HP Photosmart eStation C510 Inkjet All-in-One - Under test and verdict

By Simon Williams



Our Score:


The biggest problem with the Photosmart eStation C510 should be its biggest asset. The Zeen tablet, based on the Android 2.1 operating system should be very useful around the house as an eReader and Internet pad, but is hopelessly unresponsive. Under test, we could often wait over a second for a confirmatory ‘click’ when pressing a touch button and the same again before any action was taken. Four of five presses were sometimes needed to get a response.

With insufficient sensitivity to touches and a slow response, you’re never sure whether the Zeen has failed to register a tap or is just thinking long and hard before acting. It’s a very frustrating experience and not helped by Yahoo! – which is used for news and weather functions – claiming its not connected to a network, when the Android browser, Facebook and ePrint apps all suggest otherwise by working fine.

With very similar print engines in both printers, the performance results from this one are very similar to those from the Photosmart Premium eAll-in-One. The differences are mainly down to variations in preparation times from run to run. The five-page text document produced a speed of 5.8ppm, which rose to 9.0ppm on the 20-page test and to 10.0ppm when printing in draft mode.

In duplex mode, standard on the machine, we still saw 4.0ppm and our five-page black text and colour graphics document produced 5.2ppm. These kinds of speeds are reasonable for an £80 all-in-one, but you might expect something more from one costing four times that. Our test 15 x 10cm photo prints from an SD card unaccountably, but repeatedly, took nearly four minutes to complete.

Black text prints suffer from some of the same fuzziness as from its cheaper sibling and from the occasional misalignment between sweeps of the printhead. Colour graphics are bright and free from obvious artefacts and the colour copy is closer to the original than many. Photo prints are very good, with smooth colours and colour transitions, though some shadow detail is lost.

The cost per page for an ISO black page works out at 3.3p and for an equivalent colour page is 11.7p, both including 0.7p for paper. These lie in the middle of the field, though high-end machines from other suppliers, such as Kodak and Lexmark, offer reduced running costs to counter the higher printer asking price.


The HP Photosmart eStation C510 is an opportunity missed. The idea behind putting a simple tablet onto a printer, so you can easily call up a synopsis of news, weather forecast or share prices and print them out directly from the printer, is a good one. Unfortunately, the poor responsiveness of the touch screen and the slow performance of some of the software takes away most of this advantage. Put simply, it needs a better tablet.


January 9, 2011, 10:10 pm

"The idea behind putting a simple tablet onto a printer, so you can easily call up a synopsis of news, weather forecast or share prices and print them out directly from the printer..." is super crazy. Who is this aimed at? The army of people who have a printer, but no computer...


January 10, 2011, 7:45 am

And what're you footering around with Android for? You've got Web OS so use it. People could be forgiven for hardly knowing the Palm acquisition happened. Now this may be a blessing, given that TR has concluded that the tablet here is crap, but still. Along with MS, HP are really slow off the mark for competing with iOS. In fact, this widespread failure to rise to the challenge makes me give more kudos to RIM for getting the PlayBook out there and looking like it functions slick enough to be a third player.


January 10, 2011, 2:11 pm

I'm with @SRS on this. Why the heck would you want a removable tablet that can get lost or damaged relatively easily (compared with a built-in touch screen)? Can you still use the printer if you lose/damage the tablet - if so, then I'd rather just control the printer using plan B.


January 10, 2011, 2:29 pm


All the previous multi-function devices that I've seen incorporate fax functionality.

Have I missed or misread something or is that technology now being consigned to the metaphorical dustbin?


January 10, 2011, 7:41 pm


HP have a WebOS press event next month which is almost definitely going to be used to showcase new smartphones and tablets :)


January 10, 2011, 7:49 pm

@GoldenGuy: I saw an HP man interviewed on the BBC who was asked that exact question. His answer was that the Android tablet printer concept had been in development for over two years, i.e. since before the Palm acquisition happened. Here's hoping HP are just about to surprise us all with a plethora of WebOS devices.




January 11, 2011, 9:24 pm

I think this is the first step in a true all in one device. Where you have all the print, copy, scan and maybe faxing along with computing capability in one device. Instead of having a separate computer and an all-in-one they would be together in one device. The issue then becomes what happens if the hard drive crashes or if the printer starts to screw up. Could you hook it to another printer or another computer? This is the old console TV all over again. When you had the TV, Amplifier, Turn Table and maybe an 8 track or cassette player all in one cabinet. When the amplifier went out the whole thing was useless.


May 30, 2012, 4:30 am

this is the worst printer I've ever had. Don't waste your money - HP have concentrated on providing irrelevant features like connecting to facebook or yahoo etc but can it print??? Not a chance..... infuriating machine! Can't wait to replace it with a basic printer that does what you need it to do,....print!!!

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