HP. Photosmart 5520 printer: draft quality does not work
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:38
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Jul 27, 2013

For years I had been using Lexmark multi-functional printers. But this time I went for HP. Photosmart 5520 is the model.
Now in every application from which I want to print I must set the printing quality to "Best", otherwise nothing is to be seen on the paper, except the blue link-texts. Every time when it starts to print even a single page it makes a big fuss, like it would check all its functions and prepare for a day of printing. The same when I copy a page.
So beware of this model if shopping for a printer. With Best-setting the result is excellent, though, but I believe there should be also a draft alternative for fast jobs.


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:38
English to German
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Does it have settings for different kinds of paper? Jul 27, 2013

If the printer is set to photo paper, only one quality level might be possible to protect the user from wasting expensive photo paper.


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:38
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Inkjet printers are programmed to waste (abusively expensive) ink Jul 28, 2013

I've had many of them... Hewlett Packard, Epson, Lexmark, Canon inkjets, and they all have one thing in common: they were engineered to waste ink, which is sold at abusively high prices, if you calculate per liter. The printers per se are comparatively cheap, considering the technology built in them.

Most such printers will self-test on different occasions. If you don't want many of them to print a test sheet upon merely being turned on, you'll usually have to rummage deep into its settings. Most will print a test page whenever you install a new cartridge. And many will do random self-checks as long as they are powered on, and detect a computer connected to them, dumping that precious ink to some internal sump filled with absorbing material.

One particular printer I had (it's decommissioned on a shelf here) HP 990csi, upon doing a self-test would leave pools of ink on a sheet of paper sufficiently large and deep for maybe a hundred ants to drown.

And how much ink does one such cartridge contain? My present Lexmark X5680 (which I use mostly as a scanner and fax - I print mostly on a vintage HP LaserJet 6MP) uses two cartridges: 9 ml black, and 7.5 ml color (supposedly 2.5 ml for each color). These cartridges cannot be refilled with ink. According to my calculations, here in Brazil the black ink costs me USD 1,700.00 per liter, and the color ink USD 3,600.00 per liter.

Years ago I had a portable Canon BJC-200 printer. It cost me BRL 200, retail, and included one ink cartridge BC-02. As soon as that cartridge was exhausted, I discovered that a new cartridge would cost BRL 95 at that time. A half-disposable printer!

So the best option is to go to the print properties menu, and carefully config it to waste as little ink as you can. If you print a lot, the solution is to fit a bulk ink feeding system. If you don't print that much, you'll have to pay through the nose for cartridges, or have them refilled, if at all possible.

[Edited at 2013-07-28 21:27 GMT]


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:38
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Only as a warning Jul 29, 2013

Well, in the settings the default was "Normal", which gives poor output, almost no print to see. The other settings are "best", which I have to use, and "Draft", which I haven't tried yet.
With Lexmark I always used an extra large cartridge for Black, which usually served my well at least half a year. These printers are usually shipped with small cartridges, but Lexmark had this extra large cartridge for replacement.
My new HP now says Black is almost depleted, and I ordered two new cartridges for Black, which cost me 11 Euro a piece, about one tenth of the price of the printer. The color cartridges are almost full still.

I only posted to warn people away from buying this Photosmart model. Its very noisy compared to all printers I ever had.


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HP. Photosmart 5520 printer: draft quality does not work

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