Conclusion: For photos, the HP Photosmart 8250 Printer offers fast printing and quality at the high end of very good, making it an excellent choice as a low cost photo printer. It also handles text and graphics well, making it a good pick as a single, all-purpose printer as well.
Pros: High-quality output. Good performance. Separate 4- by 6-inch tray makes it easy to switch between printing letter-size documents and 4- by 6-inch photos.
Cons: Text quality, while good, is low for a photo ink jet. Photos are water- and smudge- , not waterproof or smudgeproof.
Excerpt: HP's Photosmart 8250 has been on our Also Consider list since we first reviewed it in December 2005. It impressed us then with its speed, flexibility and low running costs, so we have included it here to see how it compares with a new group of photo printers. The 8250 prints with six inks, but unlike other HP photo printers it uses six individual cartridges. This is the only inkjet on test to have ink tanks that don't move with the print heads during printing.
Excerpt: HP claims that the Photosmart 8250 is the world's fastest photo printer. It's the first HP consumer inkjet to use an individual ink tank for each of its six colours, rather than the typical HP supplies that combine three colours into a single cartridge. Instead of using on-cartridge print heads, the 8250's tanks supply ink through capillaries to a permanent head. This has 3,900 nozzles and a comparatively large area, so it can lay down plenty of ink with each pass.
Excerpt: If digital photography is your hobby, you'll know how important it is to own a decent photo printer. It lets you see your photos as soon as you've shot them, giving you the chance to print test copies each time you make an adjustment in your image editing software. There's only one drawback: time. A good photo printer can take between five and 20 minutes to print out a single shot. If you've taken a lot of pictures, you can end up dedicating half a day just to printing.
Excerpt: HP has been such a dedicated promoter of the ink and head combo that to see the Photosmart 8250's beheaded wells is a quite a surprise. Instead, the six colours feed into a single head, which should last the whole life of the printer. Wider than its predecessors, the head can be drained to clear bunged nozzles, by pumping colours back into the wells.