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HP PSC 2350 All-in-One review: HP PSC 2350 All-in-One

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The Good Excellent text quality; speedy photo printing; color LCD panel; media-card and PictBridge ports; attractive, compact design.

The Bad Unwieldy software; skimpy paper handling; iffy scan quality.

The Bottom Line Against other all-in-ones, the HP PSC 2355 is a decent value with excellent text prints, but it's no digital-imaging standout.

6.6 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Support 8

Intro

The HP PSC 2355 all-in-one is an inkjet printer, scanner, and copier well suited for homes where digital photography is popular but not a profession. This device comes with a color LCD as well as a full set of camera-card readers and a PictBridge port to make printing and basic editing of digital photos easy, with or without a computer. If you're looking for a photocentric inkjet printer that can also scan and copy on the side, the HP 2355 is an average option for a machine in its class, though the Dell 942 produces better photos. But if you want an automatic document feeder or a fax machine for office use without paying more money, the Brother MFC-420cn might please you more. The attractive blue-and-gray HP PSC 2355 all-in-one shares the streamlined bread-box shape and size of the silvery HP PSC 1610, standing 17 by 14 by 11 inches (WDH). Atop the HP 2355, an itty-bitty pop-up LCD lets you view, edit, and print photos from popular digital media cards. You can even tilt the LCD for easy viewing from your chair. Underneath the LCD, the control panel includes a numeric keypad and buttons organized clearly by function, such as dedicated photo printing, scanning, and copying.

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.

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