HP Deskjet 460wbt
At a Glance
HP Deskjet 460wbt
This portable printer is nicely designed and easy to use, but somewhat slow.
A travel printer like HP's Deskjet 460wbt has to be small, yet capable. This model meets most of the requirements, but its pedestrian print speeds might frustrate members of the frequent-flier set.
The Deskjet 460wbt's has a thoughtfully pared-down design that includes a battery pack and a Bluetooth card (the otherwise identical Deskjet 460wf comes with a 802.11g Wi-Fi card in place of the Bluetooth card). The top cover lifts up to serve as an adequate 50-sheet input tray. The paper width-adjustment slider nestles deeply in the input area, but that's a minor quibble in a portable printer. A token output tray--nothing more than a narrow flap, really--flips out from the bottom front.
The Deskjet 460wbt's completely pictorial setup sheet employs a multitude of arrows to stand in for words, and the result is often confusing--is the user supposed to look or move in the direction indicated? All of the other documentation--including a useful guide to printing wirelessly--is exemplary, however.
The Deskjet 460wbt's black and tricolor cartridges (it has one of each) printed smooth, black text on plain paper. Color and grayscale photographs looked slightly grainy on plain paper, but more natural on glossy paper. On both types of media we noticed some splotchiness in densely colored areas, as if the ink hadn't soaked in completely.
The Deskjet 460wbt's top tested speed of 6.3 pages per minute for plain text was about average for an inkjet printer, as were its times for printing various graphics. It choked on color photos, needing nearly 2 minutes to print a smallish, high-resolution image.
Travelers value portability but they also need efficiency. Though the Deskjet 460wbt packs the essentials into a small package, it's slower than it should be.