The HP PhotoSmart C4680 is a compact and stylish photo printer that also manages to cram an A4 scanner into its design.
The printer is made from glossy black plastic that matches the current crop of HP laptops.
The front of the printer consists of a Power button, alongside two memory card slots covering SD, xD Card, MMC, as well as Sony Memory Stick/Duo formats. All other controls are handled through a small but perfectly practical 1.5-inch LCD screen.
All tasks are handled from the front of the printer, so the printer tray also doubles as the paper feed and pulling down the flap above it exposes the printer cartridges. This means you can store the printer in a confined space, only having to worry when you need to use the scanner.
The scanner handles scans up to 1200dpi (dots per inch) in size and, while it's a relatively quick scanner, quality is variable, so you may find yourself spending extra time colour-balancing photos.
This is a two cartridge printer – one for black and a tri-colour pack of cyan, magenta and yellow – and installing the cartridges is simply a case of following the onscreen instructions.
With just a single USB port on the back, along with power input, this is a quick and easy printer to set up and start using. Printing is quick and relatively quiet.
We found our test shots printed in less than one minute each at the best print quality of 4800 x 1200dpi (dots per inch). Colours proved acceptable, but blacks didn't seem as sharp as on the Epson printer, with a heavy bias towards magenta.
You'll find that ink cartridges are comparable to the other full-sized printers here, so expect to pay between £12 and £15 (inc. VAT) for each cartridge.
The HP PhotoSmart C4680 is a very compact and easy-to-use printer that will mostly appeal to those on a budget looking for versatility rather than true colour reproduction.
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