The uses the oft relied-upon HP 110 ink cartridge, used primarily for compact photo printer by HP. While the included cartridge lasted about 35 prints in the lab, you can buy cartidges at your local electronics store that have higher capacity for about $25 (or less online).
As well as the printer itself, the tote bag case of the contains:
A power cable.
An ink cartridge.
A few sheets of HP photo paper.
Though it's not exactly a conventional case, the packaging of the is actually a tote bag to carry around your new compact printer. This could be good for those times when you go to a gathering that absolutely needs photos printed right now.
The does a great job with color accuracy, and has decent depth of blacks and color gamut.
No speed demon, the takes roughly 77 seconds per 4" x 6" print, and even longer for 5" x 7" prints, which is uninspiring to say the least. Still, the resulting picture has good color accuracy, so it's not as if there is no advantage to printing photos with . More on how we test print speed.
Despite their somewhat limited function, the can actually employ new printer profiles, and it benefits greatly from that; giving users a stupendously low color error. As far as photo printers go, this little compact is a tiny powerhouse of color accuracy. More on how we test color accuracy.
Compared to other compacts, the holds up very well, only matched closely by the Epson PM 225. Still, it's hard to ask much more of a compact photo printer.
Camera Color Comparisons
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above may not match the results used for evaluating color accuracy. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the exact printed colors.
A stunning result to be sure, the manages to reproduce 69.9% of the entire Adobe 1998 color gamut, which is very impressive when it comes to any printer, not just a compact.You should have no difficulty reproducing a wide range of color values with the . More on how we test color gamut.
Sample Scan Comparisons
The impresses in depth of blacks with a DMax measure of 2.88, which is impressive for any printer, more so a compact. This score is important, as the deeper the blacks are, the wider the contrast ratio of your pictures will be, making it easier for the printer to re-create moments exactly as you remember them. More on how we test depth of blacks.
Perhaps it's a function of trying to cram everything a printer needs into a tiny package, but the detail performance of the is average at best.
Considering its performance in other areas, it's hard to complain, but you may notice a bit of detail loss in high-contrast patterns or gradients. Below are some scans to illustrate what we mean.
Notice how the ends of thin lines and sharp edges get lost in the print, making the picture suffer a loss of dilineation between black areas and white. Because of this, small details like the white hairs on the dog's forehead get completely crushed into the surrounding darker colors.
Able to print via USB or bluetooth connection, the can start printing your photos very quickly from different sources. The added in-printer drivers allow you to plug'n'play, though the limited range of media is disappointing, but expected for a compact printer.
Aside from the power button, the majority of the on-printer controls are accessed through the resistive touch screen. To this end, the has a plastic stylus to enable users to tap the screen without much frustration due to the size of their fingertips versus the small size of the LCD.
Located on the top of the is the rather large (for its size) resistive LCD touchscreen. This alson doubles as your main interface with the printer outside of a computer should you elect to use it. Using the stylus included with the printer, you can tap through different visually unappealing menus and settings.
The touch menus of the are easy to navigate with the stylus, and they are somewhat more visually appealing than what we've seen on other models of compact printers. The level of control over printer functions is adequate, but not terribly expansive.
The front of the is home to the media ports available for use, though both of them are more multi-function than high in number. One port handles the MemoryStick family of media cards, and the other handles the SD/xD (with adapter) family of media cards.
Much to users' delight, the can be used over an 802.11b/g/n wireless network, but that's not even the coolest feature: not wanting to be left behind by other compact photos in the smartphone age, the allows you to transmit pictures taken with your smartphone to the printer itself, which will then print said picture.
Setup of the is very easy, minus missing the required cable. If you do have a type A to type B USB cable lying around, all you need to do is unpack the printer, plug it into the power source and computer, and install the software that pops up on your screen.
Unsurprisingly, the drivers of the really don't offer much in the way of advanced control of your pictures, but that's really okay. You aren't going to be doing much other than printing 4x6 or 5x7 prints. Among the options that you can mess around with are layout, paper handling, and a couple (literally, 2) photo options.
For simplicity's sake, the compact uses only one CMY ink cartridge that can give you an estimated (by HP) 55 4" x 6" prints for a price of $23.99USD. Be wary that because there are no individual color cartridges, you are prone to see one color dry up faster than the others, making your pictures look quite bad. Replacing and installing the cartridge is easy enough, though.
Because of its diminutive size and limited functionality, the can handle only 4" x 6" or 5" x 7" prints. Still, when you look at competitive compact photo printers, most don't seem to be able to handle 5" x 7" prints, so the has that over similar models. Still, poor scoring here.
When you start opening up the to start printing, the back door that pops open in the back is the paper tray. It can't hold much more than 15 sheets, but it's a compact printer; high volume in anything isn't its forte.
In the following sample images, clicking on the larger image will download the full resolution original.
In terms of value, it's hard to argue with a printer that does the same exact things as the printer in question but better, and cheaper too. For about $100 less than the A536, the A646 performs better across the board, and does just about everything the A536 can do. There's no contest here.
The A646 edges out the A536 in term of color accuracy, although it's not a dramatic difference. Still, the is better.
Both printers maintain roughly the same level of detail in photos, but they certainly have their issues. The barely edges out the A536.
Though the 's dMax measure is fairly good, that of the A536 is uninspiring at best. Stick with the for better contrast.
Both printers are fairly impressive in this regard, but the 's gamut measure of 69.9% of the Adobe RGB color gamut is far better than the A536's.
Both printers can print from smartphones, are very portable, and can print 4 x 6 as well as 5 x 7 inch photos. There is virtually no difference between the two outside of the fact that the has a touchscreen.
Both are affordable printers that have their bright spots, but if connectivity is important to you, or if you require flexibility in printable media, take the . Though the Epson blows every other printer away that we've reviewed so far in terms of performance, it can only do so on 4 x 6 prints. That's it. The on the other hand, can print from a smartphone, computer, or media card, and can also do 5 x 7 prints if need be.
Both printers have very accurate colors, and nigh-identical scores in this regard.
While neither printer impresses here, the Epson PM 225 manages to maintain a better level of detail than the , maintaining a more even color gradient than the .
Though the 's dMax measure is impressive, the Epson trounces almost every other printer we've ever had in this regard, so it's no surprise that it scores higher here.
Despite the 's impressively massive color gamut, the PM 225 outshines the again, measuring in with a 75%+ recreation of the Adobe RGB color gamut.
Perceived value of each printer has largely to do with what you value in a printer. If you're looking for instant prints like the Polaroids of old, the new Z340 is a great pickup. It can't perform on the level of the , but it does provide you with convenient and quick prints. If you want something you can hang or frame, you're going to want the instead.
The Polaroid has a severe problem with color accuracy, though it's not much of a surprise because the printer uses no ink! Regardless, it did not fare well in any of our tests.
The Polaroid has extreme difficulty maintaining detail on its tiny 2 x 3 photo paper, but to be fair, it does not have thousands of tiny nozzles blasting its paper with picoliters of ink. It has no ink at all, so there's really no reason you should expect it to do as well as the for this purpose.
Though both are convenient compact printers, you really have to determine what you want in one to decide which is the more fitting for your use. If you want instantaneous tiny prints with dubious quality, the Polaroid will rekindle your nostalgia for their older cameras. If you want a versatile compact printer with decent quality, the is going to seem more usable to you.
As far as compact photo printers go, the competes well with the better-performing models of the bunch, and with the added convenience of having all of the drivers stored on the machine itself, as well as the ability to print from a smartphone, the is a very solid pick amongst the compact photo printer market.
It doesn't have the absolute best performance out there, but it does a fine job with 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 prints, which is all that consumers considering the will ask for. It's a little on the slow side, but the quality and convenience gained by purchasing the is more than worth it.
All that aside, if you want to print documents or photo prints larger than 5 x 7, you're going to need a different printer.
Meet the tester
Staff Writer, Imaging@cthomas8888
A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.
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