The name is long and some have told me it’s a mouthful, heck I am left without breath after saying it. It’s also kind of a tongue twister. I think they should have just named it the HP Touchsmart Printer. But if they did name it that I would would probably have nothing to complain about.
HP sent me the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart web (I’ll call it Touchsmart Web) about two weeks ago and I’ve used it ever since, it’s even replaced the four printers I was using prior to getting the Touchsmart Web as I have no need for any other printers since this bad boy can do it all.
Before I get with the review, check out my unboxing video.
Something to note before you watch the unboxing is the unit I received was not packaged in the way the printers you’d get in a store is packaged. For example when I removed the printer from the reusable beach bag the Touchsmart Web itself was wrapped in a plastic bag. When you purchase the printer it will not have that plastic around the printer. The purpose of the reusable bag is to help clean up our environment and HP is trying to make everything “Green” and having it wrapped in plastic isn’t really green plus the plastic bag was unnecessary. So HP got rid of the plastic bag, just thought I’d let you all know in-case you buy one and saw this video.
Anywho let’s move on to the video, enjoy!
Pretty sweet huh! The printer has a beautiful look to it. You pretty much put it anywhere in your home or office.
The first thing I did after unboxing the Touchsmart Web was to of course set it up and install it onto my network and my computers. While that may sound complicated especially the Network part it really wasn’t, and it’s nothing to be intimidated by.
I made a quick video on how to set it up onto your wireless network, just to show you how easy it is. (I apologize for the quality as I had to use my iPhone as my regular camera broke on me)
See how simple that was?
It can even get easier than that. If your wireless router supports WPS (Wireless Protected Setup) all you would do is click the Wireless Protected Setup option that was right under the Wireless Setup Wizard on the Touchsmart Web, and then push the WPS button on your router. Very simple to connect something to your wireless network now a days.
Just an FYI for those wondering, the Touchsmart Web will show up as the HP C309 when you search for the printer during the install process on your computer.
In the video I mentioned something about the HP Software being bad. So I will explain a bit here. For as far back as I can remember the HP printer software took long to install and honestly if it takes long to install I don’t want it because it typically means the software is a resource hog in my book and pretty much that was the case.
The software for the Touchsmart Web installs a tad bit faster than software of past but still too long in my opinion, however the apps themselves didn’t slow down my system so they weren’t resource hogs and they did add an additional layer of functionality however but nothing I would use so I uninstalled it. If you don’t mind the install time and or need that extra level of functionality then install it, if you decide you don’t want the software uninstalling the included software will not prevent you from using the printer, as it will work with the default Windows and Mac drivers. I really do hope that HP addresses the install time of their printers software. As great as their printers are the included software needs a lot of work. But this is true for most of the major Printer makers.
After the Touchsmart Web was on my network and installed onto my computers I immediately started to play with the interface, and I couldn’t believe I was using the interface on a printer.
Swiping my finger on the touch screen, selecting apps touching this touching that it all came naturally and a smooth experience. I didn’t find myself swiping twice or tapping an app twice to launch it. The touch screen has the right amount of sensitivity to it in my opinion.
I made a little video (again sorry about the quality) of me using the weather app. The video will show how easy it is and what you can expect if you were to use one.
How cool was that? But let’s not talk about the apps for now and get on with the review. I’ll tell you more about the Apps later on.
After I fiddling with settings and just figuring out how it all worked, I decided to test the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart web for what it really is an All in One Printer.
The first thing I did was of course print and print I did I actually printed so much I had to refill my inks a second time. Nearly 800 pages were printed and yes I still have some ink left. When it came to print quality I had high expectations, I expected a great quality print and my expectations were met so no surprises there. What really surprised me though was how quite the unit was when printing especially pictures.
I have had a lot of HP Printers from the C8180 to this brand spanking new Touchsmart Web, and all HP Printers with the exception of the Touchsmart web have been noisy beast and violent actually.
My c8180 for example would shake the table when printing. The table would bang on the wall and my neighbors would call me and ask me to keep it down. They thought I had a lady friend over. (I live in an apartment in NYC walls are thin).
The print speed also impressed me. I averaged 7.5 seconds per color/text pages. I tested this by printing 10 pages of a document where each page contained text and up to three color pictures. I did this multiple times. I averaged about 38 seconds per 5 pages.
Printing over a network wired or wireless or if you were printing with the Touchsmart Web connected directly to your printer, it really didn’t matter response time and print speed were the same.
Printing pictures was also fast and easy. If you connect a camera or a USB flash drive to the Pict-bridge port on the printer, you can edit the pictures directly on the printer. You can crop them, rotate, change the color even fix red eye.
The print quality for pictures had to be one of the best, way better than anything the Kodak and Lexmark printers I have used can deliver, but if I compare it to an Epson printer it’s hard to declare a winner there. For example I’d have to say the picture quality from the HP Photosmart Premium when compared to let’s say an Epson Artisan 810 is about the same. Really good quality from both in my opinion!
But the HP Photosmart Premium with Touchsmart web (yes it’s a fingerfull to type as much as it’s a mouthful to say) is more than just a printer, it’s also a fax, scanner and copier.
I tried it all out, the fax machine worked great, you can fax directly from your PC or dial in the number on the printer itself. Everything is super easy to configure and use. It also worked with my Vonage VoIP line.
You can even set up the fax settings such as the header for the faxes you send via your PC you don’t have to do it on the printer.
The copier was quick and easy to use, I used it for copying and printing photos. The whole experience was far from complicated which made it fun to do and not a dread and a painfully slow process. For the first time I wasn’t bored preserving old photos. Heck it’s so fun I am sure you can get your kids to do it for you.
The touch screen and the ability to edit pictures you scan right on the machine itself makes the experience fun and painless. You can even make duplicates of your photos with just three taps on the screen.
But that isn’t it for the the Touchsmart Web, the worlds most innovative and the best printer of the year and probably for years has more to offer than just being a printer, scanner, copier and fax. It has a cool touchscreen and web connectivity for a reason and that reason is for its web enabled apps, which I sort of demoed in one of the videos above.
Currently there are currently 15 apps and more to come, the apps range from Coupons.com where you can print out coupons and recipes right from the printer to Fandango.com which will allow you to find what movies are playing in your area and print out tickets right from your printer.
There is also a tabloid app, which will allow you to create your own newspaper using the RSS feeds from your favorite sites. (Sadly ours isn’t listed BOOOO HISSSSS)
Or you can print out your agenda for the week using the Google Calendar App. I personally sync Google Calendar with my Outlook Calendar and I have found the Google Calendar App on the Touchsmart web to be very useful.
Sticking with Google Apps there is also a Google Maps app which will print out a map of an area you ask it too. As of yet you can’t use it to get directions but it’s coming soon according to HP.
Now the video you saw above demoed the Weather App which is pretty damn cool, just think about printing out your calendar and then having your 5 day forecast to go along with it.
There is also a Snapfish app, where if you have a Snapfish.com account you can print pictures from it, and a web Sudoku app for the Sudoku addicts like me.
For the kids there is a Crafts App, Diseny App, Dreamworks App and a Nickelodeon App. Where you can print out coloring pages and crafts to keep them distracted while you find a recipe to print out.
I personally wouldn’t mind having a TV Guide App, apps that can access my bank account and print out my statements. I think the possibilities are endless and HP does plan to allow third parties to create apps for it. So I do hope a lot of companies get on-board and create apps for the HP Photosmart Premium with Touchsmart Web.
Another cool App I wouldn’t mind having is a circular app. Let me browse my favorite stores circular and then print out a shopping list.
Now a lot of people whom I have talked to and even myself when I first heard about this all in one was “Whats the point?” After all I have a computer you have a computer why do I need a printer that can do all of this?
Well sometimes you’re in a rush and don’t want to sit down at the pc load up fandango or Google calendar and the printers right there ready for you to use it.
Or maybe someone else is using the computer, now you have access to what you need. Another example is I don’t like my 6 year old cousin touching my computer but once I showed her to click on the Dora icon and the Disney Icon she now prints out her own coloring pages. It literally baby sits for you! Well not really but you know what I mean.
Overall I love the HP Photosmart Premium with Touchsmart web, yes the name is a mouthful and takes forever to type, and yes the software is a pain to install. But it is the best printer of the year in my opinion and it certainly is the most innovative one.
It prints fast, it quite when it prints, It has a gorgeous design and it does everything an all-in-one should plus more. For that we award it our 5 Star Gold Editors Choice Award. For more information on the HP Photosmart Premium with Touchsmart Web visit http://www.hpdirect.com