5 Responses to “HP Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web All-in-One Printer Reviews”

  1. Just a guy says:

    Review by Just a guy for HP Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web All-in-One Printer
    Rating:
    I wanted to like this, but I just do not think that the Web feature really justifies doubling the price of the prior Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One Printer, Scanner, Copier and Fax. (Model C309a)HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One Inkjet Printer (CC335A#ABA). Since the C309a is the model I am replacing this review is really a comparison of this new model over the old one. The old one is still readily available for about half the price of this – which is a really big difference. Also, the C309a – at half the price – has one feature missing here – an automatic document feeder. Why is that important? It is important if you want to be able to easily scan multi-page PDF documents. I can put a stack of papers on the C309a and they automatically run through the feeder (never once had a jam) and a multi-page PDF appears on my desktop. This new model is missing that. The lack of the document feeder also renders the fax absolutely useless. To send a fax you have to stand there and “scan” each page of the fax on the glass. It is hardly honest to call this a fax machine.

    The specs between the two printers are exactly the same, except the C309a has the automatic document feeder and this one has the web interface. Also, the old model holds 125 pages of regular paper, but this one is down to 100 – a move totally in the wrong direction. Why can’t they just design a printer tray (for a non-commercial printer) that holds a ream of paper (500 pages)? Also, this one is missing the special holder for printing CDs, but I never used that anyway.

    The new model is smaller (good) and black (instead of a creamy white). The new model also has better drivers – which were (and still are) a MAJOR drawback of the old model. You can finally install a basic set of drivers that don’t cripple functions, and don’t add a bunch of junk software. This is a MAJOR improvement.

    Print quality on both is absolutely amazing. Prints look just like they came from the photomat. Yes. They are that good. (although, unless you use the little flimsy retainer arm, they will drop on the floor once complete.)

    I have mine hooked up through wi-fi and that works great. It is easily seen on all computers on my network that run Win7 and XP.

    One negative (on this and the old version) is that you still need a computer to be on to do scanning – even to a network drive. The scanning software runs on a computer, not locally on the printer. Copying, faxing and printing can be done without a computer.

    OK. What about the web interface? Well, my personal take is that it is a huge gimmic intended to get you to print more and use more ink. Things take forever to find on the touch interface and it would really be about a thousand times faster just to use a computer. Of course, if you – for whatever reason – only have your computer in a far-off room, this might proove handy if the printer is in a more high-traffic area of the house. But is that really a problem? And would you really put your printer far away from your computer? Not likely. I found the touchscreen slow to respond and – although beautiful to look at – I just didn’t get the need for the web interface. The only conclusion I can make is that HP wants you to print more stuff and use more ink.

    The ink, by the way, goes VERY quickly. I printed a dozen or so 4×6 photos and a couple of 8×10 and the ink light warning started to go off. Of course, I really think the light goes off WAY too early. It does that on almost every printer I have ever used. I continue printing until I notice a problem with the output. I am guessing that the low ink warning is set to go off when you have used 40% of the ink. I was able to print another dozen photos (after the ink warning) before I noticed any ink deficiency. I could probably print another dozen before it wouldn’t let me print anymore.

    Overall, I really like the printer quality and the interface, but I can’t get past the elephant in the room – the old model is half the price and has an automatic document feeder that this is missing.

    The printer comes with a standard set of ink cartridges (not just starter inks), every cable you could need (including a massive power brick), and sample photo papers. It is all packaged in an eco-friendly cloth bag.

    Overall, I can only give this three stars. If the old model never existed, I would probably give this four or five stars. The fact that they left off the automatic document feeder is a HUGE drawback for me. The “Touchsmart Web” is fun to play with, but really amounts to nothing more than a flashy gimmic. It fixes a problem that doesn’t really exist – everything you would do through that interface is easier and faster on a real computer. Of course, I am also a person who would never just plug a memory stick into a printer and start printing – if you are, this might be a good printer for you.

  2. Albie Latefordinner "Alex" says:

    Review by Albie Latefordinner “Alex” for HP Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web All-in-One Printer
    Rating:
    This is probably the 30th HP printer I’ve either personally owned or was directly responsible for purchasing and supporting, and it appears they’ve outdone themselves on this one.

    Over the years, HP has put out some very nice units…and in contrast, some complete dogs, as well. That being said, I’m happy to report that this, along with last years Photosmart Premium (C309a) are pretty much the best AIO/MFPs HP has ever made with the OfficeJet Pro 8500 following very closely. There ARE, however a few things I wish HP would have carried over from the C309a to this years model, such as the ADF and the direct CD/DVD printing mechanism, especially for this price point, but since I still have the C309a, and find the touchscreen a complete joy to use I’m not too terribly upset about it.

    Setup was a breeze and by far THE easiest install I have ever done. First off, HP put a lot of thought into the packaging, making it easy to remove the AIO from the box. The printer is wrapped in a big nylon bag with large straps, making it easy to remove. The idea is that you keep the bag and reuse it for other things to help cut down on the amount of plastic and paper bags floating around in landfills. Pretty thoughtful. Although it does have a big flower on both sides which could be a turnoff to those who prefer more “manly” carrying devices.

    Once removed from the bag and after removing all the plastic protection, I plugged it in, inserted the ink carts, turned it on and let it do its pre-charging and setup. From opening the box, to it finishing it’s initialization took about 15 minutes. I then had it connect to my 802.11g network, using WPA2 security, which went off without a hitch and was ready to install the drivers. I NEVER, EVER use the drivers on the included disc, as they’re usually out of date and filled to the brim with crapware. Instead, I downloaded the “lite” version of the drivers for my OS (Windows 7, 64bit) and proceeded the installation. Once again, this went off without a hitch. It searched my network automatically, found the new AIO, and installed the drivers for it. Easy peasy. The lite driver pack, only weighs in at about 45mb vs 140+mb for the full version. I am able to do everything one would want (i.e. scan, print, fax, etc) via the network and dont have any crapware to eat up resources.

    Print and picture quality is top notch. It’s pretty darn fast, as well. I have an HP Color LaserJet and used the same source (Word doc with graphs and pictures), along with the same 105+ gram paper and did a comparison test. Although the laser is clearly better for prints such as these, the Photosmart definitely holds its own with text as small as 6 point still readable. Where it REALLY shines, however, is printing photography. Pictures up to 8.5×11 are simply breathtaking. I detected absolutely no banding or other artifacts. Do NOT let the fact that this unit is “only” a 3 color printer (CMYK) deter you. I printed the same photo on both this, and my main 6 color “photo workhorse”, the Epson Stylus Photo 1400 (The only good thing Epson has put out in a long while) and had a hard time making out any discernible difference. Its really that good.

    The touchscreen is simply amazing to use. There is a *slight* delay, but definitely nothing to get in a twist over and it makes configuration much easier than on previous models. Although the new web powered “widgets” are it’s primary selling point, I find, for my use at least, they are more of a gimmick than a must have. They are definitely neat however and fun to play with.

    Actually, come to think of it, The Fandango movie ticket widget may come in handy from time to time…..

    Now for the negatives, although there aren’t many:

    —————————————————-

    The first, is the price. I realize it’s a first of it’s kind and thus can generally demand a higher asking price, but even with everything it does, I still think $400 is a bit high.

    And my last real complaint is the lack of an ADF. I really would have loved to see an ADF on this as on last years model and am a bit puzzled as to why they left it off, but no biggie.

    I would also like to point out that as much effort as HP put into making this more “earth-friendly”, I find it humorous that they provide an app to print out news, weather reports, calendars, etc. All of which can be done online without the need to waste any paper. But seeing as I will rarely use the widgets, it makes no difference to me either way.

    —————————————————

    In summary, I would have no problems recommending this to anyone. This is a very capable AIO/MFP with an amazing touchscreen and complete ease of use. Just make sure your wallet can handle the sticker shock. 🙂

  3. Dr. Stuart Gitlow says:

    Review by Dr. Stuart Gitlow for HP Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web All-in-One Printer
    Rating:
    Review conducted with a 2×2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Mac running OS 10.6.2 – I installed the accompanying HP software, version 10.2, that came with the product, then upgraded that to 10.3 which took 4 minutes to download from HP’s website. The upgrade enabled several features, such as scanning, that didn’t work fully with the combination of 10.6.2 and HP 10.2.

    Years ago, I bought an HP wireless laser printer and have wondered why manufacturers don’t make all printers wireless. The ease with which the printer can be placed anywhere in the house, then accessed easily by any desktop or laptop, is far more straight-forward than hooking a printer to a single computer, then sharing it through software on that one computer. The latter hookup requires that a specific computer always be turned on. Ptui. So needless to say, I was interested in this new offering from HP, the tongue-twisting Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web All-In-One Printer C309n.

    Opening the box, one discovers the printer itself, a phone cord for the fax, Ethernet cable, AC power brick and cord, and a USB cord. Since the printer is wireless, I’m not using either the Ethernet cable or the USB cord. The printer is packed in a large cloth shopping bag that can be used for convenient grocery shopping. The handles make it easy to unpack the printer since you can simply lift the bag and printer out of the box. No struggling.

    Remove tape and protective covering. Plug in the printer. The screen on the printer instructs you as to how to proceed, showing videos in case you have difficulty with any of the instructions. Essentially, you install five ink cartridges (photo black, blue, magenta, yellow, and standard black) and then the printer takes about 10 minutes to align itself. You then hook the printer up to your Wireless. Don’t worry about your protected network. You can enter your password on the virtual keypad appearing on the HP’s screen. The screen itself works like an iPhone’s: point to click, drag to scroll. All very intuitive. Once you’re on the network, you can install your computer software. I quickly downloaded an app for my iPhone: HP iPrint 2.0 – this allows you to print 4×6 photos of pictures taken with your iPhone – while I was waiting for the software to finish installing.

    The printer has two paper trays – one for standard paper and the other for photo paper. Neither is particularly large with the main bay holding 100 sheets and the photo bay holding 20. The photo tray can support up to 5×7 paper and the main tray can support up to 8.5×11 as well as #10 envelopes. There’s support on the front panel for an incredible variety of memory cards, each of which can simply be plugged in:

    Compact Flash Type 1; Memory Stick; Memory Stick Duo; Memory Stick Pro; Memory Stick Pro Duo; Memory Stick Pro HG; Secure Digital; Secure Digital High Capacity; MultimediaCard; xD Picture Card

    Using those, you can easily grab photos through the interactive touch-screen for printing.

    The printer itself works smoothly and is reasonably quiet. Standard black output for text is nearly laser printer quality. Laser quality could probably be achieved with better paper (I have cheap standard photocopy paper in there now and specific inkjet paper would be desirable). In any case, this could easily be used for business letters. Since the printer also works as a copy machine, it’s nice to have what’s essentially a color photocopy machine without needing to first scan a sheet into my computer, then send it to a color printer. Moreover, the HP displays the output on the screen, allowing you to confirm, fix the placement of the original, reduce/enlarge, etc. prior to the printer job taking place.

    The fax works quickly and easily as well without requiring any input from you at your computer. The touchscreen makes the entire process simple. The unit will answer a fax line automatically after 5 rings. You can turn that feature off if you’d like from your computer.

    The scanner is easily accessed through the Mac’s Print & Fax preference panel, though you can also access this while standing at the printer. Scans can then be sent back to your computer or to a memory card or flash drive plugged into one of the front ports.

    For some reason, I found the internet access capabilities of the HP to be fascinating. I’m not sure why, but having what amounts to an iPhone as part of a printer just seems interesting. I stood there watching a trailer for Disney’s Christmas Carol (and yes, the HP has speakers so that it can play multimedia content) that I could have watched on my computer screen or iPhone. HP has apps that allow the printer to take advantage of certain specific types of content (maps, illustrations, coupons, for example). I expect this to be useful in unexpected ways as time passes.

    Photo printing is more than acceptable. It’s not up to the quality of HP’s high end printers (B9180 series, for example), but you’re not buying this for perfect color output. The quality is up to the level that you’d get from your corner store and you’ll be very happy sharing photos with family members and friends.

    The printer has a sleep mode and an off mode. If you use it for incoming faxes, you’ll leave it in on/sleep mode; the sleep mode is useful as well for those who will be printing from multiple potential sites within the home or office.

    Negatives:

    1) The top panel has no damping on it. If you lift it up to place a page on the glass, but you fail to lift it far enough, the panel will fall rapidly to the glass. Most copy machines, scanners, and similar devices have a top cover that stays put, at whatever angle you happen to let go at. Not here.

    2) There’s no feeder for the fax or scanner, so if you have multiple pages to copy/scan, you’ll be standing at the printer for a time.

    3) There’s one more negative, though this one is HP’s own specification for the unit. The printer duty cycle is noted on HP’s website as being up to 2500 pages for the printer and up to 1250 pages for the copier. This is actually pretty good in comparison to other similar printers, but is not good in comparison to laser printers, which will often easily allow for 10,000 prints per month over the course of years. But realize that a ream of paper is 500 sheets – this printer has a duty cycle of 5 reams of paper. If that will take you years to accomplish, this is not a problem, but if you go through a ream a month, you might be unhappy if the printer keels over in five months. That said, the 1 year warranty would still apply so it might not be an issue after all.

    In summary, this is a novel printer with an interesting collection of features, HP’s generally excellent attention to detail, and a well thought out software package that installed without difficulty on the latest Mac operating system.

  4. Mute208 says:

    Review by Mute208 for HP Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web All-in-One Printer
    Rating:
    Going against the old adage of don’t fix what ain’t broken, I decided to try the HP Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web AIO Printer (C309n) as a replacement to my HP Photosmart C7200 Series AIO. I was perfectly happy with the C7200 so the C309n had some decent-sized shoes to fill. Did it?

    PROS:

    – Great connectivity options including Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n, & Bluetooth

    – Good quality and fast text printing

    – Photolab quality photo printing

    – Auto duplexer (double-sided printing)

    – Beautiful touch screen color LCD

    – Attractive overall design

    – Includes USB cable, reusable tote bag, accessory pouch, network cable, phone cable

    – Includes a 100-sheet pack of 4×6 HP Advanced Photo Paper

    – Great warranty service for the duration of the warranty

    CONS:

    – No ADF (auto document feeder)

    – Limited TouchSmart Web apps

    – Cost premium

    – Warranty is just 1 year

    I tend to use my AIO printers for a little bit of everything, but not a whole lot of anything in particular. I probably use it a majority of the time to scan documents to PDF. I will occasionally print directions, cooking recipes, address labels and 4×6 photos. I use the fax a few times a year and make the rare photocopy. My #1 requirement however is that it needs to be a network printer. After that, I mainly just want a reliable printer to do the tasks I mentioned earlier. The C309n does most of those tasks amazingly well, albeit at a premium price.

    INSTALLATION

    Unpacking the C309n was a breeze since it was inside a ginormous reusable tote bag. Just grab the bag handles and lift up and out. After removing all the blue tape from the printer, I set it up on my file cabinet in the same place as my C7200 printer used to be but to my dismay, all the ports in the rear were located on the left side of the printer whereas the C7200’s were on the right side. This meant I had to provide more length to my phone, USB, and network cables. I plugged in all the cables except the USB cable and turned the printer on. It prompted me to install the ink. If you haven’t installed these particular inks (I hadn’t), make sure you remove the orange plastic pieces from each cartridge by giving it a firm twist before installing. After the ink, I was prompted to install some plain paper as well as some photo paper. It then performed a “one-time configuration” where it aligned the cartridges and printed an alignment page. This portion took about 5 minutes. At this point, I was asked to choose between a wired or wireless installation and whether I wanted to allow it to connect to the Internet. I was then prompted to insert the software CD, but I elected to download and install a newer version of the driver from HP’s website, version 13.1.0.

    The software install was painless as it took me through a test print of a photo and a fax test. Interestingly, my fax test failed because I did not use the included 2-wire phone cord. After I swapped my old phone cord out, the test passed and the install was completed. Note, I performed a wired USB install since I use the printer mostly from my desktop PC. I reserved an IP address for it on my router and the printer automatically picked up the IP address. When I went to install the printer on my laptop, it showed up on the network but Windows 7 did not have a driver so I had to install the drivers from HP’s website. Unfortunately, the network install hit a snag. The driver software was complaining about TCP Port 9100 not being accessible. When I went back upstairs to check on the printer, the control panel had a message notifying me of 2 product updates so I allowed them to download and install. It took about 15 minutes to download and install. I don’t know if they were updates to the Internet apps or if it was a printer firmware update. After the update, the printer automatically rebooted itself. I went back to my laptop and retried the install and it completed successfully! Also, since I was only using it on a wired network, I left the Wi-Fi radio off (default) and also turned the Bluetooth radio off (on by default).

    DOCUMENT AND PHOTO PRINTING

    The biggest improvement on the C309n’s printing over my C7200, is speed. It’s quite a bit faster than my old printer(and quieter actually), but I think it ranks just average against most current printers. Still, speed can be a bit overrated. Unless you are printing large documents, I can’t imagine the speed being a big difference maker for most people who are printing a few pages of a recipe or Google Maps directions. By the way, the speed ratings HP uses are for draft quality. Normal quality black is 12 ppm and color is 9.5 ppm. The paper tray holds 100 sheets of regular paper. The auto duplexer is a really nice feature to have so you can print on both sides without having to manually flip the paper over. It prints the first side, allows the ink to dry for about 10 seconds, pulls the page back in and prints the other side.

    Photo quality was excellent in my opinion. The 4×6 photo tray holds 20 sheets of paper and HP includes a 100-sheet pack of their 4×6 Advanced Photo Paper. The C309n uses an extra photo black ink cartridge so the extra cost for that cartridge is something to consider. The cost of the 564XL, high capacity black ink cartridge is reasonable on Amazon. There is also the Photo Black, Cyan, Yellow, and Magenta.

    SCANNING

    Scan speeds are lightning fast on the C309n compared to my C7200 and more impressively, nearly whisper quiet! The output quality was also excellent. I don’t scan photos very often but I’m confident they will also be very good. The big drawback to scanning on the C309n is the lack of ADF. I’m not sure why they decided to leave it out but if you want to scan more than 1 sheet of paper at a time, or anything larger than the international A4 standard or the US & Canada’s letter-size paper, you are out of luck. I’m guessing they did this so they could make the printer look nicer with their pretty HP graphic on the lid. It does look stunning, but it was a poor functional choice IMO. Still, I use the included HP software application to scan documents to JPG or PDF rather easily. The PDF is somewhat configurable in terms of compression of photos while grayscale and color outputs looked perfect.

    FAXING/COPYING

    I only have a land line for emergencies and faxing. I send and receive faxes only a handful of times a year but it’s worth it not to have to run to Kinkos or sneak a fax in at the office. The C309n faxes just fine but the lack of physical buttons on the control panel of the printer take a little getting used to, though it’s quite fun and easy. As I mentioned in the install section, the C309n requires the use of the phone cord included in the box to work. Again, the lack of an ADF makes faxing or copying more than 1 page at a time rather tedious. Copy outputs were fast and were of good quality. Enlargements can be made up to 400% and reductions down to 25% of the original document.

    TOUCHSMART WEB PRINTING

    Printer innovation really seems to have stalled in recent years. I applaud HP for trying something new, but I’m not certain anyone will really want it, especially at their asking price. You can download additional apps from HP’s website but none of them are really compelling enough for me to forgo my PC. And to print out items directly from the printer using the touch screen can take more time than just using your PC and web browser to do it. Unless this feature is offered in all HP printers and maybe by other manufacturers, I can’t see developers really taking a large interest in developing cool, reliable apps for it. Where is the incentive for developing an app for just one printer? On a positive note, the touch screen was really a joy to use. I was VERY skeptical about using a touch screen on my printer but after playing around with it, I’ve found it to be easy, responsive, and quite fun. One drawback long-term obviously, is that if you break the touch screen, it’s game over for your AIO printer.

    MISC

    As a neat touch, HP includes a reusable tote bag and accessory pouch. Going against the grain, HP has also included a USB cable AND a network cable. The alert sounds that the printer makes are actually quite pleasing and not annoying at all. The volume can be set to Soft(default), Medium, and High. Due to the color touch screen, the printer sucks up more power than other printers. You can however, configure the power saving mode to go to sleep after 5 or 15 minutes of inactivity. Also, HP has set up a special support number for this particular printer so you can speak with C309n-trained reps. Warranty is just 1 year but HP will pay for shipping both ways should your printer need to be replaced.

    SUMMARY

    The most compelling reason to buy the HP Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web C309n is the PC-less printing function. Unfortunately, that function is lackluster. The C309n shines however, in all of the other functions that it is designed to perform. The touch screen is great and printer performance as a whole was mightily impressive. Overall, this is an excellent AIO printer and I recommend it. Just know that you will be paying a premium for a feature you may not end up using.

  5. K. Chardos says:

    Review by K. Chardos for HP Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web All-in-One Printer
    Rating:
    Like many, I’m sure I was swayed by the “cool factor” of the wireless connectivity option on this printer and the fact that I can print straight from the touchpad. Like many others on this site, I also had no issues with setup or getting it to connect to my wireless network. The features and print quality definitely warrant a bit of a premium price, but that’s for the buyer to decide.

    Where you’re going to get absolutely screwed on this printer is in the total cost of ownership going forward – and that cost is 100% in ink. I’m not sure how many reviewers have printed more than 20-30 pages worth of material, but I’ve already had to order replacements for the entire range of colors (including both blacks). I ordered this printer the same time I ordered an HP desktop (mid-November, 2009), so I got a bit of a deal. I also assumed that the printer cartridges that are shipped with the device are kept at minimal levels to make you order at least one replacement set – that’s become the norm in this business. But this experience has been unreal. We’re already running out of pretty much every color and getting error messages when we try to print. That’s right – even if I want to just print black and white, the print job will still crap out because I’m out of blue ink.

    In my opinion, then, the “cool factor” is nowhere near enough of a positive for anyone to justify investing in this piece of crap. You should buy stock in HP the same time you buy the printer because their replacement ink division will be turning a massive profit off all us suckers who got wooed by the cool commercial. Save yourself dozens of ink reorders and look for a simpler, more cost-effective option.