HP Tango X - Full Review and Benchmarks

The HP Tango X ($199) is a small wireless printer that's made for home use. It's designed to work basically with the HP Smart app using an iOS or Android instrument, focusing on get right of entry to to documents and footage saved in the cloud. Tango X is unique in its talent to scan and reproduction from a photograph that's excited about a smartphone. This thought may thrill smartphone customers, however enthusiasm for the intended convenience could be dampened by way of the Smart app's misguided cropping and the Tango X's disappointing copy quality.

Design

The Tango X is designed to fit in quite than stand out. An included linen duvet (available in gray or indigo) folds over the printer to make it appear to be a tiny piece of furniture (in all probability a base for a small statue). When closed up, the printer measures roughly 15 inches extensive by way of 9.7 inches deep and is handiest 3.5 inches tall. The printer positive factors a few inches intensive while you raise up the vertical enter paper tray and requires about 11 inches of clearance. The Tango X weighs just 7.5 kilos, so it's simple to move it to another room.

Because the Tango X lacks a display screen and traditional control panel, you're going to need a computer or smartphone to perform it.

The Tango X lacks an output tray, which keeps it compact. After you fold down the quilt to reveal the printer, you'll be aware that your prints exit from a slot and land at the duvet in front of the printer, so you'll wish to set the printer back enough on a desk to fortify the duvet flap.

Because the Tango X lacks a display and traditional keep an eye on panel, you will want a pc or smartphone to operate it. Your PC or phone must run the HP Smart app earlier than you can arrange the Tango X. On the highest panel of the printer there are a few context-dependent buttons. They are infrequently noticeable until they light up, appearing you their function, comparable to canceling a print process or printing a standing sheet.

Multifunction Design Goes Mobile

The Tango X is wi-fi-handiest. It does not have a USB or Ethernet port. The emphasis here's on cloud-based totally printing and sharing, and the power to print from anyplace using the app.

In the HP Smart app (to be had for Android and iOS), some of the most sensible functions is "Print Facebook photos." When you select the "Print documents" feature, you can choose a PDF or on-line documents in Google Drive or Dropbox, as an example. There isn't any hyperlink to the native documents folder on the phone. And, because Android does no longer toughen Word file formats, you'll have to use a 3rd-birthday celebration app or convert to Google Docs to print .document and .docx recordsdata. Apple's iOS helps those formats, so iPhones are ready to print Word medical doctors natively throughout the HP Smart app.

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Most fascinating is that you'll be able to use the HP Smart app to perform replica and scan purposes. Really, it's a misnomer: You're taking an image along with your smartphone or tablet and printing or attaching it to an e mail as a JPEG or PDF report. Because of this, whether or not you favor or loathe the "copy" and "scan" high quality may rely in large part at the quality of the digicam for your phone. I thought my 13-megapixel digicam on my LG K20 Plus would ship higher results, but I was very disillusioned with the end result. I also tested with an iPhone 8 Plus (which has a 12-MP camera). This delivered higher high quality, however nonetheless used to be no longer easiest (extra on that in the print high quality and instrument sections below).

The Tango X published our 5-page text file in 30.Eight seconds, which used to be a couple of seconds sooner than the common. Our Editor's Choice, the Canon Pixma TS9120, as an example, used to be a couple of seconds quicker, at 26.7 seconds. The Tango X additionally was once rapid at printing graphics; it churned out a six-web page colour PDF in 1 minute and forty seven seconds. The Canon TS9120 was once only a hair faster, at 1:45.8.

The Tango X additionally published glossy photos briefly, averaging 2 mins and 38 seconds for a letter-measurement photograph, in comparison with the average of four:24. The Canon TS9120 was once considerably sooner, at 1:57.

When you're the usage of an Android telephone, scan and replica functions are much slower than they're in stand-on my own operation with an all-in-one that has a flatbed scanner.

All of these professional test times have been performed from a Windows 10 computer. As expected, print occasions from an Android phone, were slower. For instance, printing a unmarried textual content page from a PC averaged 8.4 seconds, as opposed to 11.Three seconds from my Android phone. The distinction was more dramatic once I printed higher recordsdata. The six-web page colour PDF that took 1 minute and 47 seconds for the Tango X to print from a PC, took Four mins and 33 seconds from the Android phone. Printing 4- by way of 6-inch snapshots, however, was once similar. From a PC, the Tango X made a 4- by means of 6-inch shiny print in 1 minute and 15 seconds; the similar print despatched from an Android telephone arrived in 1 minute and 7 seconds.

Copy and Scan Speed

If you need to duplicate or scan a file with the Tango X, you need to capture it with a smartphone's camera. After processing the file, the Tango X spits out a print (or reproduction), or gives sharing choices if you are the usage of the scan serve as. In the HP Smart app, you attach a scanned file to an email as a PDF or JPEG document.

When you're using an Android telephone, those functions are a lot slower than they might be in standalone operation with an all-in-one who has a flatbed scanner. For example, the Canon TS9120 made a color reproduction in 17.3 seconds, while the Tango X and LG Android telephone took 1 minute and 11 seconds to duplicate the similar page. An iPhone 8 Plus took 58 seconds to make a colour reproduction.

Similarly, the TS9120 made a black-and-white replica in just 14 seconds, whilst the Tango X with the HP Smart app operating on my Android telephone took over twice as lengthy (31 seconds) to supply the similar replica. With an iPhone 8 Plus, copying a text page took forty three seconds.

In the HP Smart app, the scan-to-e mail function took 18 seconds to capture a picture and procedure it, and a couple of seconds to connect it as a JPEG or PDF to an electronic mail message — this is, if it finished the serve as. Even once I placed a color file under a 150-watt lamp, the iPhone 8 Plus was unable to seize it the use of computerized settings, even if it had captured and printed it below the similar conditions using the copy function. I was a success, alternatively, when I switched to the manual-seize setting.

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Our same old color scanning take a look at is for making a 600-dpi JPEG record, but the HP Scan app offers no resolution settings and creates a 300-dpi JPEG report. The PDF information it constituted of my Android telephone were more or less one-3rd the record measurement of the 300-dpi PDF recordsdata created on all-in-one flatbed scanners. Creating these PDFs, that have been of very combined quality, took an average of 14 seconds.

Print high quality was once prime across the board. Text paperwork printed with sharp and darkish letterforms. And even if there was a noticeable difference once I printed from an Android phone, the adaptation used to be slight. Upon close inspection, the letterforms looked fairly lighter and no longer rather as crisp across the edges.

Graphics looked very horny, with quite a lot of fantastic detail; smartly-saturated and herbal-taking a look colours; and clean, midtone transitions. This was equally true on graphics printed from an Android telephone.

The identical used to be true of glossy photo prints. The same prime quality was there, whether the photograph used to be printed the usage of a PC or Android telephone. The footage revealed with vivid, herbal colours and quite a lot of nice detail.

The identical cannot be mentioned of the reproduction and scan high quality. Both functions are carried out with a wise device working the HP Smart app. I tested with each an Android telephone and an iPhone, and both had similar resolutions (13 MP and 12 MP, respectively). And whilst the optics at the iPhone are clearly superior, they nonetheless cannot dangle a candle to a flatbed scanner and copier.

With the Android, textual content was once steadily blurry beyond reputation and unreadable. Rarely did the textual content pop out pleasingly sharp. White-text pages once in a while got here out with a gloomy-grey background, which I thought to be unusable. The sharpness of the textual content advanced dramatically when I used the iPhone, however the background nonetheless got here out gray (despite the fact that not as darkish as with the Android). I needed to illuminate the text with a 150-watt gentle bulb to get it to supply a lighter grey background.

Color copies also looked a lot better with the iPhone. Color graphics revealed with sharper main points and extra accurate colours. Even so, the usage of a tiny smartphone digicam to shoot a report from a short distance away is sure to result in optic distortions: Straight lines generally tend to come back out with an arc, regardless of how onerous you attempt to position the digicam at lifeless middle.

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Even with the superior iPhone digital camera, I'd by no means make a choice this app over a flatbed scanner to photograph paperwork. But, in a pinch, it's going to do.

Ink Cost and Yield

The Tango X uses two cartridges: One has black ink and the opposite is a tri-colour cartridge with cyan, magenta and yellow ink. If you purchase ink cartridges personally, the Tango X gives above-average ink costs. Using same old cartridges, costs per page are 8.5 cents (black) and 21.8 cents (color), in comparison to the typical value (7.7 cents and 20.9 cents, respectively). With high-yield cartridges, the lower prices of 6.Three cents (black) and 16.5 cents (colour) nonetheless exceed the prime-capability moderate of 5.9 cents (black) and 14.8 cents (color).

Like different printer makers, HP provides a subscription program that promises to lower prices and automate ink-cartridge supply. The corporate gives 3 plans: 50 pages, A hundred pages or Three hundred pages per thirty days, decreasing consistent with-page prices to six cents, 5 cents and 3 cents, respectively. The plan does no longer take ink colour into consideration. Unused pages will also be rolled over to the following month and additional units of cartridges may also be purchased.

Setup and Software

The printer arrives in shrink wrap, which you take away, together with a thin protecting sheet within the cover. To start up setup, you will have to download the HP Smart app onto a PC or smart instrument and follow the prompts. Setup was once straightforward, although I skilled a couple of hiccups. After printing the printhead-alignment web page, the app said, "alignment unable to start" and kept putting me thru a few monitors' value of advertisements concerning the ink-subscription program. Once I resolved that glitch, I gained an "HP Print Service plugin is missing" error and was once advised a firmware improve used to be vital, which I carried out. This completed the setup, and I used to be then caused to make a choice "add new printer" in the app and create an HP account.

When I used the HP Smart instrument on a Windows 10 computer, I found it somewhat tense that making prints in rather than default settings steadily required going to a "more settings" page with a purpose to change the panorama/portrait orientation or to print on the very best imaginable solution.

Using the HP Smart Print app on my Android phone was once an workout in persistence. The auto-scan function ceaselessly led to an error that mentioned, "Having problems? Try manual." When I attempted to keep a copy of a text record, the "processing" serve as dragged on for greater than Three mins sooner than I merely gave up. The file I used to be trying to photograph was sitting right below a 50-watt desk lamp, next to a window letting in ambient mild. Later scans executed beneath a 150-watt bulb by way of the similar window did whole, however the effects incessantly seemed horrible.

Using the HP Smart Print app on my phone was an workout in endurance.

I skilled fewer processing hiccups once I used the app on an iPhone 8 Plus. Even so, the usage of the car-seize settings within the scan-to-email serve as was once unsuccessful on a color record, and I needed to transfer to the guide-seize atmosphere.

The automated-cropping function steadily bring to a halt portions of my document or required that I regulate it. With the Android telephone, I needed to amplify my crop for the reason that auto crop framed only a part of the document. With the iPhone, I needed to shrink the crop since the darkish background was once being integrated in the crop.

One interesting observe here's that there is a scan folder in the Smart app. But, when you're making a replica or use the scan-to-electronic mail function, this folder remains empty. Those images don't seem to be stored.

The Tango X is sluggish to start up. The fastest startup time was 48 seconds, at which point the printer plays a little bit tune and interior noises forestall. Because the printer lacks a display screen, it is tough to determine precisely when it's in a position to take on a task. On other events, it took 1 minute and 23 seconds for the printer to turn up in the Android HP Smart app and 2 mins for Acrobat to come across the printer to be able to print a PDF document.

Bottom Line

The HP Tango X, whilst designed for people whose online lives revolve around the cloud and a smartphone, may be a good have compatibility just for the ones looking only for a printer. Print speeds from a PC are speedy, and print quality could be very high. Although print costs are above the average, an ink subscription may just paintings smartly for customers who constantly max out their per month print allowance. However, the scan and replica functions of the smartphone app leave a lot to be desired.

In comparison, the Canon Pixma TS9120 also offers cloud printing by way of the iOS/Android Canon Print app — but it additionally has a flatbed scanner, a reminiscence card slot, prints on CD/DVD discs and has a touch-display screen control panel for stand-alone operation. Using a smartphone is handy in many cases, but no longer if you are the use of it with the Tango X and must rely on it for multiple functions.

Credit: HP

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