HP Photosmart Plus B209a - Wireless All-in-One Printer - HP Photosmart Plus B209a

By Simon Williams



  • Recommended by TR
HP Photosmart Plus B209a - Wireless All-in-One Printer


Our Score:


The biggest snag with the working of the Photosmart Plus B209a is the same as with the Photosmart Wireless. It can take a long while for a print job to start, as the printer checks itself and primes its engine. During our tests, it took 79 seconds before starting to print one five-page text document.

The ISO speed standard says timings can be measured from the start of the paper moving from the input tray, which excludes preparation time. That’s very convenient, as it gives very much a best case result. We have no idea why the printer has to take this long fidgeting around.

Leaving aside the erratic delays at the start of print, which occur maybe once every five prints or so, print speeds are pretty good for this class of machine. Our 5-page text print returned a speed of 7.69ppm and the 20-page test increased this to 9.92ppm. The 5-page text and graphics print produced a speed of 5.08ppm.

10 x 10cm photo print speeds are slower than from some of the machine's rivals, particularly all-in-ones from Canon and Epson. The HP machine takes around a minute, irrespective of source, while recent tests of the PIXMA MP990 and Stylus Photo PX710W produce print speeds of about 30 seconds. Even so, a minute a print isn't out of order.

Print quality is pretty good throughout. Black text shows very few signs of ink run and even at small point sizes characters are well formed with only slight jaggedness. Business graphics are bright and generally smooth, with no signs of dither patterns and only slight fuzzing of black text over coloured backgrounds. A colour copy also reproduced well, though colours are a little light.

Photo prints are also good, though as with many machines we've reviewed, some detail is lost in darker areas of images. Colours are natural, though, and colour gradations smooth. Where necessary, the machine can produce vivid hues on HP's own Advanced Photo paper.

The four cartridges are the only consumables in this machine and using the higher yield XL versions produces page costs of 3.07p for an ISO black page and 7.71p for ISO colour. While the black page costs are very similar to the other two machines we've mentioned, the colour page cost is between 1.5p and 2.0p cheaper, – a worthwhile saving.


For just under £90, including the revised VAT rate of 17.5 per cent, this is a very capable all-in-one. We like the twin paper trays and the machine’s convenience in powering the photo tray. We like the page cost, too and the positive response from the touchscreen. We’re not so keen on the time it sometimes takes for a document to start printing, but the print quality is excellent, so overall it’s a great choice for anybody on a limited budget.


December 30, 2009, 5:48 pm

I assume this is the same printer as - http://www.laskys.com/compu...

HP have conveniently not included a model number on the page, and Laskys have no more information...

Slightly weary of buying a printer based upon seemingly matching pictures alone!

Andy Vandervell

December 31, 2009, 12:36 am

Yeah, the same. The model number is strictly necessary since there's only one Touchsmart Plus - at least that's my understanding.


December 31, 2009, 2:33 am

surely this is no match for the epson fw700?



March 10, 2013, 6:11 pm

HATE THIS DEVICE....check out the reviews on Amazon.com, they are a lot more "real world". It's got a 2/5 star review and about 16/18 of the written reviews express the same frustrations with its horrible WIFI connection issues. It constantly drops out, and needs to be reconnected via USB, drivers reloaded etc. Most people throw this device away after a short while it seems....me included >:(

David Rock

April 27, 2014, 2:45 am

The www.laskys.com link above is flagged and blocked by my Vipre antivirus. I recommend not clicking on it. Your mileage may vary...

joao batista

June 2, 2014, 7:54 pm

I hate it too!!! HP never more!!!

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