The HP K80 takes our Quality Award this month, nudging ahead of the competition in all our speed, quality and features tests. Alongside the HP PSC750, the K80s highly specified 2,400 x 1,200 inkjet printer produced noticeably top-quality colour prints. The text, although slightly feathered and blotchy, retained a good amount of detail, which was maintained against a solid grey background. Colour tests produce excellent contrast, with slightly banded tonal gradation showing good transition to a pure black. Print speed tests produced average results, however the K80 really shines in scanning time; it was the only device in the round-up to scan a full-colour A4 print under one minute.
While theres no doubt that the K80 scans fast, the results arent anything to get excited about. The scan produced various artefacts and noise, it lacked sharpness, had poor detail and colour was slightly washed out. That said, print quality gets priority over scan quality with this type of device, and the resulting performance score ranks it up with the best.
Fax features are fully catered for with colour faxing, handset, 90-page memory and, surprisingly, the uncommon 33.6Kb/s modem. The front panel provides convenient access and control to many, if not all functions allowing control of PC-independent tasks. Copy functions are available with a 600dpi resolution that allows up to 99 copies and a range of 25-400% reduction or magnification, and a maximum copy speed of 12 pages per minute. This feature set firmly places the K80 alongside the Brother 9200c.
Although our PC Authority Quality Award represents both performance and features, the $899 price tag also made the K80 a close contender for our Value Award. Its overall features, performance and value for money represent a top-quality product that performs all the tasks a multifunction device would be required to perform - and it does them better than any of the others.