HP's Photosmart D5460 inkjet printer is a bargain that you can brag about. Though it's a bare-bones printer in most respects, it has a few standout features that any photo enthusiast would love to have.
In our laboratory tests, the Photosmart D5460 pushed paper quickly, managing a swift 11.4 pages per minute when printing text-only pages and 3.4 ppm when printing graphics. The main input tray holds just 125 sheets (lower than average), however, and it doesn't accept legal-size media.
Among the printer's positives are a dedicated 20-sheet photo-paper tray, which handles paper sizes of up to 5 inches by 7 inches, and an integrated input tray and caddy for specially coated CD or DVD media. The CD/DVD input tray nests within the printer's front bay and pulls down easily for use. The caddy (conveniently stored beneath the main input tray) is bendy, but it makes feeding optical media into the printer fairly straightforward.
The Photosmart D5460 has one other interesting feature: an extra, pigment-based black ink for printing text, supplementing HP's usual, dye-based black, cyan, magenta, and yellow inks for graphics. We liked the blackness of the text we printed on plain paper, though we noticed a little feathering around the characters. Photos printed on HP's own paper looked natural (aside from a slight orange cast to flesh tones) and showed sharp detail even in dark or muted areas.
The inks are impressively economical, too. The Photosmart D5460 ships with regular-size (130- to 300-page) cartridges for all five inks, butHP sells high-capacity versions of all colors. The regular-size cyan cartridge, for instance, costs $10 and lasts about 300 pages (per HP), which works out to an affordable 3.3 cents per page. The 750-page (by HP's estimate) cyan cartridge costs $15--or just 2 cents per page.
The printer's control panel is simple, with an angled, 1.5-inch color LCD and only four buttons. When you insert a media card into one of the front slots, you can use the LCD display to scroll through your photographs and select one or more for printing.
The Photosmart D5460 starts out as a basic machine, but it provides more options and higher-quality output than you'd expect for the price. If you're concerned about the high cost of photo printing, this economically designed model may provide the answer you've been looking for.