The HP PSC 1510 all-in-one sports a glossy two-tone gray body and rounded edges. This lightweight 11.2-pound multifunction is a compact 17.1 inches wide and 16 inches high, but its length roughly doubles to 23.1 inches when you flip down and fully extend the front paper tray. Up to 50 printouts land atop the 100-sheet paper tray, but you'll need to extend the tray to keep these printouts from falling over the edge.
The control-panel buttons atop the HP PSC 1510 are the same size and color, which doesn't help to distinguish the functions. While the LED is backlit, glare from overhead lights makes it hard to read unless you stand over it. Luckily, the flatbed scanner lid detaches so you can easily scan books. On the right side of the machine, a flip-down panel opens to reveal the black and tricolor ink cartridges. To get six-ink photo prints, you need to swap the black cartridge for the optional photo ink cartridge--an awkward yet common step for budget color inkjets.
The HP PSC 1510 offers what you would expect for its price, but if you have extra cash and want extra features, such as faxing options, a straight paper path, or a manual feed slot, then you should look at a higher-end machine such as the Canon Pixma MP780. If you don't have a PictBridge camera, you might want to consider a budget all-in-one with a display that previews your photos, such as the Lexmark P4350.
You can use the HP PSC 1510 to copy, scan, and print text and photos. Without a computer, the 1510 makes copies at a range of quality settings. Plug in your PictBridge digital camera via the 1510's front USB port to print photos.
Connect the HP 1510 to your computer, and one-button scanning brings up a tweakable preview; however, this process was sluggish on our Windows XP machine (you may need to reset the scanning defaults to improve the speed). Scanned images appear inside HP's Image Zone program, where you can adjust color, brightness, and orientation. You can scan to e-mail and to apps such as Microsoft Word and Paint Shop Pro (the 1510 comes with a trial version), or share images with others via an ad-laden e-mail template on HP's photo Web site. Image Zone even lets you create photo-album pages, DVD covers, and panoramas that stitch together multiple images. For complete software support as well as ReadIris optical character recognition (OCR) software, choose the Full installation, but be wary: we've had problems with HP's bloated all-in-one software package hogging PC resources.
As with most inkjets, ink costs may quickly surpass the 1510's price. The ink tanks offer a low yield of 210 pages for the $14.99 black cartridge and 160 pages for the $19.99 color one. Per-page costs thus run a moderate 7.1 cents per black page and a pricier 12.5 cents for color. Higher-capacity black ink cartridges cost $19.99 with a yield of 450 pages, or 4.4 cents per page. Tricolor ink cartridges cost $24.99 for a yield of 260 pages, or about 9.6 cents per sheet. The photo ink cartridge costs $24.99, but HP doesn't estimate how long it will last. For cheaper consumables, you might want to spring for the Epson Stylus CX6600.
The HP PSC 1510 is a decent choice for a device in its class, but if you must have a photo-preview display, we recommend the Lexmark P4350 as a budget all-in-one. The feature-rich, PictBridge-free Brother MFC-420cn is a better option for home offices.
In CNET Labs' tests, when scanning and printing nonphoto graphics, the HP PSC 1510 all-in-one performed sluggishly compared with the Lexmark P4350 and the Canon Pixma MP130. You'll have to wait about 2.57 minutes (0.39ppm) for the HP 1510 to print a letter-size photo, but the Lexmark P4350 spent a long 5.43 minutes (0.18ppm) to do the same. We found the speeds of the HP 1510 average for a machine in its class, and it finished text prints faster than other budget all-in-ones, such as the office-oriented Brother MFC-420cn.
|Copy speed||Color scan speed||Grayscale scan speed||Photo speed||Text speed|
The output quality of the HP PSC 1510 was decent overall. Text prints were excellent for an inkjet--less than perfect but smooth and crisp, even at 2-point size. Graphics prints displayed smooth gradients and curves with good colors and detail. Photo hobbyists may like the details in the photo prints, but picky pros won't like the visible dots or the heavy use of cyan, which makes skin tones look less than rosy and creates low contrast.
|Color scan||Grayscale scan||Photo||Graphics on inkjet paper||Text on inkjet paper|
Click here to learn more about how CNET Labs tests printers.You can't beat the access to HP's helpful phone tech support, which is available 24/7 for free during the one-year warranty period. You can buy a two-year warranty extension for a reasonable $39.99. A three-year extension costs $49.99; a four-year extension, $79.99. Online FAQs and chat also address common problems. The printed user guide covers the basics of the 1510 but skimps on the details. For more extensive information, you need to use the HP Solution Center software, which links to an electronic help manual, or go online.