PHOTOSMART PLUS PERFORMANCE
Setting up the Photosmart Plus
HP products are usually easy to install and I found the Photosmart Plus to be no exception. There is a brief manual for verifying contents, instructions for the CD guided printer setup, an overview on navigating the TouchSmart control panel, trouble shooting, and warranty information.
HP recommends using the CD’s guided printer setup before performing any of the necessary operations to install the Photosmart Plus. The CD will instruct install the drivers and chosen software then run through a series of animations on installing the ink, loading paper, etc.
If you choose to set up the Photosmart Plus over a wireless network but do not have a one touch router, you will need the provided USB cable to carry out the wireless connection installation.
Ease of use
I could stand for the 2.36 inch LCD to be a tad bigger since it is a touch screen; I think it would be easy to hit the wrong option, especially since the touch screen is very responsive. But I felt like the menus were easy to navigate thanks to the hard copy manual with an explanation of each icon. I felt like some of the icons were more difficult to identify than others but HP explains them all.
I like the HP Solution Center because it bundles all the software, settings, help menus, and status updates into one easy to use menu. My favorite function in the Solution Center was the Transfer Images option. Users can transfer all images on a memory card, USB flash drive or digital camera (using PictBridge) directly to their PC instead of printing each one. I felt like this could be especially helpful for users with great editing programs on their PC’s.
There is no separate photo editing program but HP offers updates to the Windows Live Photo Gallery and HP Print Projects. They also include their Smart Web printing software for erasing annoying ads and unwanted material from web print outs.
As always, HP includes the green Eco-Tips icon on the Solution Center front page; the tips are all focused on using the Photosmart Plus with the environmental impact in mind.
The scanner was quick and responsive but I did notice that when you scanned an image or document direct from the Photosmart Plus to your PC, the image is automatically saved in the My Scans folder without giving the user a chance to edit it. However, if you scan a document using the scan software on your PC, then users have a chance to edit the scanned document before it is saved to My Scans.
I was also disappointed that Photosmart Plus did not read the advanced HP Photo paper I had loaded into the main tray. The Plus printed a document received from my word processor on photo paper even though I had it set up to be printed on plain paper. It would have been nice if the printer could have recognized the difference between the papers.