HP Photosmart 130

HP Photosmart 130

Summary: If you use a digital camera and want to print photos on the road, you’ll love this little printer. But if you're looking to print large sheets, consider a more versatile photo-capable inkjet.

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4
  • Editors' rating:
    7.6
  • User rating:
    8.0
  • RRP:
    £106.00

Pros

  • Excellent photo prints;
  • easy to setup and use;
  • compatible with multiple removable media formats;
  • useful software included.

Cons

  • Only prints 10 x 15cm photos;
  • no USB cable included;
  • not the fastest photo printer we've seen.

Unlike many photo printers, which are basically conventional inkjets with improved photo-printing skills, HP’s diminutive Photosmart 130 prints only 10 by 15cm photos. For digital camera enthusiasts, this is hardly a shortcoming: the £106.37 (ex. VAT; £124.99 ex. VAT) toaster-sized 130 does one thing, and does it well -- printing gorgeous photographs with minimum fuss. You don't even need to hook up the Photosmart 130 to your PC: this printer works straight from your digital camera. If you want larger prints, however, look to a more conventional product.

Setting up the HP Photosmart 130 won't take long, thanks to a colourful setup poster and a comprehensive user manual. But this documentation merely tells you how to print directly from one of the many removable media cards the printer accepts. To take advantage of the included image-editing and management software and to print through your PC, you have to be experienced enough to connect the printer to your system via the USB port (cable not included), insert the included CD-ROM, and then follow the straightforward installation directions.

If you opt not to get your PC involved, you'll find that printing from a removable media source such as CompactFlash, Secure Digital Multimedia or SmartMedia cards, as well as Memory Sticks, is straightforward. Just insert the card into one of the slots on the front of the printer, load special photo paper into the tiny input tray and use the 130's easy-to-navigate LCD panel to start printing.

The LCD's layout and controls follow the same simple paradigm as those of a digital camera or monitor menu. The icons are arranged in a semicircle and depict, for example, photo size (10 x 15cm, or thumbnail for printing an index sheet of all the snapshots on your media card), paper and print card status and number of copies. You use the tab button for navigating through these icon categories and the plus/minus button for selecting within each category. To choose which pictures to print, select their numbers from the LCD (photos are numbered according to their order on the source media).

HP Photosmart 130 may be a one-trick pony, but it's Ascot material. Our 10 by 15cm test photos outclassed the best prints from conventional inkjets we've tested, including the Canon S900 and the HP Deskjet 995C. The Photosmart 130 accurately rendered colours -- especially tricky reds -- with rich pigments, and skin tones looked remarkably smooth. Unlike most inkjets, the printer produced even, detailed backgrounds. To top it all off, the Photosmart 130 took a reasonably quick 2.5 minutes per page. We've seen conventional inkjets that print an 8 by 10in. glossy in about the same amount of time, but the output quality can't compare with that of the Photosmart 130.

If you'd like to smarten up your digital images before printing them, or want to print from email or the Web, you'll find the included HP Photo and Imaging Gallery software quite useful and understandable. In addition to two programs that help you organise and store your digital images for easier printing, you'll find HP Image Editor, a simple program that lets you resize and rotate your photos, as well as adjust colours and brightness and correct red-eye. The included printer drivers are comprehensive enough for more sophisticated users who wish to fix saturation and colour tone, yet they're easy to use and provide basic settings for print quality, paper type, ink volume and ink dry time.

As with most printers, the HP Photosmart 130 comes with a one-year warranty. You're entitled to free phone support for the length of warranty, and you can also check the company's Web site for software updates, printing tips and manuals.

Compared with some of the better photo-capable inkjets we've seen, including the Canon S900 (which prints full-sized documents of all kinds), the HP Photosmart 130's printing options are limited. However, if you just want to print a truckload of digital snaps, this Photosmart 130 may be the easiest and most cost-effective solution available.

Specifications

General
Dimensions (W x H x D) 22.5 x 12.5 x 20.2 cm
Accessories included built-in media readers:Type II CompactFlash; SmartMedia; SD; Memory Stick
Consumables included tri-colour cartridge
Weight 1.3 kg
Printer features
Printer technology thermal inkjet
Printer language support PCL 3; PML
Maximum resolution (b&w)
Maximum print speed (b&w) 3 ppm
Paper handling
Media sizes 102 x 152; 102 x 165 (10 x 15cm with tear-off tab)
Media feeders optional 2-sided printing module
Total media capacity 20 sheets
Service & support
Standard warranty 1 year limited
Connectivity / expansion
USB yes
System requirements / software
Operating systems supported Windows 98; ME; 2000; XP; Mac OS 9 or X 10.1 (on G3 or above CPU)
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Prices

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Topics: Printers, Hardware, Reviews

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4 comments
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  • 9.5

    This cute printer has it all to deliver top-quality 4x6s. It is easy to set up, easy to use and fast enough to print. I gave it a 4 out of 5 on features because it does not support xD which is the card type I use, but I bought a USB type B connector ($10) and the problem was solved. Software is excellent with support for every imaginable setting. After a dozen or so pictures it still reports 100% ink left. Great printing quality.
    anonymous
  • 9.0

    i just bought a new digital camera and also got one of these printers and it is absolutely the best compact printer ever. i also have a hp printer, copier and scanner(which prints great pictures also) but this little printer does even better and im very picky when it comes to picture quality!!!! i love it!!
    anonymous
  • 8.0

    Not a bad printer if you're a beginner or just want to print 6" x 4" photos. Dead easy set-up.
    anonymous
  • 5.5

    Many paper jams, mine jams all the time and it will not clear.
    anonymous