"HP Using Consumers to Test an Immature Product"1.0 starson by SkipHaughay
Pros: Great concept. Works great wirelessly with iOS devices. Print by email works great. Browser and email is not bad. Print apps are interesting, however I'm not convinced of their usefulness.
Cons: Faxing does not work. Scanning does not work. Frequent lock ups on tablet, and reports of printer being busy, when it is, in fact, doing nothing.
Terrible terrible terrible out of box experience with barely functioning software.
Summary: I was eager to get going with the HP Photosmart eStation c510 printer. Besides having the great convenience of printing from my iPad, iPhone and other iOS devices, I was attracted to the concept of an integrated tablet that allowed some on-the-spot printing and control features. Printing via email is a great feature as well.As an update to HP's terrible customer support of this product:
Fortunately, out of the box, this functionality was pretty solid.
HP proudly displays a Printer icon on the icon try at the bottom of the Zeen UI. Tapping this icon brings up a big bold display featuring three big icons: Copy Scan Fax. One would expect that a company that would so boldly present the key features of their computer in such a beautiful way would have at least taken the time to make sure these features actually work. Especially when they were charging $400.00 for the product.
Apparently with HP, this is an unrealistic expectation.
I tried setting up eFax. And the problems begin. Any attempt to either either register a new eFax account, or attach an existing eFax were met with the cryptic message that either a) eFax could not provide a fax number at this time, or b) The registration information does not correspond to any known eFax accounts. Great. I had just spent $400.00 for an all-in-one, and another $160+ for an eFax account, and could not use the printer to take advantage of its advertised feature.
I called HP. After some muddling around, I was finally told that the server to eFax was down, and to try again in a few hours. A day later, I'm still trying, and nothing happens.
Perturbed, I decide to try another of the great advertised features of the printer... scanning. I touch that big bold scan icon on the printer, after putting a memory card in the Zeen, and a couple of photos on the scan bed. I am presented with the scan interface, that allows me to set a scan destination, resolution, and pull a preview. I touch preview. A little progress wheel spins for two seconds and then... nothing! The printer makes no sounds indicating it is scanning, nothing. I touch the scan button. It does not even respond to my touch. This just simply does not work. I try rebooting several times, and at one point, I actually get it to pull a preview and scan to the memory card. I am excited, and try again, but this time, no luck. It just does not work.
Completely disgusted, I then move to trying out the Copy feature. Expecting nothing, I was not disappointed. When trying to copy from the Zeen pad, I keep getting a message telling me the printer is busy. The printer is doing nothing at this point, but sitting there. I come back fifteen minutes later, try again. Same result. Printer is busy. I detach the Zeen tablet, and hit the copy button on the printer itself. I am immediately greeted by the mechanical noise of the scanner moving and a short time later I get a copy.
So the prominently-featured Printer center on the Zeen tablet is essentially buggy, non-functional and does not do what the printer was advertised to do.
I place a call to HP tech support this morning, regarding these issues. I am told that HP is aware of these problems, and that they will be releasing an update that fixes everything on January 3.
Unbelievable. They sell an all-in-one that can only print, and screw over their users by telling them they need to wait a few weeks to get the other functionality for which they paid? This is a crap experience that shows a real cynical disdain for the users.
Do not buy this printer.
Updated on Jan 4, 2011
On Friday, 12/31, the registration system for eFax suddenly started working. However despite being able to link the eFax software on the Zeen device with the eFax account number and PIN, faxing still is not functional. I now get the FAX UI, which presents a numeric keypad for send-to fax number. Upon entering a fax number and tapping the connect button, the button flickers and then...(no surprise!) Nothing.
January 3, 2011 has come and gone and the promised software fix for all of the eStation issues is nowhere to be seen.
I have called HP support multiple times, Their engineers have absolutely no data on what is going on, and hand me the line that "this is a new product and we don't have a solution yet, please be patient."
Again, I reiterate. What company has such cynical disdain for its users that it will rush out such a buggy non-functional product?
Updated on Jan 5, 2011Yikes, four stars? Really?
I bought this thing on the strength of various early reviews, including user reviews such as yours. Reading the text of your article, you are having the exact same issues that I am having. Frustrating use, functionality that doesn't work reliably, etc. Scoring a product on its promise rather than what it delivers just enables tech companies to go out and throw crap product onto the market, screw over early adopters and work out the kinks in the field.
HP should be ashamed of this product. I'm convinced that pro reviewers don't actually test these things, but just go over a marketing demo and write up copy.
Updated on Jan 6, 2011HP sent me another one of these printers yesterday. I spent about four hours last night trying to get it to work with my home network. Please take a look at my video of my experience posted here:
Further troubleshooting seems to indicate that the Zeen device loses track of what network the printer is connected, or perhaps doesn't get the printer's IP address and keep it correctly. Both Zeen and printer are on the same network, though. The printer can be accessed from a desktop and laptop machine on the same network just fine. The Zeen can access the internet just fine, but does not seem to know that the printer is connected to the same network. The only way I have gotten this to work is to dock the Zeen, and then turn off its WiFi.
My home base station is an Apple Time Machine 2TB, which is a dual frequency 2.4 ghz/5.0 ghz 80211 bgn type. I have tried the printer right next to the base station, and 15 feet away. Still no luck.