Review: HP PhotoSmart Premium Fax series C309

HP PhotoSmart - Photo 3 - C309 All-In-One I am a geek, there’s no point in denying that. I love computers and I love peripheral accessories, particularly if they make my life easier. I am, however, semi-useless when it comes to setting up hardware. Software? Not a problem. Love playing with computer programs. I would have asked JT to install the HP PhotoSmart All-In-One C309 on my behalf, but I felt really bad doing that. I figured “hey, I can do my own stunts when it comes to software and programming, I can do the hardware”.

I began unpacking the different components and putting them away around July 5th or so, as soon as I received the printer. I felt overwhelmed (mostly because I’m not really all that excited about setting up hardware and in particular printers). However, I realized soon that it wasn’t all that difficult. The fact is – it’s not hard to set up this printer, if you just have the attention span required (and you’re good at following instructions). Knowing me, as a ‘hummingbird’, I sort of procrastinated, until I finally set it up. The printer comes with abundant, plug-and-play instructions.

HP PhotoSmart - Photo 2 - C309 All-In-One It’s really hard for me sometimes to follow instructions that are printed on a manual, but I managed to control myself enough to just set the printer up. Overall, it did take less than 30 minutes (if I count from the moment I started unpacking to when I was done, it’d be about an hour altogether, including wireless setup).

One thing did confuse me – I didn’t know why I could only set up either wireless or wired connection. But the wireless works great, so that’s not a problem. Small drawbacks that I noticed include:

  • The cache doesn’t seem to be properly working. So if I start printing and I realize that I’m in the wrong wireless network, the printer doesn’t start once I connect the laptop to the proper network. So I’ve had to cancel the printing job and then re-start the printer and send the print job again to the queue.
  • The amount of black ink spent seems a bit too high. I don’t think I’ve printed over 100 pages (in both color and black and white simultaneously) and the cartridge seems almost 25% spent. This may be just a mistake in the display, but I’d be VERY shocked if the black cartridge ran out really fast (see image below)

screencap HP PhotoSmart Premium Fax C309 Series

Elements I really enjoyed include:

  • The fact that it’s an All-In-One. I really didn’t want to test a printer that only had one function (and it’s kind of useless for my purposes. I use the printer in the context of an office space, so I need to have every single feature. I’ve had to ask friends to let me scan to PDF before, and it’s not a good feeling. Now I can do it from my own desk.
  • The fact that it’s wireless. Given the fact that the printer is at my office at The Network Hub, it’s kind of useless or irrelevant to have it set up as wireless, but it’s kind of nice to know that I can just simply move around the office and still print. In particular, I can easily print from the lobby (while I can still do some multi-tasking, like talking to a potential client).
  • The great online support from HP. This is great, if there are any problems with the printer, there’s an Auto-Diagnostics feature that connects with HP Support online. As someone who is software-savvy but hardware-not-so-savy, this is very helpful.

As of this blog post (mid-August 2009) I have only tested wireless printing features, so I am well aware that I haven’t even explored the other elements. My next post will describe the scanning, fax and copying features.


I wrote this review of the HP PhotoSmart Premium Fax Series C309 as part of a blogger relations program by Hill and Knowlton on behalf of their client HP Canada. I am not paid to write the review. HP Canada has made it clear that I can keep the printer should I desire to do so. In any review I write, I retain editorial control at all times. Should you have any questions or should your company want to send me a product for review, feel free to contact me via e-mail through my contact form.

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Comments (1)

DickNovember 29th, 2009 at 7:18 am

I have noticed that the ink also is used up rather quickly. Any suggestions on adjusting the settings to use less and still get good quality?

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