The HP Photosmart 7510 is Indeed a Smart Printer

Oct 8, 2012 (Updated Oct 8, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Many useful features, easy to setup & use, good print/scan/photo quality, inexpensive, wireless installation.

Cons:Touch screen response, some productivity limitations, no Ethernet connection, out of stock proprietary power supply.

The Bottom Line: This is a good printer for the home and produces nice photos. It is very easy to setup, it has interesting features and apps, and it is quiet, and inexpensive.

I have a smart phone and now I have a smart printer too. After setting up this printer I pressed the facebook icon on the touch screen, I was given a short URL and a code, which I entered into my browser on a computer connected to the printer and voila I had face book on my printer. I am not even sure how it found my facebook account. After that I could print my facebook pictures straight from the printer without using a computer. That is one of the many interesting features available with this wireless all-in-one printer.  However, what delighted me the most was how easy it was to setup and use. HP Printers has come a long way. I should add I bought it at Best Buy for $149.00.

Overview of the HP Photosmart 7510

The HP Photosmart 7510 printer is an all-in-one printer that you setup and use wirelessly. It has a lot features including printing, photo printing (4X6 / 5X7), copying (one sided and two sided), and fax. You can do these things from a computer (or the printer) but the printer also has a memory card reader which you can use to print from (letter paper or photo paper). It also has a USB 2.0 port. The printer has a quite intuitive touch screen which features all these functions and also includes a range of icons for special functionality.

With this printer you are also assigned a personal printer email, which you setup upon install. This email is used for a number of things including HP ePrint. HP ePrint means that you can send an email (including attachments) from a mobile device to the printer by using the printers email, and it will print it. The printer also includes eFax, which means that you can send and receive fax without a phone line. The eFax service includes 20 incoming and outgoing fax pages per month for free.

Using the touch screen you can download HP's ePrintCenter apps directly to the printer and they will display on the touch screen, just as you do with modern smart phones. The pre installed apps are portals for Snapfish, Facebook, Dreamworks, QuickForms, Tabbloid, Crayola, and Travel Guides. You get more apps by touching the Get More icon. This printer is almost like a smart phone with a printer attached to it. However, it does not come with OCR software and it does not have an Ethernet connection. This may matter to some people but it did not bother me.

You use five color ink cartridges (HP 564) and it is compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (SP2 or higher), and Mac OS X (10.5, 10.6, 10.7). The printer is not heavy. It weighs 18.5 pounds and the dimensions are 17.9 X 8.7 X 17.7 inches.

Setting up the HP Photosmart 7510

I like to connect my printers to my encrypted wireless network and I like to setup my printers wirelessly if possible. However, I have always had issues with that. In two cases the wireless installation did not work properly and I had to spend hours with customer support. On another occasion I had to turn off the firewall to be able to install the printer wirelessly and then I forgot to turn the firewall back on and I got infected. When I installed the Canon Pixma 860 printer it turned out that the functionality for setting up the printer wirelessly was not implemented according to the specifications. Basically the “wireless setup” that Canon touted was false advertisement and the instructions for how to do it were faulty and misleading (upon their own admission).

Except for two other printers, all printers I’ve bought or have received have had unexpected issues with wireless setup. It appears that this is something that is difficult to get right.

However, in this case it really was a piece of cake. The printer detected the available wireless networks on its own, and I selected the right one, and typed in the encryption key in the prompt, just like you do when you connect a laptop to an encrypted wireless network. It took 15 seconds.

The next step was to install the software on a computer I was going to use with the printer. The Installation Wizard asked me for a user name to generate an email for the printer and that was about it. It took a couple of minutes and I did not need to turn off firewalls, AV software, or anything like that. Add to that this printer does not require any assembly. All I had to do was to lift it out of the box and remove a few pieces of tape and connect the power cord. It was by far the easiest printer setup I’ve been through.

After I had installed the software on the computer I had an HP Photosmart 7510 icon on my desktop. Clicking it you are taken to the print center where you can change settings, initiate scans, and do trouble shooting, and get technical help, and much more.

The Power Supply Conundrum

However, I should say that I did have one issue, which is an important reason for my not perfect rate (four stars instead of five). I am not counting this into the two minutes I mentioned above. The power supply/adapter was missing from the box and I had to go back to the store (Best Buy). Best Buy claimed that the power adapter was proprietary and not sold separately. They told me to get one from HP on-line. After connecting to a sales person via chat I was told that HP did not have this power supply. The HP Photosmart 7510 printer required a power adapter that is unique to this model and they simply did not have it in stock. They gave me a phone number to an overseas supplier that might have it but with warranty issue and stuff it started getting complicated. On top of that this supplier was not available. I went back to Best Buy to return the printer. However, this time Best Buy found me the correct power adapter. That was a big time waster but it did not necessarily reflect upon the quality of this printer. However, the fact that this printer (just as most other HP printers) requires a unique power adapter that may be very difficult to purchase separately if you need to is not a good indicator. Some printer manufacturers such as Kodak have partially solved this problem by standardizing power adapters.

The Touch Screen

The touch screen is a 4.3 inch color display (CGA). When the printer is not in use it is turned off but as soon as you touch it and lights up with bright colors. The picture quality is good and it easy to see. To see all the apps you need to scroll which you do the same way as you scroll the screen on a smart phone, touch it and swipe. It is very much like a smart phone. However, the text and the icons are a little bigger, which is good since you may be sitting at a distance. I should add that the touch screen can be tilted for best view.

In “home” mode the touch screen displays three rows of icons. At the bottom there is “Photo”, “Copy”, “Scan”, and “eFax”.  Above that is the list of applications including the “Get More” icon, and above that are small icons for special functionality and setup. These icons correspond to “Personal printer email, a “wireless symbol”, “Favorite apps”, an “ink level indicator” looking like a drop, and a “settings icon” (Preferences / Tools / Wireless / Web Services). If you press the “wireless symbol” you can view your current network, IP address, MAC ID, and signal strength.

The screen is pretty good. You don’t have to press hard and as mentioned the screen is nice looking and bright. However, scrolling often does not stop when you lift the finger and sometimes there is delay when touch it and sometimes you have to make sure you touch in the middle of an icon or you’ll get the feature next to it. Basically the screen is OK but not perfect.

Using the HP Photosmart 7510

Using the touch screen to do things is pretty easy. If you press the “Scan” icon on the touch screen you get a new screen on which you can touch either “Computer” or “Memory Card”. If you press “Computer” you’ll get a screen asking you which computer. After you select the computer you get pick how you want to scan “Photo to File / Photo to Email / Document to File / Document to Email”. After that you get a chance to preview (you can skip) and then you can in black and white or in color and the scan starts. If you selected “Photo to File” a jpg file with the scan will be copied to “My Documents” on your computer and Windows Explorer will open and display the file location at the same time. If you select “Document” you get a “pdf” file instead.

If you want to copy using the printer you press “Copy” and then “Black and White / Color” and then you use settings to do, for example, double sided copy. If you want to print a photo from the computer you first open the “HP 7510 printer” icon and you click on the “Set Preferences” link and here you can switch from the “Main Tray” to the “Photo Tray” and you also need to select the appropriate paper from the combo box. Doing the same thing using my HP Photosmart 6180C is a lot harder.

The auto-document feeder on top of the printer can hold up to 25 sheets, the photo tray takes 20 4X6 or 5X7 photos, and the main paper tray can hold up to 125 sheets but you cannot print more than a few dozen sheets at a time without emptying the receiving tray. My larger HP Officejet 8500A printer can do much more than that. Unlike my HP Officejet you cannot print using 8.5 X 14 or 13 X 19 inch paper. My HP Officejet 8500A is rated at 15,000 pages per month whereas this printer is rated at 1,250 pages per month. It is also a little bit slower than my HP Officejet printer but it is still relatively fast compared to some older or cheaper printers I have. If you are not printing lots of big documents with lots of pictures the printer speed won’t bother you. Well, basically this printer has a few limitations compared to an office style printer but it is a good home printer.

On a similar note, the printer does not seem to be terribly efficient with ink. I don’t have any measurements yet (I’ll update when I do) but based on how quickly the ink disappears if you print a lot of color pictures and photos I suspect that ink could become a significant cost if you use it a lot. Another complaint that I have is that the lid above the photo tray often does not close correctly and it easy to miss that. When that happens you can’t print photos. I should add that one thing I like about this printer is that it is relatively quiet and so far I have not seen any paper jams.

Print/Scan/Photo Quality

The scanning resolution for this printer is up to 1200-dpi and the copy resolution is up to 600 dpi. This is definitely good enough and the scans and the copies look good. However, it is not as much as my HP Officejet 8500A which has a resolution up to 4800-dpi. Natural print/scan/copy quality depends on a lot more than the resolution. In my opinion the print quality for this printer is pretty high, but perhaps not as good as some of more expensive printers out there. I think one of this printer’s strongest points is the photo print quality. I definitely like the photos I print. The photos look vivid, sharp and clear.

Final Conclusion

Basically this is a home or small office printer that creates copies, scans, prints and photos of a good quality but it is not a high capacity printer. For the price I like this printer. The printing/copying/scanning/photo quality is good (but not exceptional). It is fast but not as fast a good office printer. You can do a lot with it, it connects to the web, you can download apps, it is very easy to use and it was exceptionally easy to set up.

However, it does not include an Ethernet port, no OCR software, and you cannot do everything that you can do with an office printer. In addition I had that issue with the power supply. However, I like this printer a lot for what I use it for. Overall I feel that a four star rating is appropriate for this printer and I can highly recommend it for a home or a small office that does not require a high capacity printer.

Since printers use electronic circuitry and communicate with computers they are dependent on crystal oscillators, system clocks, and timing, I am entering this printer into my “Time & Space write-off”.

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