Alongside the humble router, your printer is probably the least loved tech in your home or workplace. I remember years of frustration setting up printers, working around horrible printer drivers, dealing with paper jams and resetting printer queues. Me and my printer, we were not best of friends. Nowadays, things are different – printers are a lot easier to set up, drivers behave themselves (most of the time) and when I press the print button, what do you know, it prints!
So are my printer and I best buddies? Well, we’re more acquaintances. It does its job, gives me know trouble, but you’ll agree with me, after losing it so many times in frustration, it’s tough to love your printer. You may drone on to friends and colleagues about your new phone, tablet or notebook, but you’re not likely to give them an impromptu demo of your printer any time soon.
That may well change with HP’s latest range of printers, and the HP PhotoSmart eStation in particular caught my eye.
Take a decent, All in One printer (with 802.11n Wi-Fi, scanner and fax) and whack a 7” detachable touchscreen tablet on the front, which serves as control panel and web browser, including news, weather, email , ebook reader and more. That in itself is cool convergence, but then add a dash of HP’s new ePrint feature, which lets you print Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, Images and web pages whilst on the road by email, and we’re starting to get into “bore your friends” territory. Add a library of web apps from social networks like Facebook and other providers and now we’re talking about a printer you can friend.
With all of these features, I’m not sure whether this printer is still a “printer”, or whether a new “More Than All In One” category needs to be invented – but I’m ready to forget the crimes of the past, and get to know this printer a little better.