printers

HP Photosmart D7460 Photo Printer Review

The HP Photosmart D7460 Photo Printer does a reasonable job of producing photo prints for a budget printer.

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Photo Performance

Photo Performance (6.5)

Speed was not this D7360's highlight when it came to printing photographs. It was slow and unpredictable. The HP D7460 did not handle large files with any sort of class. It took an average of ten minutes to print five large-file 4x6 photographs. It frequently decided it needed to perform printer maintenance in the middle of many of the print tests, thus delaying the print time even more. If it had happened once or twice during the print test, we could just put it down to a minor glitch, but it frequently did this, more so during photo printing. The HP D7460 had a hard time printing large files in general, whether the print requests were 5x7, or 8.5x11 from PC or CF cards.

It did, however, do a much better job of printing small-file photographs. The table below shows the extreme difference in speed: the large-filed 4x6 took two minutes fifty-seven seconds per page to print, while the small-filed 4x6 photograph took only 36 seconds per page to print. That's a big difference when you're printing multiple pictures. We printed five large-filed photographs for the 4x6 and it took over ten minutes. Imagine if you needed to print ten or even 20 photographs; It could quite possibly take over a half-hour, which is much slower than many other printers: the Epson stylus Photo R400 took less than 20 seconds for a large print.

Color Accuracy (6.10)

Color error is a measure of how well the printer reproduces colors. We measure this by printing a digital version of a Gretag Macbeth Colorchecker, then scanning the print and analyzing the image to determine the average color error from all of the error from the sixteen color patches. Below is a sample of the chart.

TestChart.JPG

The HP D7460 had a problem reproducing blue-greens, and colors such as six (bluish green) were extremely inaccurate. This was confirmed when later when sizeable errors came in blues and greens. Square 11 (yellow green) also had a sizeable error. This printer had definitely had a trend of performing better with lighter tones than darker tones. It was never able to accurately reproduce the darkness and depth of the dark tones on either tested papers: the manufacturer's HP Advanced Paper or the Ilford Galerie Paper we use to test all printers.

Color Gamut (3.67)

The Color Gamut test looks at how much of the standard Adobe RGB color space a printer can accurately reproduce. Printers that can render more of the Adobe RGB color space will ultimately output images with a greater range of colors and look more attractive to the eye. On the graph above, the solid color is the color space that the printer can cover, while the grid represents the entire Adobe RGB color space. The closer the two, the more colors the printer can represent and the higher the score. The HP Photosmart didn't do a great job of matching and covering the space. It was able to reproduce 43.45% of the color space. It's main disappointment came when trying to reproduce dark tones.

hpd7360.JPG

Dmax (5.9)

The DMax test is a measurement of the densest black that the printer can produce. We measure this using a densitometer; we use the EyeOne Pro spectrophotometer from Gretag Macbeth. The ideal value of a printer is 2.50, although reaching this score is nearly impossible, getting close is valued highly, as it means that the printer will produce deep, dark blacks.

Sadly, the HP D7460 performed poorly on the DMAx test, earning a score of 2.04. The Epson PM240 performed much better than the D7460 with its score of 2.43, as did the Epson Stylus Photo R2400, which scored a 2.26.

The only printer that we've tested that the HP D7460 beat out was its own predecessor, the HP A440, which earned an even worse 1.72.

Black and White (6)

As reflected in the color accuracy section and above in DMax section, the HP D7460 had a problem with dark colors, not only failing to reproduce the richness of the dark colors but also the depth and accuracy of them. The black and white test proved to be no different for the D7460. Although it was able to reproduce a black and white photograph accurately, its dark blacks came out as dark grays. The white tones proved to be better, but without the dark blacks, the images lacked tonal range.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Setup / Drivers and Software
  3. Document Performance
  4. Photo Performance
  5. Tour and Components
  6. Design and Interface
  7. Inks and Toner
  8. Print Settings and Options
  9. Connectivity
  10. Inks and Toner
  11. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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