The PhotoSmart 8450 has recently been reduced considerably in price, which makes its unusual approach all the more interesting. First, you get memory card slots for all current card formats. Second you get not two but three three-colour ink tanks. Like the 7450, you use a tricolour and a photo cartridge for photo output, but there's also a third black cartridge.

Mono fans will be delighted to learn this contains black, medium grey and light grey inks for producing truly neutral B&W shots. The PhotoSmart 8450 has a wide array of direct printing controls for those people who want to print without a computer, and a small colour LCD display for menu navigation and image preview.

The print time of 6 minutes 11 seconds was average, and our printer seemed to have trouble printing consistently right up to all four edges of the sheet. The colour, contrast and definition were very good, but it tended to over sharpen edges. Rod Lawton