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HP Photosmart D5360 Inkjet Printer

At a Glance
  • HP Photosmart D5360

    PCWorld Rating

    This printer deftly balances photo-printing features with perks for office and school users.

HP's Photosmart D5360 inkjet printer offers several useful photo-printing features along with some advanced printing and paper-handling features. It's an attractive choice for home-office or school users who need a good, all-purpose printer.

The sleek, gray-and-white Photosmart D5360 has two input trays--one for snapshot-size media, the other for wider varieties--so you can easily keep multiple media at hand. The included slots take CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD Card, and xD-Picture Card, but the printer has no PictBridge port for connecting certain cameras or USB thumb drives. The LCD, though on the small side (1.5 inches wide), provides an easy way to view photos from an attached card. HP's bundled Photosmart Essentials software lets you organize and share photos, and print some special layouts.

You can select photos, the number of prints, and a few basic layout options using the navigational buttons underneath the LCD. Pressing the OK button to select a photo makes sense, but using it to increase the number of photos doesn't. Likewise, I understood how to use the Cancel button to deselect a photo, but not to reduce the number of prints. The red-eye-reduction button, on the other hand, does just what it says: When you press it, red-eye flaws disappear from the photo featured on the LCD.

The Photosmart D5360 offers two special printing capabilities. The first is its duplexing mechanism, which allows automatic, two-sided printing. The second is its ability to print on specially coated CD and DVD media. To accommodate the latter, the printer sports a very clever design: You pull down the special input tray from the printer's open front bay, and then pull out a tray insert from its safe nest underneath the printer. As HP does with many of its low-end inkjets and multifunction printers, the company bundles Roxio's Express Labeler 3.2 software on a separate CD for customizing disc labels with photos, distinctive layouts, and special fonts.

Perhaps because the Photosmart D5360 tries to do so much, its performance falls a little short in some ways. Photos printed on special paper looked great, showing smooth textures and rich colors. Photos printed on plain paper appeared grainy; text samples on plain paper looked black and just slightly fuzzy. It produced color images at fairly slow rates from 1 page per minute (ppm) to 2.4 ppm, depending on the type of document, while on black text it managed a decent pace of 7.4 ppm. See the Printers section of our How We Test primer for more information on these tests.

One area where the Photosmart D5360 excels is in ink costs. The standard-size cartridges that come with the printer are pretty pricey, but the high-capacity replacement options offer significant savings, averaging 3 cents per plain-black page and 9 cents for each four-color page. Optional cartridges include gray for printing subtler monochrome images, and a photo-specific one for adding greater color depth.?

The Photosmart D5360 has something for everyone, offering a generous helping of photo features plus duplexing and CD/DVD printing. For many home and school users, this is a capable, well-priced choice.

--Melissa Riofrio

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This printer deftly balances photo-printing features with perks for office and school users.

    Pros

    • Prints on coated CD/DVD media;
    • Economical inks; automatic duplexing

    Cons

    • : LCD is small; lacks PictBridge;
    • Control-panel photo options are minimal
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