copy that document and even to scan items to the PC? For those copies a basic interface on the unit makes everything a single button press.

This is sold by HP at the bargain price of £79 on their site, doing my Internet searches found it at a best price of £39.99 including shipping from the first link below.

The HP PhotoSmart C4280 is available for $91.98 including shipping from Amazon on the following link :

The HP PhotoSmart C4280 is available for €71,30 including shipping from Amazon on the following link :

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What our readers said!


Comment by JULIA, Sep 13, 2011 21:54

I've had nothing but trouble with this printer from day 1. Issues ranging from it stating the USB device isn't connected when scanning, to reinstalling itself; both of these problems seem to occur if I haven't used the printer for a while. Tonight it is stating it can't detect the ink cartridges that it was quite happy with when I installed them a few weeks ago. Despite me removing them and reinstalling them I have had no success. I would not recommend this printer to my worst enemy and I'll be shopping for a new one tomorrow.

Comment by Vic, Oct 7, 2009 11:25

bought my printer recently and although it will print text ok I find that when printing photos on glossy paper the colours smear even after a couple of weeks! I have tried several makes of paper but stil not right!

Comment by Julia, Sep 13, 2009 13:23

Lots of problems printing back and white on the photosmart c4280 from Macbook or PC running Microsoft. No settings for colour changes available, so always uses colour ink to print black which is never pure black, very annoying. Have to save all graphs a balc and white manually, grayscale still prints as colour. Also ink cardridges too expensive and block easily if not used or cleaned regularly. Cannot recommend. Had much better experience with other HP printers but not with this model :-(

Comment by yttooq, Jul 15, 2009 18:10

Junk, pure and simple.  Has only scanned once since I bought it - all other attempts get an error message that USB is not connected.  But, I can print, so the USB is obviously connected.  Reinstalled the CD then tried downloading software from their site.  No luck.  Called tech support - wasted a half hour - ended without fixing the problem but with them recommending other HP printers that I could buy.  Huh??  

Comment by Megan, Mar 17, 2009 13:50

I've had problems with this thing since we bought it.  It's far more trouble then it's worth, honestly.  It just randomly won't print.  For no apparent reason, just won't print.  Sometimes, if it does print, the colors are off.  Other times, even after canceling a print, it will suddenly start printing 12 copies (when all I wanted was 1).  I don't know what the deal is, but I'm ready to throw it out the window!  

Comment by Sar, Nov 9, 2008 19:41

I havent used my C4280 very much but it hasn't printed black ink since the initial printer test page. It couldn't possibly have run out yet. Has anyone found a solution to this ?

Comment by Nan, Jul 21, 2008 0:35

My question on this printer is if it isn't connected to a printer I can print photos from it but can't change the print quality.  Is it possible to change the print quality to get faster pics when used for work and not concerned with having the very best quality?  

Comment by al, June 27, 2008 21:37

its a good quality all in one printer scanner.<br>but is there a way to make it wireless?

Comment by Barry, Apr 23, 2008 21:53

I bought the 4280 and within half a hour including deboxing time etc had printed off a picture from my camera.  
Now having the product for a week i dont use anywhere near the maximum pixels on my camera and get very clear prints.
i really cant recommend this product enough.

Comment by Jean, Apr 2, 2008 9:20

Wonderful printer, scanner copier. It works with both Apple Mac and PC with Ubuntu Linux (drivers downloaded from HP website). No problems at all in more than 4 months of use.

Comment by em, Jan 20, 2008 19:40

this printer is a mess. worked for 2 months and now prints images but no text - a waste of time and money

Comment by Lawrence Kraft, Jan 14, 2008 15:12

I purchased the HP4280 when it was bundled with Apples iMac at my local retailer, The set-up and printing of the HP was easy but you have to make sure that the installing  ink cartridges must go in its correct slot, my difficulties for this printer was that the HP software was not compatible to the mac 10.5 OX Leopard system and I could not scan or use the OCR function. all was resolved when I contacted HP and downloaded the updated printing software.

Comment by malory, Dec 20, 2007 20:24

I bought toe c4280 last night. at first i had problems with the ink cartridges not being recognized but i managed to fix it by accident. but now, it won't print. it will scan and copy but it won't print documents.

Comment by Renee, Dec 8, 2007 4:26

Well I just got a 4280 tonight and so far so good. I sure hope I don't have printing problems that is why I replaced my 1610.
I had a 1610 which was good for what I do; I make a lot of cards and do spreadsheets. I had it for about a year decided to go to walgreens and have the color cartridge refilled and it has not printed since it printed out a black ink only test sheet. I returned the refill and got a brand new color cartridge and it still did not work. I will not try refills again. So I do hope that this one works for a while I have made a card it it turned out great.

Comment by Christine, Dec 5, 2007 23:31

I have a problem with the blank cartridge too.  It goes through the printing process but nothing is on the page.  I first thought it was that the sample cartridge that came with it had a problem.  I changed it out and it worked again.  Then I didn't use it for about a month and now it does the same thing.  New black cartridge - no printing.  

Comment by Patricia, Nov 10, 2007 19:52

Hi Has anyone else had problems installing the ink cartridge? My new Photosmart C4280 won't work because it won't recognise that cartidges are present and keeps ejecting the black ink cartridge. I do hear a click when I push them in but the right doesn't insert properly. Not sure whether to exchange mine for another the same or if it's a common problem. Thanks.

Comment by Carolyn, Oct 17, 2007 1:48

I appreciate your information about the HP 4280.  Why can't I get mine to print a full page.  I have selected large paper in preferences, full size 8  10 paper in printer set-up, it shows a full page in the print section but not in preview, and I checked resized to fit showing the whole page full on the printer,  Yet, I get a little picture in the upper left hand corner. I have read and read about this problem and nothing fixes it, do you have an idea?????

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