There is something reassuringly comforting about the HP Photosmart C4380's compact design.

We like its classy and sleek finish and didn't mind too much that we needed to label some of the HP Photosmart C4380's buttons so we could remember what each one did.

There is one notable omission: the HP Photosmart C4380 has no PictBridge support, so you can't print directly from your camera. However, you get a five-in-one card reader, USB and Wi-Fi connectivity – and we certainly can't grumble about the scanning abilities, which stretch to 4,800dpi.

Setup takes around 10 minutes from opening the box to initiating your first print or scan. It isn't as easy to preview images on the HP Photosmart C4380 as on some of the other photo MFPs we've reviewed, because it only has a 1.5in LCD that lies flat, so you have to peer down at it.

Once you've chosen what you want to print, you'll find yourself getting impatient for the results to appear. A mixed graphics page in draft mode came in at 13 seconds, but to print a full-page photo on this same setting and using plain paper, the HP Photosmart C4380 kept us waiting 79 seconds.

Photo printing is more arduous still. HP recommends swapping the tri-colour cartridge for a dedicated photo colour cartridge to get the best photo prints, but we had to wait a whopping 11 minutes and 30 seconds to enjoy the results.

Thankfully, these prints are worth waiting for. The combination of HP's Premium Photo Plus Paper and the HP Photosmart C4380 driver's maximum quality settings produced the best-looking prints of all the photo MFPs here.


If you regularly want to print photos, and scan or copy other documents, and don't mind the associated costs, the HP Photosmart C4380 is a superb model. If you're at all impatient, look elsewhere.