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HP Photosmart Wireless All-in-One B109 review



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After testing HP's new flagship Photosmart Premium C309 a couple of weeks back, it's interesting to look at the mid-range model. Costing less than half the price, the Photosmart Wireless B109 still has some of the key features of its more expensive sibling, such as wireless connection, touch-button controls and the same print engine, and even gives it a run for its money on print speed.

All dressed out in high-gloss black plastic, a bit last year and an absolute magnet for fingerprints, the B109 is still a smart, well-designed device. The Contact Image Sensor (CIS) scanner sits low on the machine, increasing its height only slightly and to the left of the scanner cover is a convenient little control panel.

With a small, 37mm LCD display in the middle, it has three touch-buttons down either side, with fixed functions labelled Return, Cancel and OK down the left and soft function keys down the right, with labels coming from menus on the display.

HP makes no attempt to integrate the paper tray into the body of the machine, instead designing it to fold up against the front panel. Fold down and swing out the extra support and you have a feed tray for either plain or photo paper. Paper feeds out to finish up on top of the feed stack.

Below the control panel on the left are two memory card slots, for SD, MemoryStick and xD cards, but there's no PictBridge or USB socket, which is a shame. At the back is a USB connection, but no Ethernet. The only network connection is a wireless one.

Wireless installation involves connecting the machine temporarily via USB and HP thoughtfully provides a cable for this function, but other machines, including the Photosmart Premium C309, can manage to make the link without the need for a cable.

Drivers are provided for Windows and OS X and can be downloaded for various incarnations of Linux. Other software includes the HP Solutions Centre and a copy of Windows Live Gallery, which we imagine Microsoft is keen to get into the market.

The four separate ink cartridges, with designs very similar to those used in Canon PIXMA machines, snap into the semi-permanent head and after you've printed an alignment page and re-scanned it, you're ready to go.

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November 15, 2009, 11:16 am

This may be a silly question, but does this do wireless scanning? You call this an "All-on-One", but only review it as a printer.


November 15, 2009, 10:52 pm

Just brought one of these today (prior to seeing this review). I can confirm that Wireless scanning works. The HP demo guy said that it did, but reading the manual before installation gave the impression it didn't! However, connected and tested all OK.


November 16, 2009, 12:28 pm

Thanks JamieB :-)


November 16, 2009, 2:51 pm

@the machine chuntered away for 30 seconds before starting to print.

Although 30 seconds might seem like a long time.

I used to have Canon & an Epson, and got fed up of having to do there head cleaning program that wasted 30 mins of MY time, since using a HP never had any issues, even if I had not used the printer for over a month.

So, if I had the choice of waiting 30 seconds every now and again, or having to go through the whole head cleaning each time I didn't' use the printer for a week, I know which one I'd go for. :)


December 30, 2009, 4:18 pm

This is the worst printer I've ever owned. The wireless connectivity works one time in five. It chudders and clunks for 30 secs before printing anything - or more often, nothing. It wastes loads of paper printing redundant reports. It installs hundreds of megs of bloatware that pops up hp ads for consumables. And after printing 17 pages, it ran out of ink! I've always bought hp for their quality and fuss-free performance. Not this one - it's utter junk.

Linda Anthony

June 30, 2010, 1:12 pm

Bought this just for printing photos from the card in my camera, unfortunately, the slot for the card is not big enough.


January 26, 2014, 8:27 pm

This the worst product I have ever had... :-(. My 3 years experience: Wireless feature worked for 3 months only, the printer has its own life, meaning that its always doing some stupid internal chceks for minutes, after I inserted ORIGINAL cartridges the printer complained that they are not originals... The consumption of the ink is HORRRRRRIBLE, I use it not so often 5-10 pages /month, but actually each time it is switched on approx. 15_20 % of the ink cartridges disappear... Spent HELL lot of money on cartridges, but when really required a simple black/white page to be printed, it always failed... Disaster. This product is HORRIBLE, I will never buy ANYTHING from HP until I die...I am really looking forward to see the printer falling out from my balcony (4th floor) :-)))) . Reommend to buy really a different brand.

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