HP Photosmart 7520 review

Photo-orientated multifunction printer

HP Photosmart 7520 review
The HP Photosmart 7520 prints text as well as an Officejet

Print quality is little short of stellar. Text printing is clear and solid, with well defined characters and very little bleed. Maybe it's not quite as strikingly vivid as a Canon or an HP Officejet, but it's so close to perfect this hardly matters. Text remains readable even at very low point sizes too.

As well as being clear, text printing is also speedy. Our 20-page test document was delivered in a shade under two minutes, which isn't much slower than you'd expect from a HP Officejet. There wasn't a hint of smudging or streaking either.

Traditionally it's office printers that excel at text printing, but this photo-orientated model puts in a very credible performance. This is yet more evidence that the distinction between HP's Officejet and Photosmart range is becoming redundant.

HP Photosmart 7520 review

Printing our photo test image on A4 (US letter) sized photo paper at the highest quality setting gave us lab-quality results. With near-perfect skin tones and vibrant, vivid colours, the standard of the printout really shone through. The greyscale ramp was almost faultless, with no speckling, no green tinge and only the barest hint of banding.

Speed-wise, the maximum dpi, A4 photo paper printing took just over six minutes to print out; unremarkable, but entirely acceptable.

Printing the same test image onto plain paper gave very good if slightly imperfect results. Although colours were once again consistent and well realised, there was a little banding evident.

HP Photosmart 7520 review

Yet the imperfections were very small, and, when printing on plain paper at the default setting, inevitable. No printer's output is blemish-free in this respect, and the HP Photosmart 7250 stands up well against its rivals.

As you'd expect for a modern HP inkjet printer, the HP Photosmart 7250 has auto Duplex - you can print on both sides of the paper without turning the first printout over and putting it back in the paper tray.

Once more the quality is extremely good, with our test sheet reproduced with clear text and solid, consistent colours. There was very little speckling, though using standard 80gsm paper, there was inevitably a little bleed-through.

HP Photosmart 7520 review

It performed admirably as a scanner too, and also did a fine job of photocopying a magazine cover. There was a little banding in areas of strong, solid colours, but again, this is inevitable, and the HP Photosmart 7520's photocopying compares very well to its rivals.

For mobile printing, the Photosmart 7520 is AirPrint-compatible for printing directly from iOS devices that are on the same network.

HP ePrint enables you to print from any web-enabled computer, tablet or smartphone by sending an email to your printer's unique address, and wireless direct printing enables you to connect and print wirelessly without going through your home network. It's Google Cloud Print capable too.

HP Photosmart 7520 review

Finally, the printer can scan to email, memory cards and USB flash drives as well as directly to your computer, and also print from USB storage and most modern memory card formats.

You can also download various print apps, giving instant access to quick forms, calendars, crosswords, colouring in for the kids and more.