5 Responses to “HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer (CD055A#ABA)”

  1. C. Goodchild says:

    Review by C. Goodchild for HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer (CD055A#ABA)
    Rating:
    I did a ton of research and finally decided to go with this unit despite no reviews at the time. Installation was a breeze (using Mac OS X) except for one part where it asks you to set up a print queue. After doing so, it didn’t recognize it after multiple attempts. I finally decided to click past that step and it worked fine anyway.

    We printed about a dozen photos over the first three days. On day 4, the printer booted up and slammed the print cartridge hard to the left, then came up with a “Carriage Jam” error. The nice thing about the touch screen is that it also visually walks you through pictures of the areas that you need to check for paper jams, etc.. Alas, after going through every trouble shooting step provided, it didn’t solve the problem.

    We returned it to Amazon (Very hassle free I might add–can’t fault them a bit) and decided to try a second one since we did like the features. I was glad to see that Amazon ships you another even before you return the defective one. So far this one is working fine although it’s only been a couple of days.

    Our last HP was probably 4 years old. I have to say the print speed on this one is amazingly fast by comparison. I’m impressed it can print a 4×6 photo as fast as it does. Copy and scan work well too, although I’ve found I have to initiate scanning from the Mac. Didn’t seem to work if I tried to use the touchscreen to scan. I was pleased how easy they make choosing options with scanning. You can scan a document straight to PDF, JPEG, TIFF, Memory Card, USB drive, OCR…

    Overall, it does seem as though this printer is very well made. It’s also great having a tray for both paper and 4×6 photos. Unlike so many printer reviews, it doesn’t appear as though this printer is burning through much ink at all.

    Although I would definitely recommend it, I can’t give it 5 stars due to the issues mentioned above.

  2. John S. Dean says:

    Review by John S. Dean for HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer (CD055A#ABA)
    Rating:
    I had a not very old Epson Photo printer, the RX580, and was happy with it. However, it did not last long at all. While I may go a month or two without printing, I certainly don’t expect the printer to become inoperable during downtime…

    I purchased a new Mac to replace my tablet PC in July, so a few days ago for the first time I tried to hook my mac up to it, and I could not get anything to print well. After some troubleshooting and testing from other platforms, I realized that there was something wrong with the unit physically, and tossed it in the garbage and looked for a printer at a local brick and mortar.

    I was half sold on getting one of the Canon all in one units, based on some favorable remarks in some of the apple forums, but the local store by me only had one model of Canon, a lesser one than I wanted, so I looked at the rest of the available printers, and narrowed it down to this HP and another HP, one step below this. The kicker for me was the bluetooth in this one, which was worth the extra $40 for me, since I run an 802.11n only network at home, and had assumed the wireless on this unit was just 802.11 b/g like most. Happily, I was mistaken.

    Got it home, unboxed, and like the other reviewer said, this is a nicely sturdy, well built, solid home printer.

    As usual, I downloaded the most current version of the software and driver rather than relying on the CD to be current, and indeed the CD had been superceded. The download and install went fine, so when it started nagging me about where the printer was, I hopped into the printer and set up the wireless just to see, since it actually saw my 802.11n network. Sure enough, entered my encryption key, and there it was. And instantly my mac found it, and the install completed.

    One thing to note, the little paper manual that came with it didn’t seem to have anything in there regarding setting up the unit, so I’m going to assume detailed instructions are probably on the CD in PDF or TXT files somewhere. But I was able to get the wireless going without any documentation, the touch screen is very well designed and extremely simple to follow. The flow for printing or setup is well thought out.

    So I did some printing, both of 4×6 as well as some 8 1/2 x 11 photos, and they turned out just excellent. Superb, better than I had hoped for, and certainly faster than I had expected.

    I will also add that the printer loves to do the samba, especially the 8 or 9 minute “first run” it does the very first time you power it on. But it gives the status right on the LCD, and a timer counting down so you know how long it will be. I’m assuming the wiggles after printing are probably cleaning off the heads and parking them to seal them again between print jobs.

    I haven’t tried the duplexer yet, but as the other reviewers mentioned, scanning is just as simple and as high quality as the printing.

    After I knew it worked and was happy with it, I hopped back into the on screen menu and checked the bluetooth settings, then added it via bluetooth to my mac, and a minute later, was printing via bluetooth.

    One surprise was that it actually came with a USB cable for those who will use one – something I’m not used to seeing bundled with printers.

    Another nice feature for me is the front paper load – after the Epson I just tossed, it’s nice to be able to get at the paper right in the front, rather than feeding from the top in the back. Makes it easier on my shelf in the computer armoire, i don’t have to roll it out and play around trying to find where things fit back there out of sight.

    The finish is nice. And the mac software works well, haven’t booted to my Windows 7 install yet to see how it works there, but I would be surprised if I had any problems on the windows side. This is not my first HP printer, and if it performs and lasts as well as my others have, I will be more than happy with it.

    I purchased mine without any review searches at all, since it was an impulse grab at the store when the one I was looking for wasn’t available, but I’m glad it wasn’t, as this one has a few more features and works better than I could have hoped.

  3. William W. Davis says:

    Review by William W. Davis for HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer (CD055A#ABA)
    Rating:
    Take a look at the customer images showing the print output from this HP all-in-one!

    Quick summary: I like this HP PhotoSmart all-in-one! Setup was very smooth (except for HP’s bloatware causing my browser to not work), the photographic output was good for a 4-ink system, scans were bright and crisp, and using this HP all-in-one was very easy to do using the brightly lit touch screen. Highly recommended!

    I just finished writing a review for a competing product, the Epson Artisan 710 Color Inkjet All-In-One Printer (C11CA53201). After using that all-in-one for over a week, it didn’t take long for me to realize how much more I prefer this HP all-in-one. Although the feature set for both are very similar, the HP is much more intuitive to use. Read on to learn more.

    *** INSTALLATION:

    Unpacking the HP was easy to do. I was very pleased that it came with a package of 100 4×6 sheets of photo paper, so I could immediately begin printing some favorite family shots. Shame on other vendors (think: Epson) who include only a “sample” of a few sheets of photo paper! This model uses a 4-ink system (1 black, 3 color) but the package includes an extra, high capacity black ink cartridge, too, for everyday printing. Nice!

    I use my home network to connect to this HP. The HP PhotoSmart C309 easily recognized my discoverable network, and it was very easy to use the touch screen to enter the 26-character key I have for my network. Once entered, the printer was given an IP address by the router and it was ready to work after I installed the drivers on my computer.

    I really like how easy it was to insert paper into the front-loading tray. Just raise up a lid, insert paper, put lid back down (for both general-use 8×11 paper and also for inserting 4×6 photo paper). Later, I did experience a problem where the HP couldn’t properly load the 4×6 paper into the printing mechanism. Hopefully that’s an anomaly.

    Installing the HP drivers was a breeze to do on my laptop. It includes out-of-box support for Windows 7 on the enclosed CD-ROM disc (no searching HP’s website for Windows 7 drivers!). HOWEVER, by just quickly clicking through the installation windows, I inadvertently loaded seven other HP programs beyond the required drivers to support printing and scanning. Among these were the HP Solutions Center, a program to help re-ordering HP supplies, a Customer Feedback program, HP Print Projects, and a customized Yahoo! toolbar for Internet Explorer. I was thumping myself for not paying attention to the installation process that loaded all this crapware on my computer. Very soon later, I really regretted it because after it was all loaded, my Internet Explorer wouldn’t work (even after rebooting my computer). I tried uninstalling the Yahoo! toolbar, and still IE8 wouldn’t work. Finally, I used Windows 7’s restore feature to return to the last restore point before I loaded the HP drivers and programs, and that removed whatever was causing IE to not work.

    From that experience, I paid much closer attention to the 2nd attempt at installing the drivers. HP doesn’t make it obvious how to customize the install — you must look closely for a link on the window that asks you to accept the EULA — but you *can* deselect all the bloatware and install just 2 programs (the printer and scanner drivers), which is all you really need. After those two programs were installed, the HP C309 was fully functional on my WiFi home network — and IE was working, too!

    I got a new LG Env3 with Bluetooth, so I tried printing a photo taken with my phone using Bluetooth. Setting up Bluetooth was easy! What I learned from the experience is that you must FIRST set the HP to look for Bluetooth devices, THEN place your phone in discovery mode. Once my LG Env3 was paired with this HP, it was easy to print 4×6 photos. And they looked terrific for a camera phone!

    *** USABILTY AND PERFORMANCE:

    Using the HP was a joy to do. The photographs I printed were very, very good-looking, but depending on the photo, they were sometimes inferior to the six-color print output from the Epson Artisan 710. The Epson’s photos have very deep, rich colors and vibrancy, while the photos from this HP were sometimes not so rich in color depth, and not as vibrant. I found that it depends on the photo whether the differences were apparent or not. In some photos (lots of sunlit trees and grass), the differences were very slight. When I printed a studio portrait of my in-laws, the result from this HP unit was as good as my other 6-color printer. In other photos (for example, photos with a deep blue sky), the differences were more apparent (see the customer images I loaded showing this difference). Camera flash-lit faces look a little yellowish coming from this printer. Grass and trees have more yellow in them than what I’d expect, too. If you’re wondering whether a six-color printer can really print better than a 4-color printer, the answer is, **YES**, it can…but *not* always! So if you want to print the absolute best photos possible — all the time — look to a different all-in-one than this HP PhotoSmart C309. If you’re not *that* excruciatingly picky, then this HP will do a very, very good job (especially if you’re not contrasting photos printed from this HP with photos printed on another, 6-color machine).

    I used the “Copy” function to see how well the HP could duplicate a photograph. Ideally, if you place a photo on the flatbed scanner and press Copy, the copied photo would be indistinguishable from the original, right? Well, there was a definite difference between the copy and the original. The copy was auto-cropped so it lost about a quarter-inch off the border of the original photograph. The colors on the copy were less vivid, too, although the copy was more faithfully reproduced on this HP C309 than what the Epson Artisan 710 could achieve.

    Scans taken with this HP were very bright and vivid — more so than what the Epson Artisan 710 could achieve. The background white on my daughter’s drawing was a very bright white, and her ink colors were rendered brightly and sharply on the scanned image. (Keep in mind, I’m using all default, automatic settings — I could achieve better results if I tried customizing the scan settings). One thing: some of the faint black lines on my daughter’s drawing weren’t picked up properly on the scanned image. In all, I liked how the automatic scanned image looked. Another perk: The software creates a folder under My Pictures on your computer, and stores the scanned image inside that folder (rather than just adding it to My Pictures alone).

    I haven’t used the HP long enough to speak to matters pertaining to ink usage. Once I get more experience, I’ll re-edit this review to include those details.

    SUMMARY:

    The HP PhotoSmart C309 is a terrific multifunction choice. If you demand the very best in photographic output, look to a different model that uses a 6-ink system. If good-looking photos is “good enough” for you, then be assured that this printer will print good looking photos. The touchscreen interface was easy and intuitive to use, and loading paper into the front-side slot was no-hassle at all. Aside from HP’s bloatware during the software installation process (which you now know how to avoid after reading this review), I like everything about this HP model. Highly recommended!

    *** NOVEMBER 16, 2009 UPDATE

    I just ordered 2 replacement color ink cartridges for this printer. After printing 21 4×6 photos and maybe three dozen sheets of everyday 8×11 (mostly black text and a little color), the yellow and cyan ink cartridges dipped into the “replace me” levels. The magenta and photo black inks are about one-half spent.

    Taking the advice of another reviewer, I opted to order 3 “XL” cartridges for quite a lot more than a regular 3-pack of the color cartridges. I don’t know whether the value equation will be favorable or not, but I’m hoping that the cost to print 4×6 photos will go a little lower than what it is currently (which by my calculations, each 4×6 photo costs about 50 to 75 cents to print).

  4. W. Allen says:

    Review by W. Allen for HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer (CD055A#ABA)
    Rating:
    Quality of print jobs and speed of printing are excellent. However, using the wireless interface my computer could not locate the printer and I had to reinstall the software three times to get it to work. Also, HP brags about their ink lasting longer than other manufacturers. I found that this is not true as I had to buy a new black ink cartridge after just 40 pages. Not a bad printer for low end home use, but the cost of replacement ink could make other printers a better buy.

  5. G. Allaway says:

    Review by G. Allaway for HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer (CD055A#ABA)
    Rating:
    Okay, so you’ve had a quite a few printers in your lifetime and you’re wondering why you should bother buying this one. Well, let me tell you why you should:

    – Newest technology there is! Touch screen menu? Are you serious?!

    – Bluetooth AND Wi-fi?!?! Talk about having options!!! I am being completely honest when I say that I did not use the enclosed CD to connect my printer to my Mac!!! I didn’t have to! Awwwesome!

    – Auto duplex (2-sided) printing?! For those of us who are forever taking undergrad or grad/phd courses, this is a lifesaver!!! And what about those of you who have school-age children/teenagers?! Think about the amount of paper you’ll save every month! I will absolutely NOT buy a printer without this option!!!

    – Let’s not forget how reliable HP printers are, but just to be on the safe side. I bought mine from Best Buy w/ an extended warranty.

    – $9.99 ink?!?!?! Come on!!! Are you tired of spending $20+ dollars for printer ink?!?!

    All in all folks, this is a great printer. A little noisy when printing, but the pros far outweigh that small con, so go ahead and get this printer! You’ll love it!