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By Mike Joubert 24 November 2009

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We’ve always enjoyed these little toaster size printers from HP. They’re easy to operate, can print from a wide array of sources, and are small and compact enough to easily pack away when not in use. The new Bluetooth-enabled A646 is no exception.

PC free printing

It seems like HP is serious when it comes to computer free printing, slapping a massive 3.45” touch-screen on top of the A646 to make it easier to select images to print. Images can be selected directly off the most popular memory cards, USB flash disks or from PictBridge enabled cameras. The A646 also includes Bluetooth, so all those pics residing on your phone are ready to be printed out. There is a USB cable included to connect to your PC, with the printer installing directly on connection with no CD having to be installed.

Get creative

For those up for a more creative challenge, HP has thrown in a lot of creative elements into the mix. You have the ability to produce greeting cards and albums from your pics, or add clip art, frames or captions. Also included is a stylus to draw on your photos, but from our results we really can’t see much benefit to this.

Quality

As always we were surprised at the quality of prints coming out of these small printers. Pics took about a minute and a half to print, not particularly fast but adequate. Unfortunately there isn’t a tray to catch printed pics so they tend to spill around.

The convenience of the A646 doesn’t come cheap though. It has a RRP of R1980, more than their recent Photosmart Plus 3-in-1. Visit www.hpshop.co.za for more info.

PROS
Good quality from a small printer, Bluetooth, nice large screen
CONS
Expensive, no print tray
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