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Smart printer for everyone


Uses (TIJ), no warm - up cycle, cost effective,

Expensive photo paper

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Picture quality

Printing speed

Colour sensitivity

Ease of use

Value For Money



Range of extra features / functionsGood

Instruction manualGood

Manufacturer SupportExcellent

24 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (6%):
  1. joannavos
  2. Maximus-Qualitus
very helpful by (91%):
  2. sim_simian
  3. tune57
and 28 other members
helpful by (3%):
  1. eandemam

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HP are well known for their enhancements in technology as well as the automotive industry, they are one of the leading companies for electronics such as personal computers, notebook computers, servers, network management software, printers, digital cameras, calculators as well as other technology related products.

HP's image and printing group (IPG) is "the leading imaging and printing systems provider in the world for printer hardware, printing supplies and scanning devices, providing solutions across customer segments from individual consumers to small and medium businesses to large enterprises." Which explains why HP is one of the most popular choices among normal consumers as well as large businesses.

With a weight of 1.6 kg, a width of 25.2 cm a depth of 11.8 cm and a height of 12.6 cm. You get a small and compact photo printer, which obviously makes it portable meaning you can carry it around with you wherever you go, if you are the type of person who likes to show off and preview your gadgets amongst your friends and colleagues.

The HP PhotoSmart A717 uses thermal inkjet technology abbreviated to (TIJ). The advantages of using TIJ are that it is cost-effective, as there is no warm-up cycle or downtime when you are in the need of replacing an ink cartridge. You only replace the cartridge you need. A warm-up cycle is the time the printer takes in order to get ready for printing. This uses up significant amounts of energy over-time, but with the PhotoSmart A717 there is no warm-up cycle, thus reducing the amount of energy used.

The use of TIJ technology means that the PhotoSmart A717 is very easy to use. No special training is required to operate the printer, and virtually no maintenance is involved in retaining the efficiency of the printer as the thermal inkjet cartridges are clean, and easy to install. The new technology also means that you get high-quality print-outs at very high speeds. With virtually hundreds of tiny nozzles firing at a high frequency and no moving parts other than the ink ejector, you get top speed for brilliant throughput.

Also TIJ solutions make this printer very reliable. Due to the use of thermal inkjet solutions the printer is less sensitive to air bubbles in the firing chamber than other printing options, thus avoiding print quality problems and delays caused by trapped air. And HP's unique ink delivery system further reduces clogging.

The preview screen is 2.5", which is considerable regarding the size of the printer itself. The printers maximum black & white resolution is 1200 dpi (dots-per-inch) x 1200 dpi and its maximum colour resolution is 4800 dpi x 1200 dpi. Both giving you high quality print-outs. Putting into practice the use high quality photo paper further increase the quality of the print outs. The USB interface makes it possible to connect digital cameras, mobile phones, mp3/mp4 players etc. to the printer in order to produce print-outs of your preferred photos or pictures. The 2.5" screen will make it possible for you to preview your desired photo before you print, which is always handy as you may involuntarily print out something you did not want to print out, which in turn would waste valuable photo paper.

The A717 supports many types of memory cards such as: Memory Sticks, MultiMediaCards, SD Memory Cards, Memory Stick Duo, xD-Picture Cards and CompactFlash Cards. If you have a card type not accepted by this particular printer, you could always buy a card adapter to make life easier. The printers output tray capacity is 20 sheets at 127 x 178 mm. And when you buy the printer you get a single cartridge to start you off. The provided single cartridge will be able to print in both black & white and colour, reducing the need for buying separate cartridges for the two types of print-outs.

The included software is HP's standard for their PhotoSmart range of printers. The A717 is compatible with virtually all OS's (Operating Systems), the compatible OS's include Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Apple MacOS X 10.3.9 or later. However, the Windows Vista OS may not allow you to run this particular printer as it was released before the launch of Windows Vista. I am telling you this from experience, but I am sure if you buy this printer and give it a try it may work. My scanner was released before Windows Vista, and when I bought Vista I discovered that my scanner was only compatible with older OS's. Although, my inkjet printer integrated perfectly with Vista, even though the mention of compatibility with the Vista OS was not present in its specification.

You are not required to buy a top-of-the-range PC in order to run the A717, as only 64 MB of RAM and 200 MB of HD (Hard-Disk) space is required to run the printer on a Pentium II processor and any OS including and below Windows XP. Whilst with PC's using MacOS X 10.3.9 or later OS's you need double the RAM and HD space as with PC's running on Windows OS's (Operating Systems). Which ultimately means you need 128 MB of RAM and 400 MB of free space in the HD.

You can buy this very printer from HP's online shop for £99 including V.A.T. If you don't want the trouble of finding the site yourself, then i will provide you with the link to the printer:

The link is:- http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/ho/WF06b/5043-5683-5807-5807-12489590- 12489620-77067727.html

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed and found my review helpful.

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Comments about this review »

joannavos 15.04.2008 17:59

Very well written review, with all the necessary technical information. Thank you.

MALDIVEDIVER 30.03.2008 11:04

I just brought a simular model with a photosmart camera- not used the printer yet, but the 7mp camera is brill. -Good review as always - cheers MAry

sim_simian 28.03.2008 22:08

great review, rob

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

The black high gloss and silver stylish and compact HP Photosmart A717 compact photo printer delivers the power of ...


MPN Q7102A#ABU, Q7102A, Q7102A#ABA
Printer Type Compact photo printer - ink-jet - colour
Localisation English / United Kingdom, English


Inkjet Technology HP Thermal Inkjet
Built-in Devices Preview screen
Preview Screen Size 2.5"

Show all Product Information

Review Ratings »

This review of HP PhotoSmart A717 has been rated:

"exceptional" by (6%):

  1. joannavos
  2. Maximus-Qualitus

"very helpful" by (91%):

  2. sim_simian
  3. tune57

and 28 other members

"helpful" by (3%):

  1. eandemam

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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