I bought this Hewlett Packard Photosmart C4280 two or three years ago. I needed a good quality printer to print my photos off.
The printer is very big being larger than my laptop which I print off. I have just measured it as 41cm by 27cm for the base and it is about 16cm tall.
The colours of the printer are pale greys. I like the colour and look because it goes with any colours and wouldn't look out of place in most rooms.
The printer has a long cream wire which connects to the computer and a black wire with the plug to connect to the electric. Unlike most wires, they are longer than I need them to be so they are usually in the way on my floor. At least I can put the printer where I want and not be restricted to the small area most wires allow.
The printer is really easy to set up. After the two wires are in place you just install the HP software cd, which is provided, and you can print straight away.
As I use a laptop I often want it to be taken with me, as they were made for, but I can't carry the printer with me. I have no choice but to unconnect the printer. As a result of this, when I want to print something it makes me reinstall the software each time. This is really annoying as I just want to print something quick and it can take an hour.
When I do print off my laptop it prints to a good quality. The printer fits A4 size paper and smaller. It will print on coloured paper, photo paper and envelopes as well. If printing on any of the previously mentioned you have to remember to put them in the right way. I have accidentally printed on the wrong side before. There is an image inside the paper area to show which is the right and wrong way.
The paper is easy to insert and take out when finished. The front of the printer opens and closes when paper isn't inside and this covers the inside and has a bit of plastic that comes out to stop printed paper flying to the floor. If the plastic isn't out and I leave my printer to print when I come back the floor is covered in paper as it spits it out everywhere.
The ink drys quickly on the paper so it doesn't matter if the printed sheets are on top of each other. They rarely smudge.
The printer only takes a few seconds to print a sheet of writing but can take a little longer if it is a full size photo. It can print multiple sheets one after another. I have printed up to fifty and when it runs out of paper it will tell you on the small screen, the same as if it is running low on ink.
The ink is easy to insert by opening the front of the printer and anyone could do it. I used to get someone else to put the ink in but with the easiness of this printer, there's no need. I always use the HP tricolour 351 and HP black 350.
The scanner is on the top of the printer and can scan papers that are A4 size. It tells you on the scanner where to place the paper and when you close the lid you can choose on the screen whether you want to scan, copy in colour or copy in black and white. When scanning it will automatically link to the computer, which has to be on, and will save the scan as a photo. It always asks on the computer whether you have another item to scan or not before it saves the scan.
If you choose copy it will print the scanned paper straight away. I usually choose to copy rather than scan. Usually I scan things I want to throw away or not keep to save space and copy recipes or pages of a book for family or friends. Scanning and copying takes a little longer than printing but produces results just as good quality.
The last part of this all in one printer is the ability to print photos straight from a camera card. The card goes into the front in the right slot and it shows the picture on the small screen. The screen has three buttons next to it, one up button, one down button and one select button. These are used to browse through your photos and then select to print straight away. The other buttons above allow you to choose whether you want a white border, full page or fit to size photo. This is a quick and easy way to print photos as you don't need to install the camera software or wait for all of the photos to be installed before you can print. I have used it to print photos quickly before going to work and as it's so quick I have the time. The cards that fit in are XD, MS/DUO, SD. MMC and CF. I have no idea what any of those stand for but I always use a SD card.
This is an excellent printer and scanner for home use. It is quick and easy to use and prints off at a fantastic quality. I only wish it was smaller.
I have previously heard this printer get bad reviews, and I cannot understand why. I picked this up for £80 around 3 years ago, and it has always served its purpose very well!
The main appeal of this printer for many is that it is an all-in-one. This means that you can print, scan and photocopy documents and photographs, all of which I do frequently. None of the features are there for the sake of it, you really will find use for them and wish you'd had an all-in-one before!
The ink-jet printing quality is excellent (up to 1200 dpi for mono, or 4800x1200 dpi for colour), and there are various settings to improve or reduce it to how you like. This allows you to save ink and print more efficiently. The printer prints between 23-30 pages per minute, which is a fairly fast print speed, and this works the same when photocopying a document.
Scanning is of a similar standard. The printer offers an optical resolution of 1200x2400 dpi, meaning the scan quality is high. I often find that the scanning process is quite slow, as the software you install seems to make the process harder than it should be. There is a 'Scan' button on the printer though, so you can press this to do a quick scan.
Another fairly useful feature on this printer is the 1.5" display. This allows you to view photos from the memory card that you have inserted into the printer (Memory Stick, CF, SD, MMC, xD, MSD) and make a quick print, to save you even loading up your computer. I have found this feature useful at times, and those who print a lot of photographs will really appreciate it.
Overall, this really is a great printer. It is suitable for basic document printing, yet also offers a high enough quality to use for printing photographs etc; and the memory card sockets make this even easier than it normally is. The scanner and photocopier are extremely useful that many tend to take for granted, and you will not go back to a standard printer after owning an all-in-one.
In principal this printer has served me very well over the years. I generally find that the software that comes with such items is useless, but changed my mind with respect to this. The software is great for scanning and editing. The printing, obviously the most important thing, is amazing, and prints over 30 pages per minute. The quality is sometimes substituted for such fast printing, but for printing word documents, the low quality fast printing is fantastic. The photocopying is equally great. I've never had a problem with aligning pages or anything else. I use scanning very little, however whenever I have it has worked very well. Of course it is a great advantage to have 3 in 1 to save space in your office, which has been the case for me. I had one little slip up with the h.p. which managed to damage a driver on my computer, but I think that was an external virus as opposed to the printer itself.
I Purchased the C4280 approximately 12 Months ago for £55. My reason for purchase was as a business user, and as a result this has seen a very high volume of scanning and printing over the last year. I have always been a fan of HP and thankfully this only added to my good perception of the company.
Although the unit has quick buttons for scanning/copying on top of the unit, I have always used the PC software package as it gives you a lot more control over the final result of your scans/copies.
Print quality and speed are certainly up to my standards and can be easily managed for photo printing or fast draft documents. I have never had problems with ink marking the paper, paper jams, or cartridge malfunctions (Although I have always used genuine HP cartridges). I have to say I have only used it for a handful of high quality photo prints, and for me the results were good but not fantastic.
Scanner is fairly quick with good quality results. HP scanning software allows easy management when scanning multi-page documents, giving you a 'scan-next' or 'done' option and can put your file in multiple common formats.
Copy facility is not something I generally use, but when I have it does a good job.
Overall the C4280 is very well made, easy to use, and has caused me very little trouble considering the high volume of use it has endured! Printing/scanning quality is perfect for my use, but may not be suitable for those expecting very high quality results.
The ink management software seems to promote changing your cartridge well before it actually runs out, for example I can run my black ink for the same length of time on 5-0% as it took to decrease from 100-5%. Fortunately it does not force you to actually change the cartridge, so I just wait for the prints to fade before I opt to change.
Sometimes whilst scanning multi-page documents the scanner has been known to crash, with only a switch off at the plug available as a solution. This, although annoying, is rare, and fortunately you are generally able to recover the point at which you left off.
The HP software has caused a slight bug within my computer where it tries to recover office documents when I close then. This apparently is a rare but as yet unsolvable problem triggered only when this printer is set as my default printer.
I bought my HP unit from comet about 8 weeks ago. I reserved it on line, and got a £5.00 discount, so it only ending up costing 39.99.
However, being a total idiot, i didn't realise there were cartridges included, so went and bought a colour and black and white with it. Fortunately, comet were doing a buy one get one half price, but because I always buy redone cartridges normally, was pretty expensive.
My old printer had packed up, but I knew I wanted one that would scan, copy, and print, but also wanted to be able to print pictures, as otherwise all my pics just sit on the computer, and thats not the same as having them in an album.
I got it home, and unpacked, and attached it all quite painlessly, but as previous noted, no cable, but luckily had my old one. I could however see this could be very annoying, if you got home and didn't have one.
Installation was ok, but took a while (with windows XP) but I think thats more because my computer is blinky, rather than the installation process.
I do agree it is quite bulky, but similar size to my previous one.
It works just fine. Photo quality is OK if not stunning, but it does the job, and its so easy just to load the card in and choose what pics you want rather than going through the computer,> I find this the best bit. Also gave free picture paper.
Otherwise, no gripes or problems so far.
Generally very satified, esp for the price.
Purchased from PC World, good price. Setup simple, results good.Lack of cable not good sales point since it results in another journey. Basic guide slightly mystyfying, would like a comprehensive guide possibly on line. Otherwise no complaints.
This HP Photosmart C4280 is a Multifunction device (MFD) which can print, scan and copy documents. In the past MFDs were a compromise unit designed for users who want several functions from one unit. The only downside of these combined units is the poor quality of one aspect of the unit and the bulky size. With progress in technology you would hope the later MFDs would come down in price and size, whilst improving quality. The question is this, does the C4280 produce good quality prints, scans and copies for a small size and smaller price?
I found this MFD on offer in November 2007 for £53.99. This was not bad as the pre-sale price was £78.99, it was reduced by £19 and then an additional 10% saving was thrown in when I bought it in a store after reserving it online. This was an even bigger bargain when I saw it in a High Street store a week later for a shade under a crisp one hundred pound notes and even now in February 2008 it is still sitting around the £50 to £60 mark.
In the box there was lots of stuff, but I'll skip to the interesting items such as the sample of HP photo paper with the small print warning, 'May contain products from Switzerland'! Also there was a HP installation CD for Windoze 2000, XP and Vista or Mac OS, a HP black cartridge HP350, a HP Colour cartridge HP351, a manual and some easy set up information. The power cable & AC adapter were included and at the bottom was the printer. One thing to note from the items above is NO USB CABLE! This could be a bit of a pain if this was for a new system set up, but as I was replacing a printer and a scanner I had the choice of two existing USB cables so it was not a problem for me.
Once on the desk the MFD took up a space larger than my old printer and smaller than the old flatbed scanner. Its dimensions are approximately: 43cm(17") wide, 17cm(6 1/2") high or 41cm(16") with the lid open, 27cm(11") deep, and it weighs in at around 5kg (11 lb). Start up instructions are in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic, but the manual user guide is in English only. Set up was really easy and the start up guide has pretty pictures for anyone to follow. In all it took me less than ten minutes to get it on the desk and powered up.
For installation on my PC I selected the EASY install, but instantly ran into difficulties. The problem I had here was on my main PC was the installation failed due to the printer spooler programme not running on my OS. I'm not sure if the installation kicked it offline or the problem was already there, but suddenly I had no printer spooler even for my old printer. I fiddled with the OS for a while trying to 'restore' my settings, but nothing would work. So whilst the MicroSerf website suggested a complete Windoze XP reinstallation I switched off the home PC and turned to my work laptop. Could I bugger this up as well?
On the laptop things were progressing well, the installation software was at step 4 of 9 and asked me to plug in the C4280 then turn it on. Here the installation went and hung itself as the installation programme could not find the set-up information on it's own HP supplied CD disc. Thinking that the unit had come with the wrong installation drivers I went and searched on the HP website. Here I was able to find the most recent drivers, which were exactly the same as the ones on the CD supplied. Also at 150Mb the download would have taken a long time even with my 1Mb Broadband connection. For the second time I cancelled an installation and went for expert help.
My work's IT department is filled with the usual computer-know-it-all's, but they have given me some useful pointers in the past. The suggestion here was that instead of the easy installation I should go 'CUSTOM' and cut out the chaff. I was advised not to install the 'HP Update' programme as it is normally slow and not very good, then deselect anything that I thought was of little use. So I deselected the following programmes 'HP Customer Participation', 'Shop for HP Supplies', 'HP Solution Center' and 'HP Smart Web Printing'. This left me with the standard drivers and the HP Photosmart Essential 2.01 editing suite. So when I started again on the laptop again I managed to do a complete installation by using the CUSTOM install function and installing as detailed above. The installation when it did fire up took around ten minutes to a quarter of an hour to complete. Finally I could print something.
The test page came out bright and clear with good black lettering and clear colour graphics, which was a better quality than my now redundant printer. As this MFD has some memory card slots for XD, SD, MMC, MS/Duo and CF cards on the front I was able to place in my camera's XD card to the relevant slot. The colour LCD screen at the front in not adjustable so you have to move your head around to see which photo you are selecting, it isn't bad, but any light at the wrong angle will distract your vision of this small colour LCD. Using the buttons on the top to control quality and quantity, I was able to print a 6x5 photo without referring to the manual once. Unfortunately the photo quality was quite poor and I was disappointed with this aspect of the printer initially. Although I had not bought it as a photo printer it does have the word 'photo' in the title leading me to believe that this would be it's strong point. It wasn't even close, however there is a small trick here that I hadn't seen yet.
The printer side of the unit has space for two cartridges, Black and Coloured, however there are five cartridges that you can purchase for the unit. Two are black and two are coloured. The fifth cartridge is called the 'Photo' cartridge, this replaces the black cartridge in the black ink slot, but this special photo cartridge has three colours, Black, Light Blue and Light Red. Apparently this is for more realistic skin tones when printing photos. I only recently purchased this cartridge and tried it out and the results are better for photos. The only problem I have here is why is the hell is this cartridge not supplied as the standard cartridge? The answer can be found when printing graphic documents as the black text is very dark grey and looks smudged. In short an average photo printer although it is better for text and graphics.
Moving on to the scanning and copying function of the MFD, I found that to do the scanning I had to use the buttons on the unit itself rather than placing an item on the unit and clicking the mouse. This was the opposite of what I used to do on my old scanner, but I soon got the hang of it and preferred this way more. The initial image scanned by the MFD came out with very good quality as it was a photograph, another image scanned in on card was not so good, but looking at the original it was not a great print, however the scanner made it worse. Photocopies from the unit are of a good quality, depending on the original image and this is the crunch point. The scanner is okay, it will not reproduce fully faithful copies, but then what scanner/copier does?
In conclusion if we go back to the question I asked at the beginning. This Multifunction device is still a compromise unit with a below average quality photo printer, however with the purchase of the special 'photo' cartridge the quality improves marginally to an average quality. So don't buy this if you want a printer that does excellent photos, it won't happen. The other item that really pulls the unit down is the troubles I had installing the damn thing. I can't remember how long it took overall, but the unit was not fully up and running on my home PC until late December 2007, over a month after I bought. Even on my more modern laptop the installation failed on easy installation and only worked when I went into advanced mode and deselected many of the optional (buggy?) programmes. In short I cannot recommend this unit to anyone who is inexperienced in the PC field and even if you're an expert the installation is a hassle you won't want. On the plus side once installed it is a competent printer for text or graphics and as a scanner it does reasonable copies. Overall I'm satisfied, not overjoyed with my purchase, as I've replaced two older peripherals with a single multifunction device. Throw into the equation the space I freed up on my desk and I'm pretty content with my purchase.
This review may be found on other review sites under the same username and is also written by me.
I dunno how this is down in the fax machine section. It wern't me guv'. I will talk with higher Dooyoo people.