HP Photosmart 5520 e-All-in-One review
A considerably pared-down version of HP's 7520 multifunction printer, the HP Photosmart 5520 e-All-in-One offers some surprising features despite its relatively modest sub-£100 price tag.
In contrast to the multi-layered design of the HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One, the HP Photosmart 5520 e-All-in-One printer looks conventional. To a point. It has a rather elegant figure, with a tucked in waist that gives it a more pleasing than the typical bulbous MFP. Not that the design is totally successful – it took us a bit of time to find the opening for the scanner lid, for instance.
The 80-sheet input tray isn't the most capacious, but its simple yet sturdy design gave us few feeding issues. Unlike the 7520, there's no additional photo tray, so you'll have to get used to mixing A4 and photo media if you want to use multiple formats. Besides the scanning/copying component, you don't get any extras like ADFs or fax facilities. There is a memory card slot, cunningly hidden behind a panel, but no PictBridge port. The latter omission is a bit of an annoyance if you're intending to print from USB memory sticks.
The 2.65in screen is smaller than many we've seen – and less than two thirds of the size of the 7520's 4.3in panel. In many respects, though, it's a miniature version of that model's display, right down to the touchscreen capabilities. It's a nice screen to use, with similarly colourful graphics, and a quick response that makes it a joy to navigate with. It's not understocked with options, and you can still access HP's apps library.
Indeed, the Photosmart 5520 is remarkably well connected for a seemingly low-end MFP. Full Wi-Fi joins the USB 2.0 interface, but you can also communicate with mobile devices using HP's ePrint.
Given its sub-£100 price tag, the HP Photosmart 5520 e-All-in-One's output isn't bad. It can handle text reasonably well, and in the standard 3.1ppm mode, the output only grains when you look closely at it. Colour graphics look bright and breezy, although the palette lacks subtlety, and depth of detail isn't particularly strong. It holds its own on speed, though, and the 3.1ppm Normal mode is only 0.1ppm down on that of the more expensive 7520. With photo paper, it lacks that ability to astound that distinguishes the best photo printers, although the results are moderately bubbly.
The HP Photosmart 5520 e-All-in-One benefits from low running costs, costing out at 2.4p for a page of black, and 4.8p for a page of full colour.
The copying facilities were more than adequate, although the results did show up a few imperfections. The HP Photosmart 5520 e-All-in-One is one of the slower models we've seen for scanning, and its 69 second 600dpi scans are extremely sluggish. The results are also slightly overcast. The rigid lid felt tough, but had little capacity to accommodate larger books and magazines.
A nice touchscreen interface and a delicious price tag helps make the HP Photosmart 5520 e-All-in-One a contender, and its low running costs won't hurt either. Its performance is solid rather than stunning though.