HP OfficeJet 5510 Printer
Review

On December 12, 2003, in printer, Review, Scanner, by Tim Robertson

HP OfficeJet 5510
Company: Hewlett-Packard
Price: $199 (US)
http://www.hp.com

All things being equal, I would have to call the HP OfficeJet 5510 one of the best all-around printers / copiers / scanners around. I have reviewed enough all-in-one units now to appreciate a great model when I get to play with one, and after a month of testing, I can honestly say that the OfficeJet 5510 has really impressed me.

Printing is probably the main reason anyone would purchase this unit. The print quality is simply fantastic. Printing text-only pages is very, very fast, much quicker than I was expecting from an ink-jet printer. So quick, in fact, that my nine-year old daughter even commented on it just this morning. I used the OfficeJet 5510 to print out a letter to her school. She asked which printer it would come out, and I pointed to the HP. It was done printing just a few seconds later. Her reaction? “Wow, that was a lot faster than the silver and black printer.” The silver and black printer being the Lexmark 5150 I reviewed back in June 2003.

Fast is not always good if the print quality is not up to par. The OfficeJet 5510 has nothing to fear. Using standard high-gloss photo paper and printing a photo from iPhoto, I was simply amazed at the print quality. I have printed many full-page color photos over the last few years, and I can honestly say that the OfficeJet 5510’s print quality is one of the best for an ink-jet printer. While no speed demon printing a full-page color print, the print time was respectable.

Paper is loaded from the bottom front of the unit, so it is much easier to see how much paper you have left at a quick glance. Not so with a rear, upwards facing paper tray such as those found on most Lexmark, Epson, and other printers. I much prefer a lower-front loading tray to the other types. My only grip here is that there is no protective cover for the paper tray, meaning that if you don’t print something every few days, dust will accumulate, and be run through your printer when you do.

Be aware that the OfficeJet 5510 is not a post-script printer; so graphic professionals will want to look elsewhere. There is also no built-in print sharing with the OfficeJet 5510, nor is it compatible with Rendezvous, but you can share it via USB Print Sharing built-in to OS X.

Speaking of OS X, if you are not using Mac OS X or Mac OS 9.1, and are still a happy OS 9.0 or earlier user, you are out of luck. Like many programs and hardware coming out as of late, the OfficeJet 5510 is not compatible with pre-OS X operating systems. Nor is it compatible with Windows 95, NT, 3.1, or DOS, either.)

Scanning is done via the HP Director software, which you can only get from the included CD-ROM. To deviate from the standard review process for a moment, I would like to point out that HP, while having great products for the most part, has a woefully inadequate support website. The above mentioned HP Director software cannot be downloaded via their website. When Mac OS X 10.3 was released, I had some initial problems printing to the OfficeJet 5510. The problem was unrelated to the HP software, but in my search for a cure I did learn of the poor quality of HP’s support pages. What happens if I loose or scratch my HP CD-ROM? I have to order another one. And as of today’s date, there is still no software update for the software on HP’s website. The same software, HP Director, also controls their digital cameras with their HP Director (Camera). There is also no update for that program online, even though I cannot get it to work under 10.3 correctly. For a company the size and with the reputation they have, I expect better from HP.

Getting back to the OfficeJet 5510 and scanning, I have found that the scanning works great. While I don’t especially like the scanning software the OfficeJet 5510 ships with, it does work well. You can access the software directly through Adobe Photoshop as well, via the Import-HP All-in-one Scan in the File menu. You can scan photos or documents from 150×150 DPI up to 19200×19200 DPI. The flatbed scanner performs about the same as most other scanners (and copiers) in this price-range, and there is nothing here. It work fine, has an auto-crop feature, etc…

The true strength of scanning, however, if the 20-page top-load automatic document feeder on top of the OfficeJet 5510. You can set the printer to scan multiple documents (not pictures) up to 20 pages, which is a great feature, one many small or home business users will appreciate.

Usually, when reviewing a multi-function printer / scanner / fax machine, the fax aspect is the least impressive. Using built-in fax software, you have to have your computer turned on to control, send, or receive a fax. Not so with the OfficeJet 5510! HP, realizing how nice it would be to be able to send and receive faxes, has taken the need to have a computer out of the equation. Simply plug the OfficeJet 5510 into your phone jack, and you can control all the fax features from the built-in LCD display. This is a great feature, one I overlooked when my testing first started. I now feel that this is one of the best selling points to the unit, and one I did not realized I missed so much from other units.

Specification:

Print quality 1200 x 1200 dpi

Connectivity: USB

Print speed, black: Up to 17 ppm

Print speed, color: Up to 12 ppm

Compatible operating systems: Microsoft Windows 98, 98 SE, 2000, Me, XP; Macintosh OS 9.1, OS X

Scanner type: Flatbed

Automatic document feeder 20 sheets

Media sizes: Letter, legal, executive, cards, 3 x 5 to 8.5 x 14 in (using ADF)

Color fax: yes

Fax transmission speed: 3 sec per page

Fax memory: 90 pages

Fax autoredial: Yes

Fax PC interface: Yes (sending only

Fax auto-reduction: Yes

Fax delayed sending: Yes

Copy speed, black: Up to 17 cpm

Copy speed, color: Up to 12 cpm

Copy settings: Stand-alone copying: fit-to page (from glass only), 100%, reduce/enlarge

Maximum number of copies: Up to 99 copies

Bit depth: 36 bit

Levels of grayscale: 256

Software included: HP Photo and Imaging Gallery: HP Director, HP Photo Gallery, HP Image Editor, HP Instant Share, HP Photo Prints, HP Creative Projects, HP Quick 4 x 6 prints, HP Memories Disc DVD Creator, ReadIris OCR, HP Send to Programs

Dimensions (w x d x h) 18 x 11.3 x 9.25 in (18 x 17.8 x 9.25 with tray fully extended)

Weight: 11.8 lb

Warranty: One-year limited hardware warranty backed by HP Customer Care, service and support; one-year technical phone support, plus a toll-free number in North America only

This is a great printer for both the new and veteran computer user wanting an all-in-one printing solution. Fantastic execution in functionality and usability. Small, compact design in an attractive package.

Well worth the money and investment.

MyMac Rating: 5 out of 5

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