Photosmart and OfficeJet printers serve entirely different functions, and selecting the incorrect one can cost you money, degrade the quality of your printouts, or leave you with a broken printer. Both are Hewlett-Packard inkjet printers with similar features, but they are designed for different applications. Photosmart printers are ideal for photo printing, whereas Officejet printers are designed for general, small-business printing.



HP Officejet printers are intended to produce high-quality output comparable to that of a laser printer. The highest quality Officejets print colour images at a resolution of 4800 by 1200 dots per inch when set to their highest quality setting. Others achieve a resolution of 600 x 600. Photosmart printers, on the other hand, can print at up to 9600-by-2400 dpi resolution. This higher resolution enables them to print different colour hues more accurately.


Duty Cycles

Photosmart printers are intended for occasional use. The 7250 all-in-one printer is designed to print up to 1,250 pages per month. Officejets are built to handle much more printing, as befits their intended use in a business setting. The Officejet 6700 all-in-one printer has a monthly page capacity of 12,000, while the Officejet Pro 8000 printer has a monthly page capacity of 15,000 pages.


Ink Sets

Dye-based inks are used in HP Photosmart and some Officejet printers. Dye-based inks, which use a liquid colourant, produce very vibrant colours but are susceptible to fading over time. Pigment-based inks, which are used in some Officejet printers, suspend microscopic solid particles of colour pigment in liquid, providing much better durability and the potential to last longer. Both series of printers offer at least four different colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), but some Photosmarts offer additional cartridges to improve their ability to reproduce photographic colours.



Both printer series provide similar connectivity options. For direct connection to a computer, USB ports are standard, as are Ethernet ports, which allow you to connect the printer to a network hub or switch for sharing among multiple computers. Wireless networking connections are also supported by some printers in both families. Photosmart printers may also include memory card readers and PictBridge USB connections, allowing you to print photos directly from a camera or card without the use of a computer.

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