HP claims photo printer speed breakthrough

Printing photos is a lot quick with the latest photo printer from HP - but while it is fast the cartridges are far from cheap

The new Photosmart 8250 photo printer from HP, launched on Monday, uses a new technology to knock out a good, photo-quality print in 14 seconds which, according to the company, makes it the "fastest home photo printer in the world".

The downside to the technology it is that it uses six separate print cartridges costing £45.94 for the set, once those included with the printer have run out. Instead of the standard ink cartridge set up with one black cartridge and a colour cartridge with three separate colour reservoirs, the new system had one black cartridge and separate yellow, cyan and magenta cartridges, as well as light cyan and light magenta.

HP is conscious of the expense of the cartridges — it claims that the new ink delivery system in the 8250 is "unlike any other system on the market", featuring a "recirculation technology which minimises the need for priming — and therefore any associated wastage", and adds that "only those inks that have been used up need replacing".

As the cartridges can be bought separately — £6.99 for a colour cartridge and £10.99 for a black cartridge — users won't have to throw unused ink away when one shade runs out. HP claims that each cartridge will last for between 170 and 350 photos.

As well as printing a standard 10cm × 15 cm photo in 14 seconds the 8250 can print black text at up to 32 pages per minute (ppm) and colour documents at up to 31 ppm. The speed is gained through a wide printhead with 3,900 nozzles.

The HP Photosmart 8250 will be available from 18 August and will cost £179.99. 20 sheets of medium-quality photopaper will retail at £6.99, while high-quality paper will retail at £9.99.

It compares with the more orthodox, and much slower, Dell 540 which costs £112 on its own, with a pack containing enough paper and ink to print 40 sheets coming in at £26.90. including VAT.