The Bottom Line
- Excellent quality prints
- You can surf the Web while you print (or is that a con?)
- You can print from across the room if you feel so inclined
- You pay a premium for the tablet, which is not really necessary
- Large footprint
- Can be tricky to set up, given the skimpy instructions
- Touchscreen is slow to respond
- Multifunction color inkjet printer
- Includes detachable, seven-inch color touchscreen (acts as remote control and 'digital companion'
- Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
- Printer, copier, scanner
- 125-sheet paper input tray, 20-sheet photo paper input tray
- Duplex printing
- PC / Mac compatible
Guide Review - Review of the HP Photosmart eStation Multifunction Printer
Let's start with the digital companion, aka Zeen (I didn't name it, sorry). It's certainly nice to look at, with bright colors and an easy to see interface. Right now it's showing the weather, some recommendations from Barnes & Noble (presumably you can download new books and read them with your digitatl companion; but I don't have an account and couldn't try it out). There are also widgets that allow you to use Facebook, Yahoo!, email, and general Web browsing. Visit HP's ePrint Center for more widgets; and have an account first set up via your desktop, since your arm will get tired of correcting the many typing errors you're likely to make, at least at first, since the touchscreen is very sensitive and you're bound to hit the space bar or Enter by mistake, or cause other errors with whatever hand is holding the screen. Again, maybe these issues clear up after a bit more use.
In terms of pure printing, you will certainly not be disappointed by the quality of this Photosmart printer. It's certainly fast enough, with first pages out in about 15 seconds and then averaging about five seconds per page after that. Duplex printing added quite a bit of time to a print job; where four pages printed simplex took 30 seconds, the same four printed in duplex took 1:15. Fonts were perfectly sharp and colors rich, without leaving the pages limp from excess ink.
True to its name, the Photosmart printer excels with printing photos. Expect a 4x6 photo to take only 45 seconds--and expect that the resulting print will be fantastic. The pictures I printed were just as good as any pictures I've printed from a dedicated photo printer, and there were no disappointments.
While I didn't run into any major issues, the printer was a bit of a chore to set up. The instructions were skimpy--it's up to the digital companion to walk you through set up--but I got several error messages while following its instructions, I believe because the software needed to be installed--which was a task my companion never told me to do.
A bigger problem was the touchscreen itself. As I noted above, it's easy to fat-finger the wrong keys; it's also not very fast in responding to finger gestures, which sometimes leads to problems when you try a second time and invariably it's already trying to accomplish your previous command. I'm not sure how this touchscreen competes with Barnes & Noble's Nook or Amazon's Kindle; but I think the printer would be just as good without the Zeen.