HP Photosmart D7360 review

10 Nov 2006

Low running costs, superb photo quality and a large touchscreen make this the A4 inkjet to buy

Price when reviewed: 
127(£149 inc VAT)
5

When it comes to photos, HP can claim to have nailed print quality. Prints from the D7360 are easily as good as anything you might get from a high-street or online photo developer: barely visible grain is the only sign that the prints have come from a living room rather than a dedicated lab.

The central print engine of the D7360 has been plucked wholesale from the Photosmart 8250. The chassis has undergone a slight redesign and colour change, and there's a new 3.4in touchscreen on the front. While we'd always recommend editing photos on a PC for best results, popping in a memory card and navigating your way through the menus by prodding at the screen is a fun and intuitive way of quickly printing snaps.

The D7360 is built around the efficient Vivera ink system, and for £16 (£19 inc VAT) you can buy six cartridges and 150 6 x 4in sheets of photo paper. Assuming you print nothing but 6 x 4in prints, you'll see a respectable cost per photo of 10.7p. Mono pages with 5% ink coverage will cost just 1.7p courtesy of the high-yield mono cartridge, which runs for 800 pages.

The D7360 has some useful features for the occasional photo-printing user. Instead of having to pull out your regular A4 paper every time you want to print a photo job, there's a spare paper tray designed to specifically hold 6 x 4in sheets. Send an appropriate print job to the printer and it will automatically select the second tray, meaning you'll never again knock over a stack of previously pristine paper while you print a few holiday snaps.

The Photosmart isn't quite so well suited to printing plain text. Our mono 50-page document took 11mins 30secs to print - a sluggish 5ppm. Lowering quality to draft reduced the time to three-and-a-half minutes, or 14ppm. Print quality took an inevitable hit, but at normal settings text is more than acceptable, albeit not quite up to the laser quality that HP claims.

But you shouldn't be buying the D7360 for text printing - that's best left to a personal laser such as Samsung's ML-2510. Instead, HP's latest Photosmart is aimed at digital camera enthusiasts. And if that's you, the D7360 is the machine to go for: commendably fast, cheap to run and capable of producing near-flawless photos.