Bristling with heavy-duty features that belie its relatively inexpensive asking price, the HP J5780 not only includes a 35-sheet auto document feeder, but also full standalone fax functions, so you can send and receive faxes even when your PC is switched off.

It's equally adept at standalone photocopying, with high-quality output for both mono and colour documents.

A heavy-duty printer

On the downside, it lacks the colour screen and media card reader of HP's equivalent Photosmart printer and can't print direct onto CDs and DVDs.

This isn't too much of a problem considering its office-based leanings, although the fact that you can only do duplex printing manually is more of an annoyance.

Using the standard mono and tri-colour cartridges supplied, ink costs are pretty pricey but drop to more reasonable levels if you buy HP's "XL" high-capacity cartridges, which cost only slightly more and last much longer.

Swap shop

Considering the basic four-ink line-up, photo output is surprisingly good, with rich vibrant colour and great sharpness.

However, if you swap the mono cartridge for the Photo alternative then the ink range is boosted to six inks, giving smoother colour graduations and better skin tones in the process.

Photo print speeds are quite slow, especially if you use the Maximum DPI quality setting, but dropping to "Best" photo mode shaves a couple of minutes off the A4 print time with practically no noticeable drop in quality.

It's really the office-friendly features, however, that set the J5780 apart from the crowd.