HP Photosmart e-All-in-One C310 Review
HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One C310 Review | HP® DRIVERS and SOFTWARE
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HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One Printer series – C310 Specifications Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh
HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One C310 Review
The C310 is a drastic departure from the older HP printers, with new streamlined flair and rounded edges all around the printer. The smooth lines and black finish exude executive appeal and complement the 4.33-inch touch screen set in the centre of the console. The display is the main focal point of the printer, with no more than a small power button to the right to complete the front panel. There’s also a small ePrint wireless LCD next to it that blinks to notify you of connection status, and a small media card reader down on the lower left side of the printer. Unlike its higher-end linemate, this particular model is missing a PictBridge-compatible USB port for direct photo imports.
The rear sticks out a bit because of the removable auto-duplexer, which lets you save money and help out the environment by printing on both sides of a single sheet of paper. Unfortunately, this printer falls short of other multifunction devices since it lacks an auto-document feeder (ADF), meaning you have to manually load each individual document into the scanner.
input feeder has two separate trays: one for up to 20 sheets of 4×6-inch photo paper and another underneath for 100 sheets of standard 8.5×11-inch letter-size paper. A small plastic arm extends out from the tray to corral outbound prints. The printer handles the paper well, and we didn’t experience any jams, but we do take issue with the clear plastic photo tray cover that inevitably hits the bottom of the display every time you replenish the stack. On top of that, the flimsy piece of plastic holding the cover open is too weak to support the weight, forcing you to use two hands just to refill paper. It’s a minor annoyance, but a mechanical error on HP’s part nonetheless.
The touch screen looks unsurprisingly similar to the face of an iPhone in landscape mode. The screen is roughly the same size (the iPhone’s is 4.5 inches, this one is 4.3 inches), and you can also adjust the display up and down to find your best viewing angle. The home screen is the first thing you’ll see when the printer is on. It shows a set of scrollable icons for your favourite applications with four shortcut buttons at the bottom for photo prints, copy, scan, and fax. You can drag your finger across the list of apps, delete ones you don’t use, or download any apps from the growing list in the HP ePrintCenter.
Unfortunately, the C310a’s screen isn’t in the same league as the iPhone’s–the front of the touch screen is covered by a thin layer of plastic that flexes before the device activates your command, and the entire process suffers from a severe lag between the time you hit a button and when it actually registers. Using the screen becomes an exercise in patience, especially when you have to comb through several submenus to get to your desired function.
On top of that, the screen on our test unit wasn’t calibrated properly and we had to aim our fingers slightly lower than the desired virtual button to achieve our intended process. We imagine anyone having to deal with a similar glitch day in and day out would be highly irritated.
HP requires the printer and the host computer to access the Internet on the same wireless router to take advantage of the EPrintCenter apps, so you get no wired Ethernet port option. You do get the option to install the printer via a USB port on the back, but you’ll be limited to only the printing functions.
All of the extra applications are free and HP breaks them down into categories within the App Store: entertainment, home, kids, news/blogs, photo, and tickets. Each one promises to streamline the printing experience by offering shortcuts to your favourite coupons, news articles, weather reports, recipes, and so on. HP tells us that it plans to release a Software Development Kit (SDK) in the near future so that software engineers can design their own shortcut apps for the store.
Using the onscreen Wireless Setup Wizard, we were able to connect the printer through CNET’s protected network and took off browsing in less than 10 minutes. The Get More button took us directly to the store, where you can rate each app and even add comments for other potential users. The apps have potential, but their utility is marred by long load times that require you to navigate too many submenu layers. For example, the Google Maps app is an intriguing idea that could save time, but the touch-screen delays and irritatingly small virtual keyboard kept us in hunt-and-peck purgatory for so long that we began longing for the convenience of a simple keyboard and mouse for navigation.
Another example is the Fandango Ticket function. We assumed that the process would be as simple as using the kiosks offered in actual theatres, but we grew impatient again; searching for movies and the corresponding showtimes in the proper theatre are hard enough to do online without waiting for a tiny map and listing to show up on a 4.33-inch screen. As we’ve thought in regard to other touch-screen devices, it seems like this technology should have been kept as a proof of concept for now instead of a pragmatic addition to the home printer. To HP, we pose this question: why should we suffer through all that hunting and pecking on a 4.33-inch screen when we have a 20-inch monitor, a full keyboard, and a mouse taunting us immediately next to the printer itself?
Hewlett Packard Photosmart Product models Premium e-All-in-One C310
To prove our point, we performed an anecdotal field test, pitting the printer against a standard desktop computer in a race to see which device could locate and issue the command to print out a Google map faster. Not surprisingly, it took only 21.4 seconds to pull up a browser on our desktop, head over to Google Maps, type in the address, and click “print.” On the other hand, getting the same map directly on the Photosmart printer took 1.27 minutes from the home screen, to wait for the printer to connect to the Internet, type in the address using the virtual keyboard, hit print, choose between landscape, portrait, or square, and hit print again. On top of all that, the input lag we mentioned earlier resulted in duplicate letters and mistakes that required correction and, consequently, more time.
The applications are further marred by missing features. For example, the Google Maps app can’t show driving directions or location history or autocomplete words, all of which would save time. Our final complaint is that the applications have a tendency to freeze up misfunction, similar to on the iPhone. When this happens, the only way to get things running again is to restart the printer, which usually takes a few minutes to connect to the Internet and reload the homepage, depending on how many favourite applications you added. (Description of CNET Site: www.cnet.com)
(Explanation of expertreviews.co.uk) There’s a versatile printer at the heart of this MFP, but it’s let down by its frustrating controls and nannying driver interfaces.
When we finish testing a printer and have extensive notes it usually means that there’s plenty to say about it. Unfortunately, in the case of the Photosmart Premium C310, much of it is negative.
It’s a smart MFP that’s a little bigger than average. There’s an extra black ink tank that’s used in darker colour prints. Control is via touches and gestures on a huge 10.9cm touchscreen, which proved to be one of the most frustrating we’ve ever used.
We’ve used touchscreens on other HP printers, but while some seemed unresponsive, the Photosmart Premium’s appeared to be ignoring us altogether. During setup, it took several attempts for it to acknowledge our language selection. Things progressed normally for a while after that until we came to set up the wireless network. After a few moments, the screen went blank and it became apparent that the printer had hung.
We were able to complete the setup after a restart, but the screen remained slow to respond to most inputs, and sometimes failed to acknowledge them at all. Many of the Premium’s menu elements rely on scrolling and other animations, but these often stuttered rather than moving smoothly. This was noticeable when trying to scroll through the photos on an inserted memory card, where the screen contents didn’t follow a dragged fingertip in a predictable way, leading to frustration and a couple of unintended commands.
HP seems to have problems naming its printers. It would appear to be happiest if we all called its new print all-in-one the Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One. This is not to be confused with the Photosmart Premium All-in-One, which is a completely different model; the ‘e’ is vital. We’re using its type number, CN503B, for clarity, though this is rarely quoted in product listings and doesn’t feature on the product itself.
All decked out in high-gloss black, the machine is striking to look at, mainly because of its unconventional control panel. Looking like an oversize iPod stuck to its front, the panel has a 109mm multi-touch screen and other, dedicated touch buttons down either side.
It’s very easy to use, with only light touches needed to press buttons or select menu options. You can sweep across the display to scroll sideways through, for example, the list of available apps you’ve downloaded from the ePrint site. The list continues to grow, though they’re still predominately from big players like Disney, offering colouring pages. How long before they’re chargeable?
The scanner is a conventional Contact Image Sensor (CIS) device, with a good solid lid, though solid hinges, too, which don’t allow for scanning books easily. Below the control panel to the left is a single slot for SD and MemoryStick cards, though there’s no support for xD and no PictBridge/USB socket.
The main, 125-sheet paper tray has a powered, 20-sheet photo tray piggy-backed on top, so you can keep both media loaded at once. Pages and photos feed to the top of the tray cover and need the support of an extension, which slides out from its front lip.
Around the back of the machine are sockets for USB, Ethernet and wireless support include WPS quick setup, so if you have that feature on your router, a couple of button presses is all that’s needed.
The driver is easy to install, though if you don’t already have an ePrint account, you’ll need to set one up before you can print via the Internet or download print apps. You’ll also need to build a security list of people allowed to send to your printer. Bizarrely, the driver labels itself Photosmart Prem C310, which is a little disconcerting, given the model number of this machine is CN503B.
This is a five-ink printer, with a dye-based photo black, as well as the pigmented black used for text. All five tanks clip into the print head with a minimum of fuss and the printer then automatically aligns them.
This document outlines the product specifications for the HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One C310 All-in-One
Resolution: 9600 dpi print
Method: Drop-on-demand thermal inkjet
Language: PCL3 GUI
Print speed (varies by model):
-Black: After the first page, up to 33 ppm
-Colour: After the first page, up to 32 ppm
Digital image processing.
A maximum number of copies: Varies by model.
Copy speed: Up to 33 pages per minute (ppm) black, up to 32 ppm colour.
Maximum copy enlargement ranges from 200-400% (depends on model).
Maximum copy reduction ranges from 25-50% (depends on model).
Maximum copies: 99 from control panel (depends on model).
Image editor included.
Twain-compliant software interface (Windows only).
Resolution: up to 4800 x 4800 PPI optical (depends on model); 19200 PPI enhanced (software).
Colour: 48-bit colour, 8-bit grayscale (256 levels of grey).
Maximum scan size from glass: 21.6 x 29.7 cm (8.5 x 11.7 in).
Input/output (including memory cards)
USB port: Rear hi-speed
Wireless network: 802.11 supported
Memory card slots support the following memory cards.
-Memory Stick Pro Duo (adapter optional)
-Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo (adapter optional)
-MMC Mobile (RS-MMC: adapter required)
-Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)
-Secure Digital Mini
-Secure Digital (SD)
-Secure MultiMedia Card
-TransFlash MicroSD Card (adapter required)