HP Photosmart 5520 review

Price when reviewed

The Photosmart 5520 looks like a carbon copy of last year’s model, the 5510. The chassis is identical, the ports, buttons and screen are all in the same location, and it has the same 80-sheet paper tray and flimsy arm for prints that holds a mere 15 sheets.

HP Photosmart 5520 review

The addition of duplex printing this year is welcome, though, as is a larger 6.7cm colour touchscreen, which improves ease of use. Onscreen animations guide you through installing ink cartridges and calibrating, while clear icons make it easy to navigate the HP’s various features and settings.

HP’s ePrint app permits printing directly from Android and iOS devices, and setting up an HP ePrintCenter account allows you to email documents to your printer from any web-connected device. Apple AirPrint is supported, too.

HP Photosmart 5520

In our test prints, text lacked the absolute clarity of the Canon Pixma MG5450, with spidering surrounding characters, but both mono prints and copies remain bold and good-looking, even at draft quality.

Colour documents are superb, too, with vivid, lifelike colours and plenty of fine detail. Colour prints aren’t the cheapest, at 8.8p per A4 page, but that’s about the same as the Canon Pixma.

Photo quality isn’t as good as the Canon’s, however. While colours are rich and lifelike, blacks came out as a dark grey, plus a fine grain was evident. The results are still far better than most other machines, and, at 15.7p per 6 x 4in photo, you won’t be paying a fortune for printing out your photos at home.

The HP delivered patchier performance elsewhere. Photo prints were fast, with a 6 x 4in photo produced in 59 seconds, and copying speeds were lightning-quick, with draft mono copies shooting out in 11 seconds. However, mono documents printed at a slow 9.2ppm, and colour documents slowed output to a poor 5.1ppm. Scans took their time, too, but the results were worth the wait, with plenty of detail and accurate colours.

Despite the mixed speed results, we like the HP Photosmart 5520. It can’t match the quality of the Canon Pixma MG5450, but it’s cheaper to buy and run, and, for most purposes, the quality of its prints will prove perfectly satisfactory.


Speed rating 3

Basic Specifications

Colour? yes
Resolution printer final 4800 x 1200dpi
Integrated TFT screen? yes
Maximum paper size A4
Duplex function yes

Running costs

Cost per A4 mono page 2.8p
Cost per A4 colour page 8.8p

Power and noise

Dimensions 436 x 545 x 146mm (WDH)

Performance tests

6x4in photo print time 59s
Mono print speed (measured) 9.2ppm
Colour print speed 5.1ppm

Media Handling

Input tray capacity 80 sheets
Output tray capacity 15 sheets


USB connection? yes
Ethernet connection? no
Bluetooth connection? no

Flash media

SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
USB flash drive support? yes

OS Support

Operating system Windows 7 supported? yes
Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes
Operating system Windows 2000 supported? no
Operating system Windows 98SE supported? no
Other operating system support Windows 8
Software supplied HP Photo Creations

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