HP Photosmart 385 Photo Printer is a Good Buy

The HP Photosmart 385 photo printer is a compact printer designed specifically for printing the pictures you take with your digital camera. It is small enough to be portable but the quality is good enough to print some really nice pictures. And, it is simple to use! You can simply take the memory card from your camera and insert it into the printer to access the pictures. Then printing is a few simple steps to follow. It is just perfect for anyone who likes to share photos. It is simple to use, even for a novice. Following the simple directions, setting up the printer, installing the ink cartridge and printing is a only a few quick steps.

The first thing that you do after taking the printer out of the box is to plug the adapter cord into both the power supply and into the printer. Then the “on” button is depressed and the paper in tray opens, the paper out tray opens and the tilt screen pops up. The screen displays a message that there is no ink in the printer. So, installing the ink is the next step to take.

Open the door on the front and insert the ink cartridge which is included in the 7 ml size (a 14 ml size is also available but sold separately. The printer does the rest of the work. Next, insert the paper, making sure that the glossy side faced forwards. Last, insert the camera’s memory card and the printer detects and shows the pictures on the screen. Select the photo to print, push the print button and your photo will print!

This printer has some great features. The first is that you can view pictures on tiltable 2.5″ screen. It can crop or zoom in on pictures. It can print borderless 4 x 6 photos in beautiful vibrant colors. The printer also automatically removes red eye. One of the best features, in my opinion, is that there is no need to hook up to a computer in order to print your pictures.

After exploring more options on this printer, I discovered that I can choose to zoom into a portion of a picture or crop portions of the picture out. I can also choose how many pictures I print per page from 1,2 or 4 pictures. The paper size remains the same (4 x 6) so if you choose 2 pictures per page, they are going to be 2 x 3 inch pictures and even smaller for 4 per page.

With this printer, you can also rotate the direction of the picture before printing or change the brightness. You can choose to remove red eye but often the printer automatically detects this and does it by itself. You can add color effects or add frames. You can choose a variety of patterns and colors for the frames.

Another really neat feature is that you can print an index page of your photos just like they do at the photo developing places you may go to. The printer will print up to 28 mini pictures per 4 x 6 page.

The printer is not necessarily the quickest printer around but the quality is worth the time it takes. It usually takes between 1-2 minutes for each picture to print. You can choose several pictures at one time that you want to print. As long as there is enough paper loaded into the printer, it will print them in sequence.

As I said earlier, the printer came with a 7ml ink cartridge. I printed 50 photos with this cartridge before having to change to a new cartridge. To purchase the ink cartridge would cost about $25 plus I spent $5 for a 50 pack of paper. This makes the cost per picture about 60 cents per picture. Kind of costly! BUT, you can buy a multi-pack that contains 200 sheets of 4 x 6 paper and two ink cartridges (enough to print 200 photos) for $48. This brings the price per print down to only 24 cents. Now, that’s much better! I know that you can probably get prints a little cheaper if you take them to someplace like Walmart but the convenience of this printer is worth 24 cents per print!

The front of the printer has slots for 6 different types of photo memory cards. The following cards will fit into the printer: CompactFlash, MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital, Smart Media, Memory Stick and the xD Picture Card If you choose, you can also attach a USB cord into the printer and attach it to your computer to take pictures you have stored there. The beauty of this printer is that you don’t need to have a computer though.

Here is my personal impression of this printer: The HP Photosmart 385 photo printer is a great buy. I find that it is easier to use this printer than to print through my computer because there are less steps to get to the picture and then print it. In addition, I find that these pictures are much better quality than those printed by my regular printer. Plus, I do not have to cut the 8 x 11 paper to make the 4 x 6 prints. This is a big plus because I can never seem to cut straight!

Another big plus is that I can take this printer with me wherever I go. I’ve taken it to relatives houses when we have get-togethers and I can pass out prints of good pictures right then and there, saving me the time and expense of sending photos later on. And, this way I can’t forget to send pictures!

I used this printer at my daughter’s birthday party. The kids made their own picture frames and I was able to take pictures of each party guest with my daughter that they can put the picture into the frame and take home as a party favor. I’m sure it is one that they will find worthy of keeping to remember the party. Much better than the little plastic toys that many party loot bags contain and certainly healthier than a bag full of candy!

So, overall, I say to buy this printer. It is a good value and it is a good printer! It is great for anyone from the amateur photographer to the scrapbooker! And, it’s simple enough for even kids to use!

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