HP's recent Photosmart C5380 is an excellent top quality machine, which has few disadvantages and it is among the finest multifunctions for its price and also a fantastic investment for families.
Not much has changed visually from the C5380's forerunners. This device has exactly the same gloss white fascia of HP's other inkjet devices, which includes a straight forward control scheme plus a compact colour Liquid crystal display for PC-less operation.
USB 2.0 is the single connectivity choice. Nevertheless, the unit possesses a memory card reader, along with support for MemoryStick, SD, xD, CompactFlash cards as well as a secondary USB port to be used with PictBridge-capable products.
What the C5380 does not have in connectivity, it more than compensates for with print quality. We've suffered from difficulties with the quality of previous HP inkjets nonetheless the C5380 is a certain sign of transformation in this regard. Text documents are extremely sharp and readable, and are similar in quality to correspondingly priced mono laser printers. Colour documents with graphical pieces are better yet, having clear text complemented by precise and radiant colours.
Pictures contain wonderful, vivid colours, surpassing the results of Canon's. The C5380 is among the first mid-range inkjet models we have run into that isn't susceptible to any banding issues. The outcome is an excellent quality photograph, unmarred by the difficulties commonly associated with inkjet printers. The only slight niggle we had with the C5380's quality was indications of the print rollers' track marks observable under direct light. Basically, the C5380 provides the best print quality we have observed at such a low price point.
The C5380's print speed is also spectacular. A draft quality text document will print at an average 20.6 pages each minute, with the first page available in 15.3 seconds, decreasing to 10.9ppm at normal quality. Graphical documents are only a little slower, with draft quality documents printing at 18.75ppm and normal quality documents at 6.3ppm. Photo printing rates of speed tend to be somewhat slower: a standard 4x6in photograph prints in 27sec, and an A4 picture at standard quality prints in 1min 14sec. Though these rates aren't the swiftest we have observed, the C5380 prints faster on a more consistent basis than other machines. The caliber of CD/DVD printing is outstanding. Quality is dependent on the printable media employed, even so the unit was able to produce high quality CDs as well as DVDs. Colours are not as vivid as photos created by the unit, yet detail levels continue to be reasonably high. The media we utilised throughout screening was somewhat susceptible to smudging in more dark colours, yet otherwise we were impressed with the results.
The enclosed software is excellent; thanks to an easy-to-follow procedure that leads the user through media selection, template style and design, photo and text editing and also print choices. There aren't all-encompassing choices – Canon's proprietary software offers extra room for picture plus text customisation – however for the majority of users this should not be a problem.
In spite of this printer's quality, consumables are definitely not extremely costly. With four high-capacity HP Photosmart C5380 ink cartridges it's not the cheapest multifunction available, nonetheless it will not break your budget either.
The sole disadvantage of the C5380 is it's scanning. Fine detail isn't rare at an optical resolution of 4800dpi – and this undoubtedly does help really detailed white and black scans – however scanned images are mostly under-saturated, making images paler than its source. The C5380's scanner can become irritating. Although the cover's hinges will move a little to permit scanning of thicker material, they're not adaptable enough to fit a thick book without any danger of breaking.