Unlike the typical large footprint machines we've been used to seeing from HP's line of OfficeJets, the 5510 is surprisingly a very compact MFD that also sports a flatbed scanner. To put things in perspective, the 5510 is just slightly taller than the manufacturer's personal All-In-One (AIO), the PSC 1210.
The unit is dressed in a two-tone grey finish and controls are sited on the left side of the machine. On the top of the scanner resides the automatic document feeder (ADF) which also doubles as the scanner cover. Overall, the general build quality is acceptable with the exception of the input and output tray--the plastic construction feels about to give way when unfolding it for the first time. Similarly, flipping open the machine to access the print cartridges also lacks that same reassuring feel we've come to expect from HP.
We ran into a little issue when setting up the 5510 on our HP Pavilion test system. While there was no issue in getting the PC to detect the AIO, we needed to install the drivers twice to get things running in proper order. That said, this did prove time-consuming. On the upside, most users will also be happy to know that HP has bundled a USB cable with the printer.
Because of the smaller footprint, the interior mechanism for the installation and replacement of ink cartridges is similar to the one found on HP's PSC 1210. Based on our experience, we reckon there'll be some difficulty especially for people with larger hands. As with earlier AIOs, the unit's ink cartridge alignment is achieved through the scanner unit with the use of a calibration sheet.
In terms of print performance, the 5510 completed our 10-page test in 78 seconds or 7.7 pages per minute. This put it just behind the big office performers such as the manufacturer's own 7130 and Canon's MP730. However, when it came to A4-sized photo prints, the 5510 managed a dismal 7 minutes in optimised mode and a shocking 14.5 minutes in maximum resolution.
With regard to print quality, text output was good, generally staying clean and legible down to a 2.5-point font size. For photos, the prints had slight banding in optimised mode. On the upside, colours in photo outputs looked natural and details were well maintained. Unfortunately, HP has not done anything about off-centered printouts. Like the bigger 7130, this OfficeJet produces the same uneven border surrounding the picture. As this is an office-oriented machine, "borderless" outputs were not catered for.
Additionally, due to the facedown-loading mechanism of the input tray, surfaces of glossy paper tended to be scratched unless a smooth cardboard is placed below.
The 5510's scanner captured colours well with no distortion. The resulting scanned images also remained sharp and lost only a little of their fidelity and contrast. Expectedly, monochrome scans were good.
With the ADF, copy speeds were decent and multi-page fax documents were processed easily. But because of its compact design, we found that when a copy of a fax job exceeded seven pages, there was a tendency for sheets to be pushed out of the ADF's handling tray.
The HP OfficeJet 5510 is a well-featured yet compact MFD that produces generally good print quality and acceptable performance. At a recommended price of AU$399, the 5510 is also fairly affordable. But if you're looking for high outputs or even photo printouts you should take a look at other units instead.