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HP Photosmart D7160 review

A fully featured printer that can print up to A4

It is clear HP means the D7160 should be taken seriously as a photo printer

Our Verdict

Good in theory, but bloated software makes most things difficult


  • Good print quality



  • Over-complicated software

    Slow mono printing

Inside the smart grey and white casing of the HP Photosmart D7160 there are six inkjet cartridges.

In addition to the usual CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), there are light cyan and light magenta to add to the palette of available colours. It is clear HP means the D7160 should be taken seriously as a photo printer.

Once you've installed the usual huge HP software suite and run the online updater you're ready to use the printer. It's an up and over design, so you lay the paper face down in the double-deck input tray and it feeds back to the output tray.

The lowest part of the input tray holds A4 paper, while 6 x 4 postcards sit above in a holder that you load and slide into the printer. It's all so tight for space that the output tray lifts up on a hinge so you can see what you're doing. While this is a solution of sorts, it's hardly elegant.

At first glance, the HP printing software is overly complicated, but then you open the Photosmart Premier software and discover an effective application that does a fine job. Unfortunately, it is rather bloated and is no more effective than more workmanlike examples from the likes of Canon and Epson.

This over-complication extends to printing photos directly from a memory card. The process launches a Wizard which has a number of steps accompanied by so much explanatory text that you have to scroll up and down the 2.4 inch LCD screen to read it all. Either less text or a bigger screen would be preferable.

Direct printing doesn't offer you the opportunity to eradicate red-eye and, if you want to use all of the options that HP offers, you'll need to print from the HP software on your laptop. Print quality is good, but lacks some quality of colour reproduction, and we were surprised to see that a mono print took more than twice as long as a regular colour photo.