No document feeder; mediocre photo prints
It offers a few tricks to impress iGadget owners, but HP’s Photosmart 6510 forgoes a lot in return.
The Photosmart 6510 is a colour inkjet printer, copier and scanner but lacks a built-in fax machine. Small/ home office users will appreciate automatic two-sided printing and options such as scan to email, PDF or memory card.
They will, however, lament the lack of a document feeder and the small paper tray, which holds only 80 A4 sheets and 20 sheets of 6 x 4in photo paper with no support for printing on CDs.
The use of individual ink cartridges – cyan, magenta, yellow and black – keeps down running costs compared to combination cartridges, but the lack of the extra inks found in decent photo printers, such as extra photo blacks, is disappointing.
Prints from the 6510 are flat and murky compared to those from our five-colour Canon MP640, although admittedly it would be fairer to pit the Canon against HP’s $249 five-colour Photosmart 7510.
We still deducted an extra half star from the 6510 for print quality, because even shots taken on a smartphone look mediocre and we’d happily spend a little more money for far better prints.
On the front of the 6510 you’ll find a generous 3.4in colour touchscreen, which lets you preview images from the combination SD/MMC/Memory Stick Duo slot.
Unfortunately, the printer is missing a USB host port with PictBridge support, plus it lacks Bluetooth. Once again this will disappoint some photographers.
iGadget owners will be most interested in the 6510’s web features, but might be surprised to discover it lacks an Ethernet port and only offers USB or Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n at 2.4GHz). This will frustrate those looking to produce larger prints, which are slow over Wi-Fi, but remember this isn’t a great photo printer anyway.
Setting up the Photosmart 6510 is fairly straightforward and includes configuring remote printing. The 6510 is AirPrint-compatible, so when you’re connected to your home network you can print directly from Mail, Photos and Mobile Safari plus a range of third-party iOS apps.
You can also print to the 6510 when you’re away from home thanks to HP ePrint, which allocates the printer a unique email address so you can print from practically any device. This includes attachments such as Word, PowerPoint, PDF and a range of image formats. HP ePrint also supports Google Cloud Print, letting you print via the internet from a wide range of apps and devices.
The beauty of these services is that they work over 3G, not just Wi-Fi, and they extend beyond the Apple ecosystem to cater for technologically blended households. You’ll also find ePrint apps which let you scan directly to iOS devices.
The 6510’s other killer feature is access to HP’s new library of ePrint apps. Kids can browse Disney, Nickelodeon and DreamWorks content via the touchscreen and print activity sheets directly from the web. Grownups might opt for a crossword or Sudoku.
You can even configure apps to automatically print a new crossword at the same time every day, or a newsletter comprised of articles from the ABC or your favourite blogs. HP Quick Forms is another handy app, letting you store templates and easily print them without the need to fire up your computer.
You’ll find around 40 apps to choose from and HP has expansion plans, boosted by the fact that WebOS has been granted a stay of execution.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
HP’s Photosmart 6510 would be a welcome addition to homes where smartphones and tablets are the primary computing devices and print quality is not a priority. Home office users will be disappointed by the lack of advanced features and even amateur photographers should look for better photo prints.