HP Smart Tank 530 review: Nifty, hassle-free printer

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Price: Rs 16,949

Specs: A4 colour inkjet all-in-one printer, print, scan, copy, 2.2-inch touch display, automatic document feeder, USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, WiDi, 100 sheet input tray, 30 sheet output tray

In the box: Printer, power cable, USB cable, 135ml black (3 bottles), 70ml cyan, magenta, yellow each, print heads, documentation

I have always believed that a printer should be hassle-free – easy to set up and control, no mess of wires or tension of cartridges drying, and more – without compromising on features or performance. The HP Smart Tank 530 fits it all.

Designed for home and small and medium offices, it has a smaller footprint as compared to professional office printers yet features an automatic document feeder (AFD), ink tank system (no cartridges) and fast prints.

Setting up the printer took less than five minutes. This included inserting print heads (that looks like cartridges), pouring ink in the tanks, connecting it to the wireless network and printing/scanning for head alignment. As the printer supports dual-band WiFi for faster and reliable connections, I connected it to the 5Ghz network. For all this, right from setting it up to accessing Wi-Fi password, selecting copy/scan, the video demos – the compact touch display came in handy. Accompanied with home and back key, all the controls made the printer easy to operate.  Besides, the printer automatically detects the page size and prompts on the touch display.

Once configured, I was able to print documents just by connecting my iPhone on the same Wi-Fi network. And it printed the first print in less than 20 seconds. The experience is seamless if working on an Apple ecosystem. If not connected to a router, the printer also supports WiDi technology, where it creates a wireless network of its own. The password for the WiDi is accessible from the touch display, and I was able to quickly connect my Windows laptop to the printer for print commands. But this Smart Tank isn’t just a printer. With the automatic document feeder on the top, I was able to use photocopy and scan multiple pages with ease. I didn’t have to change pages manually. For photocopying documents, it can take command for 99 copies at one go. However, for scanning documents, I had to use the HP Smart app, which also required me to create an account with HP. But forcing customers to create an account using email ID and mobile number to scan documents for a hardware purchase isn’t acceptable. This is the only thing I don’t like about this printer. Once I created my account with HP, I was able to scan the document with ease. That said, the HP Smart app is a nifty one, offering features such as camera scan, copy, print documents, print photos, create photo books, help & support and more. Talking about photos, it does an impressive job with photo prints too. It took over a minute to print a postcard size photo, but the ink dried quickly, and the print wasn’t dark or appeared artificial.

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This smart tank printer has individual ink tanks for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Unlike the cartridge-based printers where the cartridge has to be replaced even if the ink levels are low, here I can refill the colour on which the printer is running low on. Most importantly, the printer is accompanied by three 135ml black ink bottles (spill-free) and a 70ml each for the coloured ones. According to HP, the printer is good enough to print 6,000 pages with the accompanied inks, which means you can print around 500 pages a month for a year.

Be it scanning, printing documents and photos, or making copies, the HP Smart Tank 530 lives up to its name.