Performance & Conclusion
Design & Handling
The HP Photosmart Premium AIO C309 is easily the prettiest printer we've seen in a while. A nicely molded lip connects the lid - decorated with white wave patterns similar to HP's lmprint laptops - with the large touch-screen. Buttons are kept to a minimal; the power button is the only physical button while the rest are touch-sensitive icons surrounding the touch-screen. The C309 becomes one of those tech devices that won't look out of place in a stylish environment.
Prints are fast and easy with the C309. Text prints come out looking sharp and clear, while photo prints are colorful and well-defined. The C309 loads paper from the front in two trays, one for smaller sized photo papers and the other for A4 photo papers and normal paper. It has a forms feature which you access from the touch-screen menu that lets you print a selection of pre-defined forms, like notepaper, graph-paper and even Sudoku puzzles! The touch-screen itself is speedy to respond and easy to use.
Automatic duplex is a welcome feature, but the C309 rests each page before printing on the other side. The good thing about this is that the ink gets time to dry before the paper gets printed on again so you don't end up with wet, crinkled paper. The bad thing is that it nearly triples printing time, but it's probably a reasonable trade-off. Besides printing, the C309 also scans and copies. Copying is fast enough, but the lack of an automatic document feeder (ADF) limits the C309. Scanning leaves a little to be desired, photo scans are grainy, although the C309 should suffice for document scans.
Suffice to say, the C309 isn't just a good-looker. Except for photo scans, the HP Photosmart Premium AIO C309 delivers good performance across all its multi-functions. The lack of an ADF and tripled duplex printing speeds make us think the C309 is best suited for a home environment, while those looking for a shared printer will find its wireless feature useful.