HP Photosmart A516 Compact Photo Printer

By M. David Stone  |  Posted 2007-02-09 Print this article Print

Review: The HP Photosmart A516 prints at sizes up to 4- by 12-inch panoramas, and offers an LCD for previewing photos on cards. (PCMag.com)

You wouldnt know it from the model number, but the HP Photosmart A516 Compact Photo Printer ($99.99 direct) is a direct descendant of last years HP Photosmart 385 GoGo Printer.

HP has changed its naming scheme, but the resemblance was obvious the instant I opened the box. The ink jet-based A516 has the same miniature-toaster shape as the 385—big enough to hold two slices. And it shares key features with its older sibling, including similar print speed, high-quality output, and the ability to print at sizes up to 4- by 12-inch panoramas.
But the A516 brings something new to the party, in the form of nearly waterproof output. And it offers more features than I generally expect to see for this price.

To begin with, the A516 can print from most memory cards as well as PictBridge cameras and computers. And its built-in LCD lets you preview photos on memory cards. Granted, the LCD is only 1.5 inches, and its at a fixed angle, so you may have to move the printer (or your head) to see it well; but its still a big improvement over not having an LCD at all, which is what you usually get (or dont get) at this price.

Read the full story on PCMag.com: HP Photosmart A516 Compact Photo Printer PointerCheck out eWEEK.coms Printers Center for the latest news and reviews of printers.

M. David Stone is an award-winning freelance writer and computer industry consultant with special areas of expertise in imaging technologies (including printers, monitors, large-screen displays, projectors, scanners, and digital cameras), storage (both magnetic and optical), and word processing. His 25 years of experience in writing about science and technology includes a nearly 20-year concentration on PC hardware and software. He also has a proven track record of making technical issues easy for non-technical readers to understand, while holding the interest of more knowledgeable readers. Writing credits include eight computer-related books, major contributions to four others, and more than 2,000 articles in national and worldwide computer and general interest publications. His two most recent books are The Underground Guide to Color Printers (Addison-Wesley, 1996) and Troubleshooting Your PC, (Microsoft Press, 2000, with co-author Alfred Poor).

Much of David's current writing is for PC Magazine, where he has been a frequent contributor since 1983 and a contributing editor since 1987. His work includes feature articles, special projects, reviews, and both hardware and software solutions for PC Magazine's Solutions columns. He also contributes to other magazines, including Wired. As Computers Editor at Science Digest from 1984 until the magazine stopped publication, he wrote both a monthly column and additional articles. His newspaper column on computers appeared in the Newark Star Ledger from 1995 through 1997.

Non-computer-related work includes the Project Data Book for NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (written for GE's Astro-Space Division), and magazine articles and AV productions on subjects ranging from cosmology to ape language experiments. David also develops and writes testing scripts for leading computer magazines, including PC Magazine's PC Labs. His scripts have covered a wide range of subjects, including computers, scanners, printers, modems, word processors, fax modems, and communications software. He lives just outside of New York City, and considers himself a New Yorker at heart.


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