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The HP PSC 2355 all-in-one has no automatic document feeder (ADF) to weigh it down, so the scanner lid is slim, light, and easy to lift. The hinges also detach, in case you want to capture the pages of a thick book on the letter-size glass bed. However, the lack of an ADF makes copying multipage documents a laborious affair. For $20 more, the business-oriented Dell 962 all-in-one will copy up to 50 pages at a time.
You can easily pull up the top of the 2355 to expose the print cartridges. The 2355 holds just two ink tanks at a time: either color and black or color and photo. You'll have to swap the color and photo cartridges when you switch between printing text and photos, an annoyance common among lower-end all-in-ones. The Canon Pixma MP780 and the Epson Stylus RX620 won't put you through this hassle, since they have separate cartridges per color.
The HP 2355 has one main tray that does double duty to hold 100 sheets of plain paper input and 50 sheets of printed output pages. HP recommends that you clear the output frequently to avoid paper jams. Because there is no alternative media slot or straight paper-path option, all paper--even glossy photographs--exits the machine slightly curled.
The HP 2355's clearly labeled PictBridge port and media-card readers (for CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Secure Digital, and xD) are tucked into the far lower-left corner of the printer. The HP 2355's single USB 2.0 port and power connection are in the back, along with a rear door that you can open to clean out paper jams.The HP PSC 2355 all-in-one provides the usual array of features for a machine in its class, and it makes photo printing easy straight from a camera or a memory card. If you own either an HP digital camera or a PictBridge-supported camera, you can connect it via USB directly to the 2355 to print. If you'd like to use the 2355's control panel instead, just slip the memory card out of the camera and into the front of the printer. The first image will appear on the LCD panel, which offers a menu of suggestions: Photo Menu, Photo Edit, Proof Sheet, and Print Photos.
If you're treating the HP 2355 as a mini-photo kiosk and don't care to control it with your computer, you can use the LCD to remove red-eye, adjust the brightness level of a photo, pick a frame, and choose a color effect such as sepia, antique, or black and white. If you're using the 2355 with your PC or Mac, you can transfer and save images to your computer's hard drive from the media card inserted into the printer. Using HP's Image Zone and Instant Share software, you can crop, resize, or solarize your pictures, then e-mail them to your friends.
However, if you already own photo software that you're fond of, or if your computer is low on storage space, you should think twice before installing Image Zone and Instant Share, since you must install either both or neither of these memory-hogging programs. This is a shame, because people who need photo-imaging software and want Image Zone will have to live with Instant Share, which nobody with e-mail access really needs. Instant Share gives novice users a step-by-step approach to e-mailing photos, but it's framed within HP's ugly, ad-laden template.
When you install the 2355's drivers from the CD-ROM, you choose between Typical installation, which hogs 771MB of memory and includes Image Zone and Instant Share, or the 339MB Minimum. Either way, you'll get the drivers you need to print and scan.
In addition to photo printing, the HP 2355 scans black-and-white or color documents, one at a time, at up to 1,200x4,800dpi. You can also make and resize grayscale or color copies without your computer.
A black ink cartridge costs $19.99, color runs $34.99, and photo ink will set you back $24. HP estimates that the black will provide 450 pages of text and the color tank will last 260 pages. This works out to an estimated cost per page of 4 cents for black, which is average for an inkjet, and nearly a costly dime for color.
The HP 2355 operated about as quickly as the competition within its price range, though it was markedly slower than the zippy Dell 942 in every category but photo printing. We waited only 1.5 minutes for the HP 2355 to produce an 8x10 glossy photo vs. the whopping 4.75 minutes for the Dell 942 and the 5.47 minutes for the Lexmark P6250. The HP 2355 sped through grayscale scans as well, producing 5.13 pages per minute (ppm) vs. the 2.96ppm of the Brother MFC-420cn.
The HP 2355 did a passable job on our test photo, rendering bright colors accurately and displaying good detail, such as the sharp spines on a cactus. Areas of the test document that should have been pure white came out dingy, due to low contrast. Additionally, upon close inspection, we could see a faint area of horizontal, low-resolution banding at the very bottom of the 8x10-inch photo. HP's Web site offers suggestions to remedy this, but none worked for us. If this happens with your HP 2355, you can avoid the glitch by printing photos with a 0.75-inch border around the page.
Scans produced by the HP 2355 in color and in black and white were mediocre and low contrast. Delicate lines seemed smudged or even partially erased in some areas of the grayscale scan. The color scan had a washed-out appearance, with muted, dull colors.
|Copy||Color scan||Grayscale scan||Photo||Text|
|Color scan||Grayscale scan||Photo||Graphics||Text|
Click here to learn more about how CNET Labs tests printers.The HP PSC 2355 all-in-one ships with a large-type, easy-to-follow setup guide; a thorough 132-page printed user guide; and a comprehensive help guide on CD-ROM. You get a standard one-year warranty, including free telephone support, available 24/7. HP provides help on its Web site, including instant-messaging support, and our questions were answered promptly and politely. You can also e-mail questions to HP's technical-support staff. Or, if you'd rather work alone, HP has a product page that features help tools, such as problem solving, manual and driver downloads, and answers to FAQs.
You can also recycle your empty ink tanks through HP's cartridge recycling program.