For anyone who likes to print photos or high quality images for any reason might be interested in checking out the HP Photosmart C5180. This All-in-one performs well and is fast enough for most basic printing needs. It has nearly every option you can think of including a media card reader, Ethernet connection, and allows you to print directly from the media cards. Overall a good quality printer for under $200, not to bad for a printer with this many features, fast speeds, and print quality.
The HP Photosmart C5180 is nicely designed with a sleek look that doesn’t take up a lot of space. The glossy white and grey body measures 17.6 inches wide, 15.2 inches deep and 7.4 inches tall and only weighs about 20 pounds. The lid isn’t the best designed it doesn’t lean back further than 90 degrees so it tends to fall back down if you aren’t careful. The lid also doesn’t have springs so it won’t close if you have large media underneath it, this can be a pain but it works just as well with the lid open.
There are four media card reader slots that will take most of the common media cards on the market. The one major defective flaw in this printer is not having a PictBridge for direct printing from a digital camera. The printer also doesn’t offer a fax option so it’s not a true all in one printer.
Another issue I have seen with my HP Photosmart C5180 is that it can’t handle large amounts of paper in the tray systems and if you try to put too much in you will get lots of paper jams. You can fit about 100 sheets so this should be enough for most users needs but if you plan on printing large quantities then you might want to re-think the HP Photosmart C5180. It does have a tray for both regular paper and 4X6 photo paper, which it’s nice to have both loaded and ready to go at the same time for easy printing of either size.
The control panel is easy enough to navigate, with a row of buttons on the front of the printer. You also get a small LCD screen that lets you navigate more menus and preview photos before printing. The row of buttons allows you to do some direct printing like copying, printing photos, and make some changes to images.
You can connect to the printer via a USB connection for a single PC or use the Ethernet on a network. It doesn’t have a built-in wireless but you can connect it to a wireless router or print server for a shared wireless connection. The HP Photosmart C5180 also supports both Windows and Mac PCs, so if you have a mix of PCs in your house you can share it easily.
The printer comes with the HP scanning software that is pretty easy to use and the image quality is pretty amazing. I scanned my birth certificate onto thick heavy paper and I couldn’t tell the difference between the original and copy once I cut it out. Another cool little option I found was that you can print your paper to school documents style, lined paper(college and wide ruled), graph paper, and task list which will take a lot of ink but if you really needed it right away you have the option. I was impressed with how well the page looked it even got the light blue of the lines and the magenta of the vertical line on the left of the page.
The HP Photosmart C5180 uses a six ink system, which is very cost effective because it uses individual cartridges which you can replace as they run out. Each ink cartridge (color) costs $10 a piece and the black costs $18, not very steep compared to a lot of other print cartridges.
Overall this is a very good printer, it prints quickly when it is just doing a standard print job and when printing photos it takes about 3 minutes per photo. The print quality is great and photo printing is almost identical. If you get high quality photo paper you won’t be able to see a difference in the photos. For only $189 on Newegg or even cheaper if you get the open box printer for only $119.