The HP PhotoSmart C4280 lives up to its moniker being both a smartly designed model in its clean-looking grey and white casing, as well as an adept photo printer.

It was also the most compact and easy-to-carry multifunction photo printer we've tested. The PhotoSmart C4280's paper tray caused us a few problems, however. Paper often became jammed and creased as it was fed through. It was also tricky to load and the PhotoSmart C4280 often sucked in several sheets at once.

Printing was itself a noisy process, but the PhotoSmart C4280's prints were of a high quality and produced faster than any other model we've tested recently. However, the bundled software could have been easier to use and we found it difficult to select the format in which each scan was to be saved.

Replacing inks was a simple task and we liked the PhotoSmart C4280's dedicated buttons for resizing, rotating and altering the quality, as well as to print multiple copies and resize to fit the page. The labels for each are far from clear, however, and you must consult the Photosmart's 3.8cm LCD after each press to discover a button's function. We also appreciated the memory card slots included at the front of the unit.

The PhotoSmart C4280 produced a colour copy in 1 minute 20 seconds and, most importantly, produced the closest copy to the original documents out of all the MFDs here. Its mono-copying performance couldn't live up to this performance, but the results were still pretty faithful.

Quicker than any other model here at printing text at low-quality settings, we were amazed at the excellent quality of the PhotoSmart C4280's draft prints. There was little distinction between Normal and Fine quality settings: text appeared crisp and clear in both cases.

Buying advice - August 2007