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HP PhotoSmart 385 Compact Photo Printer

TabletPc2.com Product of the Month
June 2006 

by Linda A. Epstein

HP 385 Photo printer

HP PhotoSmart 385 Compact Printer

Weighing only 2.6 pounds The HP 385 Photo Printer puts photo printing at your fingertips anywhere you go. 

To say that we were impressed by the ease of use and quality of the prints from the HP Photosmart HP385  Front385 compact printer would be an understatement.... In fact, we were nothing short of amazed with both the ease of use and the quality of the photos that came out of this compact printer.

The HP 385 is a compact/portable photo printer with four flash memory card slots on the front for direct printing from Compact Flash Type I or II, Secure Digital or MultiMedia Card, Smart Media or xD-Picture cards and Memory Stick/MS Pro.  

The included quick start guide with diagrams and step by step instructions makes set up a snap.  In fact from the time we opened the box to the time we had the printer set up, the ink installed and and printing photos was less than 5 minutes.

A view from the top:  From the menu on the 2.5 inch LCD screen you you have the ability to preview and edit your photos directly from the memory card (without a computer) .   Control is at your fingertips with clearly marked and easy to use buttons.   You also have the option to print one, two or four photos on each 4x6 borderless print.   

HP 385 -top

Insert a memory card, choose you photos and hit the print button, less than 90 seconds later you have a crisp clear photo.    With the built in HP "Real Life Technology" the 385 printer can automatically detect and remove Red-eye and enhance details in dark areas giving you the best possible photo output.   HP's Vivera Inks give you sharp crisp photos that will last up to 82 years.

While you can connect your Tablet or UMPC to the HP Photosmart 385 with a USB cable, Another nice feature of the HP 385 is that by adding the optional HP Bluetooth Wireless Printer Adapter allows you to print wirelessly from your Tablet PC, Ultra Mobile PC, Camera phone or other bluetooth enabled devices.  You can also print directly from any PictBridge-enabled camera via a USB cable.

HP 385 - printing

Above we chose a waterfall picture and a flower photo from an SD card, used the zoom button to crop the photos, selected them, chose two prints on the page and hit print ........ Keeping in mind that your looking at a photograph of a photograph you can imaging just how crisp and clean these photos are.

Flower photo


What's in the Box:HP BOX

  • HP Photosmart 385 Compact Photo Printer
  • Setup Poster
  • HP 95 Tri-color Inkjet Printer Cartridge,
  • Power Cord
  • Index Card Kit
  • Users Guide
  • Sample photo paper
  • Photo Paper Storage bag
  • Registration Card
  • CD with HP Image Zone Photo & Imaging Software for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh with HP Share-to-Web Software


(from the hp web site)

Simple, economical, mobile

• Crop, zoom, and print photos on the 2.5" flip-up color image display
• Share photos instantaneously at events and on trips with as-fast-as-60-second printing
• Print real-life-color, borderless 4 x 6"s at home for as little as 24 cents each2
• Automatically remove red eye and enhance detail in dark photo areas using the included HP Real Life technologies
• Leave the PC at home: you can print right from most memory cards or flash drives, plus from PictBridge-enabled cameras
• Save time and money: the display lets you easily see exactly what you'll print, no need for paper-wasting "rough drafts"
• Maximize your ink efficiency: get fast results and superior fade resistance while using less ink with HP's Vivera inks

Cutting-edge features, expanded options

• Print directly from your phone, PDA, or laptop using an optional HP Bluetooth Wireless Printer Adapter
• Print artistic and vintage-looking black-and-white photos with the optional HP Gray Photo Inkjet Cartridge
• Go portable, keep on going using an optional rechargeable battery (up to 75 printer per charge1)
• Resist photo fading for generations3
• Print fun stickers 16 to a page, 4 x 12" panorama shots, and action sequences from video clips

  Additional highlights

• Stay on top of toner replacement with HP SureSupply4: receive alerts when a cartridge is low, monitor its remaining life, and enjoy easy online ordering or check stock and prices at nearby stores
• Choose the best HP products for you, then let them work seamlessly together on your behalf, helping you do everything from snap photos to print enlargements
• Protect your investment with the one-year HP limited warranty
• Choose the best HP products for you, then let them seamlessly work together so you can do everything from snap photos to print enlargements

Award-recognized support

• Get peace of mind with the one-year limited warranty plus HP's renowned Total Care service and support, which J.D. Power and Associates has recognized as consistently providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience"
• Rely on printing excellence: PC Magazine has designated HP as a "Reader's Choice" for 14 years in a row
• Get answers to your product questions toll-free, 24 x 7, or via e-mail in as little time as an hour—at www.HP.com/go/totalcare


  • Excellent photo quality
  • Easy to use
  • LCD allows you to preview & Edit photos before printing
  • Prints from Tablet PC, digital camera or CompactFlash Type I, CompactFlash Type II, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Secure Digital, MultiMedia Card or xD-Picture Cards
  • Prints stickers (16 to a page) 4x 6 photos and 4 x 12" panorama shots
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Optional rechargeable battery pack allows you to print anywhere without being conected to an electrical outlet.


  • Photos are a bit sticky when they come out of the printer
  • Max photo size is 4 x6 (we would love to be able to do 5x7's )

In Conclusion: 

The 2.6 pound HP Photosmart 385 compact printer is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to quickly print 4x6 photos from a Tablet pc, UMPC, camera or multiple styles of memory cards.   With the optional battery and case you can take this printer with you and print photos at party's or other events.

Click here to Purchase the HP 385 Photo Printer

Accessories For You HP 385 PhotoSmart Printer

HP Bluetooth Adapter

HP bt450 Wireless Printer and PC Adapter with Bluetooth

Want to print color snapshots from your camera phone, laptop, PDA, or other handheld device at weddings, parties, sport events, and reunions, and on vacation?

This adapter is the key. It lets you print from select Bluetooth wireless-enabled devices to a compatible HP photo printer using Version 2.0+EDR

• Install without hassles by connecting via the front USB port of select HP printers
• Get a fast transfer rate with this adapter that's perfect for use with Bluetooth PDAs, handhelds, notebook PCs, select camera phones, and other Bluetooth wireless-enabled devices
• Print photos wirelessly from camera phones or other Bluetooth enabled devices
• Listen to your music files store on your computer wirelessly using a Bluetooth enabled headset or speakers
• Compatibility: HP Photosmart 335,385,475, 425, 8250, 7850, and 8050 photo printers


HP Value PAck

HP Custom 95 Series 200-Sheet Photo Value Pack with Vivera Inks

Get the look and feel of photo lab prints for as low as 24 cents each!1 This affordable combo includes two HP 95 series cartridges and 200 sheets of borderless 4 x 6" glossy HP Premium Photo Paper.

HP Carry case




HP Photosmart Travel Case, Battery, and carrying case for Photosmart GoGo Printers

Simplify digital photography on-the-go with the HP Photosmart Travel Case and battery for your Photosmart GoGo printer.

The case, built with tough, durable, easy-to-clean materials, is perfect for parties, sporting events, on vacation, virtually anywhere. And once you get there, you just install the battery, charge, and print.

• Print photos from the road with the included rechargeable battery—no PC, AC power, or wires required
• Get extended print time with the long-life battery, which lets you print up to 85 4 x 6" prints or 45 5 x 7" prints per charge1
• Carry your printing supplies and personal items in the bag's multiple compartments; keep your keys hand with the convenient clasp
• Compatibility: all HP Photosmart GoGo Printers and Photo Studios




Please visit the links below for past products of the month, or take a look at the reviews accessories and software pages.

Previous Products of the month can be found at the links below 2004 Accessory of the Year- Oakley Thump
Ziplinq, Fujitsu Bump case, Franklin Covey Leather Case , Motion HardTop Keyboard Diskeeper Pro, SecuriKey Pro,  GoBinder 2005 Targus Rolling Backpack, Motion Field Case & Motion Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard, Casio EX Z50, OtterBox 4600, Xhifi Speakers, Targus Jackie Leather Tote , Zen Portable Media Center , Targus Accessories , Kingston's DataTraveler® II Plus - Migo Edition & 4-GB Kingston's DataTraveler Elite  Lowepro CompuRover AW Oakley Razrwire Oakley Thump 2  Samsung V700 DIgital Camera 



Copyright © 2006 Blue Thunder
All rights reserved. No work here may be
reproduced or reprinted without the express
written permission of the author.

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