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HP Tango Review

This model's competitive price and print capabilities are blemished by the below average print outcomes
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Price:   $150 List
Pros:  Decent resolution, easy set-up, several print dimensions/ papers
Cons:  Inconsistent colors, poor dynamic range, expensive cost per print
Manufacturer:   hp
By Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Apr 6, 2020
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50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Color - 35% 5
  • Black and White - 35% 5
  • Print Capabilities - 15% 6
  • Operating Cost - 10% 2
  • Set-Up - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The HP Tango had mixed results in the course of our evaluation. The machine boasts more format options (print sizes) than most mid-size printers, and it has a reasonable price point. However, the color and grayscale test images showed inconsistent results that were less than favorable. Additionally, the cost per print is quite high for the review class.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The HP Tango is a compact and aesthetic machine. It's a bit bigger than a loaf of bread, making it easy to store if desktop space is at a premium. The low price and variety of paper it can print on makes it attractive as well. However, our test revealed a machine that has a high long-term operating cost. More concerning, this printer had inconsistent results in the larger formats, and across the board in black and white.

Performance Comparison



Likes


We always like to get more bang out of each buck spent, so we definitely like the affordability of this machine. We also like options. This machine prints in formats ranging from 3" x 5" to 8" x 14". Additionally, it will accommodate paper types from plain printer paper to glossy to matte and more.


Another aspect of the Tango's design that we enjoyed was the ease of set-up. Some printers are a real pain to get up and running but not so with this model. Using the app was simple and quick. We were printing in no time.

Dislikes


Photo printers are all about printing photos. So, we were left scratching our heads when this machine pumped out wildly inconsistent results, particularly in resolution and toning. The cast of the black and white images varied from sepia to hints of magenta. Additionally, the colors were often over-saturated, particularly in blue.


Another concern is the long term cost of running this machine. We broke our estimates down to a price per 4" x 6" print, and the Tango came in quite high at 94 cents per photo. That'll add up pretty quick.

Value


While the up-front cost of the HP Tango is quite appealing, the machine does not follow through with prints of a consistent quality or long-term savings. As such, we can not say that this machine is a good value.

Conclusion


The HP Tango has a nice look, a competitive price point, and lots of printing options. However, we were frustrated with its wildly inconsistent outcomes. From over-saturated color prints to shifting color casts in grayscale, the machine was unpredictable. For the money, there are more reliable machines on the market.

Nick Miley, Jason Peters and Austin Palmer