Steve's Digicams

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

Review posted 8/17/03

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

Get impressive color accuracy, precise image detail and stunning black and white photos with HP's top of the line Photosmart 7960 photo printer, which features eight-color ink and up to 4800-optimized dots per inch (dpi). Black and white prints never looked so vivid thanks to the new Photo Gray cartridge.

You can quickly view and edit photos before printing them via the builtin 2.5-inch color LCD. You can download and print photos from a digital camera via the printer's four, onboard memory card slots or print directly from select Photosmart cameras - no computer required.

Additionally you can produce borderless 4 x 6-inch photos without first removing the 8.5 x 11-inch paper using the special 4 x 6-inch photo paper tray and HP Premium Plus Photo paper.

Photosmart 7960 Features:

  • Photo quality printing with up to 4800-optimized dpi with eight-ink color printing
  • New Photo Gray ink cartridge for stunning black and white prints
  • Print borderless photos up to 8.5 x 11-inches
  • Special tray holds up to 20 sheets of 4 x 6" photo paper and allows you to print photos without unloading the regular paper tray
  • Print directly from CompactFlash (Type I or II including IBM Microdrive), SmartMedia, Secure Digital / MMC, Memory Stick or xD-Picture Cards
  • Print directly from HP digital cameras using the front USB port
  • Send and save photos to the computer easily via the printer's save-to-PC feature
  • Use the memory card slots to transfer image data to the computer, works just like a card reader
  • Optional black ink cartridge for faster, crisper black text for regular printing tasks.
  • High-quality photographic reproduction using HP's exclusive color layering technology from PhotoREt Pro
  • Resist fading for up to 73 years on HP Premium Plus Photo paper (according to tests by Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc.)

Versatile Printing Options

Print from Flash Memory Cards

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

The printer has four flash memory card slots on the front next to the control panel. There is a dedicated slot for CompactFlash Type I or II cards including IBM Microdrive, a slot for SecureDigital or MultiMediaCard, a slot for SmartMedia or xD-Picture cards and a slot for Memory Stick (and Memory Stick Duo, Magic Gate and Memory Stick Pro) cards. Only one card can be inserted at a time, you will receive a warning if you attempt to insert more than one card.

After inserting a memory card, the 2.5-inch color LCD will say "reading card..." and then display the number of photos and videos that it has found. Then the first picture is shown so you can edit it or print it. You can scroll through your pictures by using the 4-way controller (just like on your digicam) or you can print a HP Photo Proof Sheet (index sheet.)

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

You can print up to 63 thumbnails per 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of paper. Each thumbnail has the filename printed below and in the bottom left corner is a number that is assigned by the printer. You use this number to reference the photo(s) that you want to print. You can also select the ALL PHOTOS option if you want to print all the pictures on the card.

Using the selector switch you input the photo #'s that you want to print, then the number of copies, select the desired paper size and hit the PRINT button. You can use the Tools menu to manually adjust brightness (7 levels,) select cropping (standard or full image,) borderless (on, off) or choose a color option (color, black & white, sepia or antique.) The Tools menu also lets you clean the print cartridges, select paper settings, page layout, menu language and regional settings.

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

The large 2.5-inch color LCD can be tilted up or down to adjust for your viewing angle. This display is larger than that on most digital cameras and is a very high resolution monitor with excellent color rendition and contrast.

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

The memory card slots act just like a card reader when the printer is connected to a computer via the USB cable. The memory card appears like a removable drive in the "My Computer" folder of a Windows XP machine. You can easily copy, move or delete files on "Drive K:" using Windows Explorer or any file management program.

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

You'll find two new tray icons on your task bar. One looks like a memory card and turns green when a card is inserted in one of the four card slots. Right-clicking on it brings up the menu as shown above. The icon to the right gives you access to the 7960's printer driver. See the section "Print from Computer" on the next page for the driver features and options.

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

With Windows XP or Me you will get one of these "popups" on your computer screen (if the printer is connected via USB) whenever a card is inserted. You can select an automatic action such as unload pictures using HP Image Unload Software or Open folder to view or copy the image files.

Print Directly from Photosmart Cameras

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

Many of the HP digital cameras such as the Photosmart 635, Photosmart 735 and Photosmart 935 can be connected directly to the printer using the special USB cable that is supplied with the camera. The camera is connected to the front USB port on the printer.

HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer HP Photosmart 7960 Photo Printer

Using the camera's Share menu you select the photos and number of copies that you want to print. This can be done with the camera by itself or when the camera is placed in the HP 8881 Digital Dock. See our Photosmart 935 camera review for more details on this operation.

US visitors Photosmart 7960 Inkjet Printer (21 PPM, 4800x1200 DPI, Color, 16MB, PC/Mac)

$ 245.00 at

UK visitors Printer film - matte film backlit film - translucent - Roll A0 (36 in x 75 ft) - 160 g/m2 - 1 pcs.

£ 105.13 at DPSB

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Photosmart 7960 Specifications

print speed, black -- draft mode (pages per minute) Up to 21 ppm
print speed, black -- normal mode (pages per minute) Up to 7.7 ppm
print speed, black -- best quality mode (pages per minute) Up to 0.9 ppm
print speed, color -- draft mode (pages per minute) Up to 16 ppm
print speed, color -- normal mode (pages per minute) Up to 5 ppm
print speed, color -- best quality mode (pages per minute) Up to 0.9 ppm
recommended monthly volume, maximum 3000 pages
print technology HP Thermal Inkjet
print quality, black Up to 1200-rendered dpi black when printing from a computer
print quality, color Up to 4800 optimized dpi (up to 4800 x 1200-optimized dpi color when printing from a computer and 1200-input dpi)
resolution technology PhotoREt Pro
paper trays, std. 1
paper trays, max. up to 1 input trays
input capacity, std. Up to 100 sheets
input capacity, max. Up to 100 sheets
standard envelope capacity 14 envelopes
output capacity, std. Up to 50 sheets
output capacity, max. Up to 50 sheets
duplex printing Automatic (optional with the purchase of a duplex accessory)
media sizes, std. US letter, legal, executive, envelopes, index cards, 4 x 6 inch with tab
media sizes, custom 3 x 5 to 8.5 x 14 in
media type Paper (plain, inkjet, photo, glossy, transparencies, labels, cards, iron-on transfers, banner paper)
media weight, recommended 16 to 24 lb
memory, max. 16 MB
print languages, std. HP PCL Level 3 Enhanced
typefaces 8 built-in fonts, 4 each in portrait and landscape orientation: CG Times, CG Times Italic, Univers, Univers Italic, Courier, Courier Italic, Letter Gothic, Letter Gothic Italic
memory card compatibility CompactFlash Type I and II and Microdrive, SmartMedia, Secure Digital, MultiMedia Cards, Memory Sticks (Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro, Magic Gate), xD-Picture Card
connectivity, std. 2 USB ports (front and back)
compatible operating systems Microsoft® Windows® 98, Me, 2000 Professional, XP Home and Professional

Macintosh OS 9.1 or later, OS X v 10.1 through v 10.2 on G3 processor or greater

print drivers, std. HP PCL Level 3 Enhanced
dimensions (w x d x h) 20.9 x 15.1 x 7.6 in
weight 16.8 lb
warranty, std. One-year limited warranty backed by HP Customer Care service and support

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