ReviewsHP Photosmart A636 Compact Photo Printer Review

HP Photosmart A636 Compact Photo Printer Review

I was excited to try the HP Photosmart A636 printer out because I heard it was very easy to manage and so compact it would fit anywhere and when the package arrived I could help but notice how small and light it was. My first thought was – There’s a printer in here? It must only weigh 5 lbs., if that? Now, after doing some research I did find out that the41prkejzrbl_sl500_aa280_ A636 is a little bigger than most small-formatted printers, but this is truly the smallest printer I’ve ever seen. (Blame it on living in a small town surrounded by cornfields and the fact that I’m not able to get out much!)

So I opened it up, checked out the box and started in on the directions. If I don’t read the directions I’m sure to mess something up! But I could have managed it without the directions because it’s that darn easy to set up and get started printing those pictures. To set up for printing from a PictBridge camera, a USB, or a memory card, you simply plug in the power cord, snap in the one cartridge, and load the paper. The driver installation was a breeze too, you just connect it to your computer by plugging in a USB cable, click Start, get your license key and you’re done. The easy automatic installation works on XP, Vista, and Mac OS versions 10.4 and 10.5.

My favorite part of the A636 Photo printer is the touch screen which is full color and has some well designed icons on both sides to make navigating and printing easy. If you like drawing on your photos you know that sometimes using your fingers can be troublesome, but have no fear.. the A636 comes with a stylus to give you more control. The stylus just snaps in and out of a slot that’s located at the top of the printer so when it’s not in use it doesn’t get lost (or in my case, a baby takes off with it).

The quality of printed pictures is excellent. My husband and myself couldn’t tell the difference between the pictures I printed at home on photo paper compared to the pictures we received from a photo developing center. According to HP the printed photos are water and scratch resistant and will last 200 years if kept in dark storage, more than 50 years behind glass and more than 10 years exposed to air. Very nice!

I also liked the fact that I could print 5×7’s if I wanted to as well as 4×6’s and 4-by-12-inch panoramas. With most similar compact printers I’ve read about, printing a 5×7 isn’t easy or even doable.

The only improvements I would suggest to HP, if they ever asked my opinion, was to make it a little faster at printing. It seems a little slow printing when I was printing directly off my camera but the quality of the pictures are outstanding so I wouldn’t let the speed turn you away from the A636.

Also beware.. if you take out the ink when it’s still full and put it back in to the printer, it won’t print. The HP printer will notice it’s used and will not allow it to print, so just be sure to get every last bit of use out if it before you remove it. We found this out first hand because my husband wanted to check out the ink cartridge to see how big/small it was and tried to put it back in to do some more printing. This also means that those refill kits won’t work with this printer.

The HP Photosmart A636 Compact Photo Printer is definitely worth checking out. It would make a great portable printer as well, it even has a nifty little handle that’s built-in to make it easy to carry. This is a great feature for us because we have to print out a lot of baby pictures and take them over to our family’s house. A lot of times we don’t print out the ones they really wanted or we print the wrong size, so now I can just take the A636 with me and they can pick their photos and we’ll print them right there and everyone’s happy.

Great for Moms & Mother’s Day!

Help Support a Great Cause

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