If you need an all-in-one printer that can print larger-than-A4 colour pages, then you don't have many options at the moment. It's good to see HP attacking this niche market, then, with its new Officejet 7500A inkjet colour printer. It costs around £180 and can handle sheet sizes all the way up to A3+.
The 7500A has to be quite large to accommodate bigger paper sizes. With a footprint of around 606 by 426mm, it really requires a considerable amount of desk space. It's not a bad-looking device, though, thanks to the mixture of glossy and matte plastic used on the top and sides, and the ridged pattern on the front.
The flip-out control panel houses a 2.4-inch touchscreen and, to the side of this, there's a numerical keypad, comprised of touch-sensitive buttons, for dialling fax numbers. The touchscreen is responsive and makes the simple menu system very easy to use.
The large paper tray at the bottom takes up to 150 sheets of A4 paper when closed, but can be expanded outwards to accommodate A3+ paper sizes. It looks rather ungainly when fully extended, though, as the telescopic paper output tray that sits above it doesn't extend equally far out.
On top of the scanner, there's an A4 automatic document feeder that can handle up to 35 sheets of paper. It's handy for photocopying or faxing multi-page documents.
As you'd expect from a photo printer, there are memory-card slots that cover off all the major formats, including xD, SD and Memory Stick. Sadly, there's no PictBridge USB port.
Setting up the 7500A is a breeze. As well as offering a USB port, it supports Wi-Fi and Ethernet, so it's easy to share the printer with multiple computers across a network if you want.
This model uses four ink cartridges -- three colour ones, plus a high-capacity black one. These slot into a semi-permanent print head that then slots into the main print arm. Installing the cartridges is very straightforward -- there's an on-screen wizard to guide you through the whole process, step by step.
Print costs aren't bad. A black and white sheet costs around 2.3p to print including paper costs, while a colour sheet works out at around 6.7p per page.