HP has recruited Fifth Gear presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson to big up its printer range. The petite Five presenter was wheeled into the Tech.co.uk office this morning where we gave her a polite grilling over coffee.
After initial discussions about our respective surnames ("you've got the most amazing surname/mine doesn't rhyme with anything") we asked her the most pertinent question: why the hell has HP got her to test its printers?
"You've got your cynical heads on," she said.
"They approached me and said would I fancy doing it, because if I did cars every single day of my life...well, it's nice to have variety. Also, I'm just a normal human being, I use a printer, so I think that's another reason why they chose me!
"I own a Photosmart 2575 which I bought a long time before I did this - which was quite fortuitous!"
When we asked if there were any similarities to testing cars she said there certainly was. "You're comparing things, such as value for money. HP thought I was a good person to test them out because I've been comparison testing cars since I was 20 or whatever. I understand what comparison is all about.
"I did the tests and then gave the results accordingly... it was lucky for HP that they came out on top!"
Butler-Henderson was given HP, Canon and Lexmark printers to test comparatively, which she admits took her a whole day in the comfort of her London flat. "There was packaging everywhere...I had a grown-up to help set them up."
She called the Lexmark "shoddy" after they had to buy another from PC World in Wandsworth - the original test model didn't work. She referred to the company's new adverts which plug improved support, saying: "it needs it".
Butler-Henderson said the Canon was somewhat more impressive, but "dropped off" before the HP which gave "better" prints.
Butler-Henderson also briefly discussed the new series of FifthGear which begins showing this Monday at 8pm for 10 weeks. When asked what she could tell us about the new series, she said that the most exciting thing she does is to attempt to drive at over 200mph. She also said she "loves" rival BBC show Top Gear .
"The Big Printer Roadtest" results and a video of her doing the tests are available on the HP website. But if it's actually her flat that's shown in the video, Five must be making more money that we thought...
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