Product Type: Hewlett-Packard All in one Printer
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HP Photosmart Premium; what can't it do?
HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One
Member Name: Wickedinrock
HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One
Date: 02/04/11, updated on 20/10/11 (77 review reads)
Advantages: Great quality printing, quick, great applications
Disadvantages: Expensive, occasionally hasn't printed and had to print again
The HP Photosmart Premium All-In-One is designed for home users who want an easy to use, speedy printer which produces lab quality photographs, even without the use of a PC. What makes this different to your usual home use printer is that you can print photographs to it from anywhere with just the use of the internet.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
- the printer
- paper tray and photo paper tray
- plug and cable
- 5 printer cartridges (black, photo black, cyan, magenta and yellow)
- printer bag
- instruction manual (in 24 different languages)
- installation disk
When I opened the box I was pleased to find that everything looked quite easy to put together and there were no random pieces that I didn't recognise. The instruction manual was very simple, especially for a non-techie like myself, in fact I only had to read the front cover of it to be able to set up the printer. The first instruction was to connect the cable to the printer and plug it in at the wall before turning it on. From there I followed the instructions on the TouchSmart screen to ensure that the settings were configured correctly and to install the printer cartridges. The TouchSmart screen was very clear and was almost like a mini netbook! It works as a touch screen which I thought was excellent with no delays and no problem scrolling down the list to select the country or time settings.
When the printer is ready to go, it advises the user to install using the CD provided onto a computer. This was fairly easy and from start to finish, including time to unwrap everything; the whole set up took less than 20 minutes which I thought was very impressive. It connected to our wireless internet once I had selected our home network and typed in the password, which again was very simple.
When the printer was set up I loaded the paper in the tray and printed a test page. Both photo paper and standard A4 size paper can be left loaded at the same time which is something I've not had on previous printers and think is super!
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Fairly attractive actually! It's black, shiny and looks quite neat and pretty sitting on the bottom ledge of my computer table underneath the PC. There are no unnecessary cables hanging from it as it only needs to be plugged in at the wall socket which I think it great.
The touch screen makes it look very state of the art and to me it looks like a large iPhone on the front of the printer. It is very easy to use with sharp, clear writing and options on the display screen, all in colour, which can easily be selected using your finger.
The scanner is on the top with a lid the size of the printer which opens up to reveal a glass screen. A4 or smaller paper can be placed on the screen for scanning or copying.
The printer is 17.91 x 17.7 x 7.8 inch in size and weighs 16.9 lb which makes it an ideal size to fit under a computer table or study table.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE PRINTER
The first thing that stood out for me about the Photosmart Premium was that it had two sized slots for memory cards so that I can print straight from my camera without having to use cables or save them to the computer first. This is ideal for quickly printing photographs without using the extra energy of logging onto a PC.
As I mentioned earlier there is also a facility to print from anywhere in the world. You can send an email to the printer from a computer in another country or from your mobile phone if you have signal. The printer has its own email address which you find by printing out the information from the printer itself. You can send attachments straight to the printer as long as it is turned on, just by sending an email. The printer will print out the email itself and any attachments, which can include Word documents, PDFs and JPEG files. I really doubted that this would work but I can assure you that it does and it's easy! I have sent emails to try it out from my home PC, laptop and mobile phone including plain text and holiday photos. While this feature is quite exciting and fun to play around with, I personally can't imagine a time when I will need to send an email to my printer bearing in mind I would have to then go home to collect it and could just print it from my computer! Also, the printer would need to be turned on which is very unlikely in my house as I keep everything turned off when I am out of the house. Very Green!
There are some features which have been built into the printer which again can be accessed without turning on the computer. I was excited to see that I could print off Sudoku puzzles of varying difficulty as well as the answers! I can't imagine a time that I would need to print off a grid of completed numbers but there is always the option! It also has a variety of calendars which can be printed onto regular paper or on glossy if needed which is useful to me as I don't always want to write everything on my main wall calendar.
One of the best features on the printer is the Snapfish application. Most people will know of the online digital photo service Snapfish, in fact I use it regularly. You can either log into your account and print photos from your online albums or you can download photographs from your memory card to Snapfish where you can use its facilities to print them how you want. There is also a Dreamworks feature which includes bookmarks, pictures and things to colour in from animated movies such as Madagascar and Shrek. You can access any of these features without even turning on your computer.
There is an option to view other applications which can then be added to the menu on the printer. These include a Disney application where you can download Disney pictures to colour in and posters, a Facebook application so that you can print photos from the site, a Halloween application which allows you to print Halloween themed pictures and activities and 'Mappy' which displays maps and routes which can be printed out.
The quality of printing is excellent as the five ink system delivers crisp text and bright, vivid images. According to the user manual the inks are optimised for porous photo media to provide exceptional image quality, fade resistance, and instant-dry, water and smudge-resistant prints. In the case of black and coloured text, novelty cards and bookmarks I've found that this is entirely accurate and has provided me with some great quality images and colour printing which has dried instantly. It also prints very quietly and is one of the quietest printers I've used.
One of the best things about the printer is that it is very quick to print, especially in black and white. My daily Sudoku puzzle takes three seconds to print out and that's for two puzzles on a page. You can also select 'with answers' to print these on the back of the paper. I don't like to have the answers but I printed them out just to see how long it took and was pleasantly surprised to find that it only took ten seconds, even when it had to duplex print on the reverse.
I have printed some images, holiday photographs and various greetings cards and bookmarks which have all printed quickly. The quality is outstanding, certainly the best I've experienced from a printer at home or at work, but I would still rather get holiday photos printed from somewhere that specialises in photographs - you can't beat it! I would find it too painful to print each one out myself and it's just not quite the same. It takes approximately fifteen seconds to print an A5 sized photograph on glossy paper which I think is great. Weirdly, when I used the small premium glossy paper (6 x 4 inch) and printed photos straight from the printer the print-out wasn't as good quality and smudged easily and I couldn't wash the ink off my hands for over a day!
Another issue I've faced with printing is that occasionally a print job just isn't recognised or has a long delay! We have three computers in the house, all of which are set up to print to the Photosmart Premium and a few times it just hasn't worked or has taken 10 minutes to come through. It hasn't really caused us any issues but if we were to need something urgently the problem could get quite annoying.
SCANNING AND PHOTOCOPYING
Photocopying is easy and effective. The result is always excellent with an exact likeness printed out in black and white in around 10-15 seconds and a colour copy in 15-20 seconds. Both photocopying and scanning take a while to begin as the machine takes about a minute to warm up but once ready, the actual scanning process only takes a few seconds. There are two options when scanning. You can choose either to save the scanned images onto a PC or to a memory card. A preview of the scanned image or text appears on the touch screen before saving to the computer or memory card which is useful as you can decide to re-scan if there is a problem or if anything is cut off.
A SUSTAINABLE PRINTER?
One of the important things in printing for me is being environmentally friendly. I don't like to print out anything without good reason and if I do I try to do it in black and white. The PhotoSmart Premium has a facility to automatically print double sided which helps to save paper as you only need half the amount of sheets.
The ink cartridges last ages and even though I've not had the printer long enough to use up the ink you can monitor how much you are using on the printer screen so you know when to buy the next ones. The blue ink is the only one that isn't still completely full on the monitor so clearly that is the one most used, but luckily it's possible to buy the cartridges individually so you can just replace the ones that have run out.
The printer is Energy Star®-compliant and energy efficient and meets the EU's guidelines for the restriction of hazardous substances. It automatically goes into sleep mode when it hasn't been used for a few minutes which helps to save energy. You do not need to power up your laptop or PC to use it which is another great energy saving measure.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The printer is available to purchase online and in computer shops and prices seem to range from around £130 on eBay up to £200. The printer can be purchased from the HP website for £179 where other printers from the range can be purchased. Ink cartridges can be bought online for as little as £6 which I think is very reasonable in comparison with other brands.
Overall I am very impressed with this printer. It was easy to set up and the quality of printing is great. There have been a few issues along the way such as installing the printer on my netbook which doesn't have a CD drive so I had to go through the website and the occasional delays in printing, but all in all the experience has been positive. Most problems have been easily resolved using the user's guide and excellent website. It is an expensive printer but it's definitely worth it considering the excellent print quality and speed and I think it will save money in the long run with less paper required and long lasting ink cartridges. The applications are useful and also quite fun, especially if you have children in the house and this is a feature I haven't seen on other printers. I would give the printer an excellent 4/5 as it is very attractive, does everything that it needs to and more, but might be overwhelming for anyone who isn't great with technology.
Summary: A super printer!