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HP Photosmart Premium C309g review

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HP Photosmart Premium C309g
  • HP Photosmart Premium C309g
  • HP Photosmart Premium C309g
  • HP Photosmart Premium C309g
  • HP Photosmart Premium C309g
  • HP Photosmart Premium C309g
  • HP Photosmart Premium C309g
  • Photosmart Premium C309g All-in-One Inkjet Printer (33 PPM, 9600x2400 DPI, Colour, 64MB, PC/Mac)

Summary

Our Score:

7

Although it may have attracted the most coverage for its new range of inkjet all-in-ones, Lexmark is not the only printer maker to include large LCD touchscreens in its new models. HP's Photosmart Premium C309g, aimed at the home enthusiast with a taste for photo printing, has an 89mm touchscreen which, along with its surrounding touch buttons, is the only control on the machine, apart from its physical power button.

HP has gone out of its way to design this machine with very smooth, simple lines. The top cover, gloss black with a series of embossed geometric lines, is reminiscent of some recent HP laptops and lifting the lid gives easy access to the flatbed scanner, though there's little allowance in the hinge for scanning books.

The fixed, angled control panel has a raised rim with the touchscreen set almost as a separate unit on a five-position hinge. The screen itself is surrounded by six, single-function touch buttons, which illuminate when their functions are available. This is a capacitative screen, with a bright backlight and large icons. It's very easy to use and is a bit more sensitive than Lexmark's. It has a 7:5.5 aspect ratio, which is better for photo previews than a widescreen.

Below the control panel is the usual paper tray arrangement, which can take both plain paper and photo blanks. The printer draws the photo tray into itself when you select photo media. A pull-out paper stop prevents printed A4 sheets from sliding onto the desk, but increases the printer's footprint quite considerably.

Two memory card slots, for SD, MemoryStick and xD cards are set next to a dual-purpose USB socket, which connects to PictBridge cameras and USB memory drives. At the back connections include USB and Ethernet, but the Photosmart Premium C309g also supports wireless networking.

Hardware setup is a cinch; just clip the five cartridges - there are pigmented and photo blacks - into the print head and away you go. Wireless setup is also very simple, as the firmware wizard hunts for available networks and the touchscreen presents a keyboard for entering a pass code. Installation of the support software then finds the networked printer and connection is painless.

The rest of the software installation provides the usual basic file management and OCR, as well as useful applets like HP Smart Web Printing. There's driver support on the supplied CD for Windows from XP onwards and OS X from version 10.4.

Rupert Alexander

September 21, 2010, 4:10 pm

We needed a new printer due to aged inkjet throwing in the towel: so having to run over the road to get the neighbours out of bed at 7.30 to print out kid's homework assignment! enough of that silliness.





Spent the day on the 3w checking out printers. Your mission: find a half-decent wireless 3-in-one under £100.





After spending hours reading reviews (mainly this excellent website which has reviewed just about everything!) and comparing ink prices, this is the result and I am so pleased with it I have to say something.





This machine was sent from the future to take care of our home office/homework needs.





First off the price: from Comet - already discounted from £133.97 to £89 (!) but a further 10% discount for ordering online, plus a photo printing kit worth £37.99 FREE, plus an extra black tank worth £15.99 FREE unbelievable what a steal - even the sales assistant seemed surprised! (btw I am not in any way related to Comet) here's the link may it work for you: http://www.comet.co.uk/shopcom...





Set up: it comes out of the box like a spaceship - big and black and shiny and quite scary! ok you do need to clear a bit of space on the desk but you gain the space from losing separate copier/scanner/printer. Plug in switch on plug in ink tanks and it already works. There are preformatted pages you can print like calendars, to-do lists, games etc. Or go ahead and start copying - and can it copy! Put in a photo of kid 2 - had a perfect colour copy in my hand in under 20 seconds. Awesome.





Wireless setup: hardly even noticed it. Get the printer seen by the router: use the super large touch sensitive James Bond smooth and sexy screen to do that. You have to track down your router password thingy (which was printed underneath the router, so that was easy) and enter that.





Driver install: the course of true love n'er did run smooth. Driver wouldn't install from disk ahh! No problem: HP website downloaded the driver to computer ran just fine (and much quicker too straight from the hard drive). Came across complaints about HP 'bloatware', but you can choose not to install all the software.





During driver install it asks you how you want to connect the printer - choose wireless (obviously!)





Installed on 2 Win Vista laptops (not exactly energetic quick young fillies either) no problem.





So far everything has printed out perfectly - great colours, pin-sharp text, perfect photos love it having hours of fun making a real non-virtual family photo album.





From this expert review: the pull out paper stop has a little flip up bit at the end. You can just flip that up so don't need to pull it all the way out. Scans/copies books just fine. Personally I would put all the grades up to 9 (only because you just wouldn't believe me if I put them up to 10!)





Maybe this comment seems a bit too rosy so I must think of something negative - um well it doesn't do the washing up...

Rupert Alexander

September 21, 2010, 5:17 pm

... and did I mention: sooo quiet!

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