The Bottom Line
- Large touch screen
- Lightweight and portable
- Limited editing options
- Slow printing
- Large, 4.8" touch screen
- Borderless printing
- Support for multiple types of memory cards
- Optional Bluetooth wireless capability
- 3.4 pounds
- Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and Mac OS X v10.4
Guide Review - HP Photosmart A626 Compact Photo Printer
The touch screen on top is large, making photos easy to preview and edit. The printer uses a single cartridge and comes with one sample cartridge good for about ten photos. On the back is a USB port for a printer connection (the directions mistakenly say a USB cable is supplied) and a power-cord connection.
On first use the printer allows you to choose your language. An animation shows how to insert the cartridge, which is helpful since it wasn't clear at first which way to rotate the cartridge.
Thumbnails from an SD card appeared almost immediately on the screen. Scroll through four pictures at a time and when you select one, you get editing options. Editing options are limited to cropping, removing red-eye, and adjusting brightness. Creative options include adding frames, captions, drawing, and clip art. You can "slim" photos, or change them to sepia, black and white, metallic, or solarized. You can draw on photos but beware: lines that look smooth on the screen come out more jagged and uneven than you might expect.
When you press Print, a timer pops up estimating the print time. In my tests it estimated 1:35 at highest quality. All of the test pictures took about 1:50 for a 4x6 print. Prints came out completely dry and smudge-free.
The colors were vibrant but too strong in some cases; yellow gloves shone like the sun, and the glare of a flash on black hair showed up as dark blue. That pointed to one of the printer’s weak spots: despite the fun editing features, there was no way to make color adjustments that would have improved the color.