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Review of the HP Officejet 5610 All-in-One Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax

Another good showing from HP, and a new twist on the notion of all in one printer

Although I recently reviewed would prove to be a horrible HP LaserJet printer, the HP Officejet 5610 is, by all measures, a remarkable machine. Like many other printers of its kind, it combines the ability to print, scan, fax, and copy for low price, and dazzles the would-be purchaser with its high tech appearance and promise a great productivity. Unlike a bunch of other all in one printers, however, the HP Officejet 5610 does not bill itself as a photo printer. Although it proved quite capable of printing photos, and indeed is designed for such purposes, with its six separate color ink cartridges, its main purpose is to print out large quantities of what appears to be quite excellent quality text.

In terms of text printing, the HP Officejet 5610 seems to measure up to any inkjet. Printing at a realistic 15 pages per minute, the HP Officejet 5610 produces text that, when examined under a magnifying glass, rivals the quality of text produced by laser printer. It should also be noted, that unlike a number of all in one printers, the HP Officejet 5610 is designed with a separate black and color ink systems, meaning that you do not have to have all of the color ink cartridges in place to print out a simple page of text. In fact, the machine will work quite well with just a black cartridge, which costs a relatively reasonable $16.00. Of course, if you throw and $60.00 worth of single color cartridges, you can give your printer the ability to print out beautiful color photos. Keep in mind, though, that the HP Officejet 5610 is not designed with photo printing in mind, and does not have features such as the separate paper tray and LCD screen that you might expect from a photo printer. Alas, you will have to switch the paper manually.

Another interesting aspect of the HP Officejet 5610 is its two methods of scanning. In addition to having a simple flatbed scanner, which you’d expect from an all in one printer, the HP Officejet 5610 is also equipped with a feed through scanner, the kind you’d expect to find inexpensive office machines. Just pile a document into the tray, press scan, and off you go. It certainly isn’t very fast, but it’s a nice alternative to scanning a bunch of pages by hand. I was impressed by this feature, but I do have to point out its limited usefulness, owing to the fact that much of the scanning that at least I personally do with my all in one printer entails scanning books, something that this feature will not be able to assist me with. And of course, in the interests of copying, the HP Officejet 5610 is rather slow and expensive.

Nonetheless, I’m impressed. HP seems to have managed to create an all in one printer that holds its own against the competition for $120.