HP's Photosmart D5460 inkjet printer is a bargain that you can brag about.

Although it's a bare-bones printer in most respects, the HP Photosmart D5460 has a few standout features that any photo enthusiast would love to have.

In our laboratory tests, the HP Photosmart D5460 pushed paper quickly, managing a swift 11.4 pages per minute when printing text-only pages and 3.4 ppm when printing graphics. The main input tray holds just 125 sheets (lower than average), however, and it doesn't accept legal-size media.

Among the HP Photosmart D5460's positives are a dedicated 20-sheet photo-paper tray, which handles paper sizes of up to 5x7in, and an integrated input tray and caddy for specially coated CD or DVD media. The CD/DVD input tray nests within the printer's front bay and pulls down easily for use. The caddy (conveniently stored beneath the main input tray) is bendy, but it makes feeding optical media into the printer fairly straightforward.

The HP Photosmart D5460 has one other interesting feature: an extra, pigment-based black ink for printing text, supplementing HP's usual, dye-based black, cyan, magenta, and yellow inks for graphics. We liked the blackness of the text we printed on plain paper, though we noticed a little feathering around the characters. Photos printed on HP's own paper looked natural (aside from a slight orange cast to flesh tones) and showed sharp detail even in dark or muted areas.

The inks are impressively economical, too. The HP Photosmart D5460 ships with regular-size (130- to 300-page) cartridges for all five inks, but HP sells high-capacity versions of all colours.

The HP Photosmart D5460's control panel is simple, with an angled, 1.5in colour LCD and only four buttons. When you insert a media card into one of the front slots, you can use the LCD display to scroll through your photographs and select one or more for printing.

OUR VERDICT

The HP Photosmart D5460 starts out as a basic machine, but it provides more options and higher-quality output than you'd expect for the price. If you're concerned about the high cost of photo printing, this economically designed model may provide the answer you've been looking for.