HP PSC 2355 review
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a multifunction device these days, as the trio here prove. Part of the reason for this is the crowded marketplace, with all four major manufacturers – Canon, Epson, HP and Lexmark – battling it out for market share.
At first glance there’s little missing from the PSC 2355 for the photo enthusiast. There’s support for all nine major formats of media card, as well as PictBridge – direct printing from a compatible camera. That, combined with the small but bright 45mm LCD screen and even some limited editing ability (cropping, red-eye removal and colour effects) means the device will happily function without a PC.
It’s easy to use too, with the screen giving prompts whenever you slot in a memory card or press one of the buttons on the front panel. The PSC 2355 is also able to effectively recognise media when inserted, not only by type, but by size too, adjusting settings accordingly. It isn’t as flexible as having two physical paper trays, but it’s a close second, and an idea that we’d like to see implemented across the range.
Speeds are generally good in mono text printing; at the Normal setting, the PSC 2355 managed a throughput of 3.7ppm, with solid and dark characters. Switching to FastDraft yielded a more impressive speed of 13ppm. Though text remains dark and legible, notable broken text and lines from misalignment between print-head passes were apparent. It’s fine for printing an online map or an inter-office memo, but we’d hesitate before using it for anything more significant.
The FastNormal setting will suit most jobs, however. There were no signs of misalignment, although close inspection revealed occasional bleeding at the edge of characters. However, the improved speed of 5.4ppm will make up for it.
Colours in photos are vibrant, and skin tones are sympathetically reproduced. Held up to the light, there’s slight unevenness due to HP’s pigment ink, but it won’t be noticeable under normal circumstances. Print speed is a touch slow at 7 minutes for an A4 photo and just over 3 minutes for a 6 x 4in print.
The PSC 2355 managed to sail through our technical tests. Greyscale ramps showed light banding, but were otherwise consistent, and solid blocks of grey showed no haziness. Small font sizes were also handled effectively.
The simple and well-labelled buttons on the PSC 2355 make scanning and photocopying easy. A push of one button is typically all that’s required. HP Director, included in the print driver, is intuitive too, making PC-based scanning a doddle. Scanned images show plenty of detail even at 200dpi, though lack a touch of vibrancy. Mono and colour photocopies are also reproduced with accuracy – the PSC 2355 even copied an IT8 test sheet with clearly distinguished colours. The only complaint is a sluggish scan speed. An A4 colour scan at 200dpi took 38 seconds. It’s a shame that it isn’t faster, as it makes the unit less attractive to those wishing to archive film prints. The bundled OCR software was disappointing too.
But print quality is excellent, scanning and photocopying are easy, and it’s generally speedy enough. If you don’t want to pay for these features, take a look at the cheaper Epson, but the PSC 2355 will give you far more room to grow.