Review: HP Topshot Laserjet M275 Printer/Scanner

This holiday season, I decided to treat myself to some new technology to help my small jewelry business, Peggy Li Creations. My brother had told me about a new HP printer, the HP Topshot Laserjet M275 that had an innovative scanner that was designed to scan 3-D objects, like jewelry! I currently use a scanner for a lot of my images at Peggy Li Creations, but this new printer would allow you to scan, remove backgrounds and send those images directly to the web. More importantly, it has a camera mounted on an arm that would take multiple images ("scans") of the object and using its software, would stitch those images together to form a shadow-free, "3-D" image.  Essentially, it acts as its own lightbox to take a photograph-style image of your object.
The HP Topshot, with camera arm extended.

Sounds genius, right?

Well, for starters, the printer is not inexpensive. I purchased mine at Frys Electronics for $395. The setup I left for my BF, so I can't say how difficult that was. I currently have about a 3 year old injet printer, so this new fangled type of laserjet certainly seemed foreign to me. But, once the printer was out of its packaging, it only took a few minutes to load the scanner program onto my computer and then set up a test scan.

Sadly, the image quality of the scan left a lot to be desired. The max resolution you can scan at is 300dpi (the minimum if you want to have print-quality images) and the LED light the camera used did not seem nearly powerful enough to capture fine details. The light also still had hotspot/glare problems, especially on the reflective jewelry surfaces.

Below is an example of a necklace I took an image of my usual way (with a flatbed scanner) and with the TopShot.
Old English Initial Charm Necklace -- original scanner image.
Old English Initial Charm Necklace -- HP Topshot Scanner. 

I tried scanning objects at night with artificial lights as the room lighting, as well as trying the scanner during the daylight hours to see if natural ambient light would improve the quality of the image. I may have been able to tweak settings to improve the image, but who has time for that? Not me when I am busy running a small business! I'm afraid for highly detailed objects, the HP Topshot simply wasn't able to give a clear image.

Disappointing, but it did seem almost too good to be true to use a printer scanner as a replacement for product photography. The printer will be returned!

Have you had a better experience with the HP Topshot printer/scanner? Please leave a comment!