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HP used to use the slogan ‘HP Invent’ and over the years the company has come out with a number of innovative printing tools including, arguably, the first all-in-ones. In an attempt to repeat the step-change, it first introduced the Internet-aware ePrint facility and has taken the idea further with the Photosmart eStation C510.
As the touch screens on high-end HP all-in-ones have been getting bigger, perhaps it’s a natural progression to reach the stage where the one on this machine is removable as a separate mini-tablet, which HP calls the Zeen. It slips into a holder at the top-left of the machine’s front panel and connects wirelessly with your router, so can be used away from the printer, in addition to being its control panel.
The rest of the machine has a straightforward design, though unusual styling. The twin paper trays layout, with a 125-sheet plain paper tray fitted below an automated photo paper tray, which can take up to 20 sheets, is conventional enough.
The only memory card connection is a single SD slot set into the top edge of the Zeen, so printing photos from cameras is more awkward than on some other models. There's not even a PictBridge socket as a catchall for cameras using other card formats.
The flatbed scanner uses a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) with no Automatic Document Feeder and the duplexer is a clip-on bulge at the back. The power supply, even on this very high-end machine, is still a separate power block, free to kick around under the desk.
The Photosmart eStation C510 has a USB socket at the rear, but no Ethernet capability as an alternative to its wireless connection. Wireless setup is pretty straightforward and you can use the touch keyboard on the Zeen to enter your WPA pass code.
The machine has drivers for both Windows and OS X and comes with support software for both platforms. The five ink cartridges, including both pigmented black and dye-based photo black, clip into the pre-fitted head, as on several other recent HP launches, including the Photosmart Premium eAll-in-One. In fact, we strongly suspect both models use the same print engine and with very similar feature sets other than the Zeen, you're effectively paying £240 for the upgrade from touch panel to tablet.
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