I’ve never been a fan of multi-function devices – they so often cater for the lowest common denominator, and lack the fancy tricks of a single-minded printer or scanner. All-in-one devices are, however, the fastest growing sector of the inkjet printer market. I tried the HP PSC 2510 to see if my prejudices could be quelled, and I was pleasantly surprised.
The PSC (printer, scanner, copier) actually does more than the acronym suggests. There’s also a fax feature, Wi-Fi access, and camera-card slots. So this is no one-trick pony, I counted at least five major features right from the get-go. Getting so much in one box definitely made me think about how much clutter I could rid myself of, especially if I owned a printer, copier, fax machine, scanner and flash-card reader.
My complaints about the printing capabilities of all-in-ones don’t apply here either. It has interchangeable print cartridges that let the user print everyday colour or, using the optional extra colour-cartridge, print in six-ink photo-quality colour. Using this setup kicks the Photoret IV technology into action, which means the output is grain-free. Normal printing is decent too, and every mode lets you print borderless images.
If you don’t want to print from a computer, there are readers for nine types of media cards, which I covers all options. There is a generous 6.4cm LCD display so you can see what’s printing. To further ease your computerless photo-printing you can make a contact sheet with thumbnails of images, then simply mark with a pen the images you want to print and put the sheet on the scanner. The scanner looks at your selections and prints out the chosen images full size. The scanner also works independently, so you can scan old-fashioned analogue pictures too. It also has a paper sensor so if you put high-quality glossy paper, the printer adjusts to the highest quality setting. Frankly, if this thing was any more intelligent I would have to start pulling the plug on it as it sings Daisy Daisy.
Inkjet printers aren’t generally known for their connectivity – it’s usually limited to USB. Not so with the 2510 – it has Ethernet, which is great, and 802.11b Wi-Fi connectivity, which is even better. The setup didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, though this is more down to the network here at Macworld than anything else. There didn’t seem to be a hit in performance printing wirelessly, which is a plus.
I’m a convert as far as the all-in-one jack-of-all-trades machines go. The PSC 2510 offers just about everything I could want in one neat package. Not only that, but it does all these things as well as the individual components would, with added intelligence.