If you don't need all of the extras included in the HP Photosmart Premium Fax, consider opting for its less expensive cousin, the HP Photosmart C6380.

The HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One's most notable feature is a nicely designed caddy system for printing labels on specially coated CD/DVD media. Another nice touch is the 50-sheet automatic document feeder's ability to scan legal-size media (the scanner platen handles letter-size pages only).

You also get a 50-sheet output tray and a 20-sheet photo tray with the HP Photosmart Premium Fax. Duplex printing and scanning are automatic (letter-size only), the latter via the ADF only. The control panel is pretty nice, with a tiltable, 2.4in colour LCD.

Connectivity options include ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth (for printing only). You can connect a camera and other media via the HP Photosmart Premium Fax's many slots, which accommodate CF; SD/xD; MS/Duo; and USB/PictBridge.

HP's speed claims of 33 pages per minute for text and 32ppm for graphics are achievable only in draft mode. In our tests at the HP Photosmart Premium Fax's default settings, the Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One managed 11.3ppm for text and 3.1ppm for graphics - still relatively fast for an inkjet MFP.

Print quality was reasonably good: Text looked fairly black and mostly crisp; and graphics, which looked blotchy (but mostly natural) on plain paper, sported smoother, better colouring on HP's own special paper.

Ink costs are basically average across the board.

OUR VERDICT

You get some really special features for with the Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One's high price. Its older cousin, the HP Photosmart C8180, provides an interesting variation of its own: it can write to CD/DVD media and etch labels onto LightScribe-compatible discs.