HP Photosmart A618 Compact Photo Printer

HP has updated its compact "Toaster" range of printers with the latest model, the Photosmart A618 Compact Photo Printer.

Portable thanks to an option battery pack and included handle, the A618 Compact printer is a deviation from the original white portable printers that HP launched a couple of years ago, and instead sports a black and grey coat.

The printer features a flip-up 2.4-inch screen for editing, a One-touch Photo Fix button, and produces 10 x 15cm photos in just under 40 seconds.

But that's nothing special on its previous incarnations. What is and new to the range is Bluetooth built in as standard rather than having to rely on a USB dongle meaning you can print directly from a mobile phone, as well as the bonus of now being able to print larger print sizes up to 13 x 18cm.

Also new to the range is the ability to enhance images in printer rather than having to worry whether or not your camera or computer software can do it and in practice this works really well.

Options include being able to enhance photos without a PC – crop, zoom and add creative touches like turning images antique, sepia or regular black and white.

The A618 as we've mentioned offers a Photo Fix button and this promises to remove red-eye, improve colour and sharpen photos. The results work well and no matter how much we tried we were very pleased with the photos the printer produced.

Prints, depending on the size of the image, range from 40 seconds to 3 minutes and the average seemed to be around 2 minutes for 10 x 15cm borderless image.

Other features include the ability to print photos directly from PictBridge-enabled cameras or optional memory cards.

Verdict

The A618, like its predecessors is very good and the new features only hope to improve the overage package.

If you've already signed up to HP's "Toaster" range of printers then there won't be enough to justify an upgrade, however those looking to print their digital images without necessary including the PC won't go wrong here.