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.
Pros It looks beautiful
Cons 1st the printer would not align. 2nd is was very tedious putting the ink cartridges in the machine. 3rd you have to go to Efax to fax and they charge you. there is no phone line into the printer.
Summary It was not easy to set-up. I would say this printer is for someone who is technology-minded. It was not for me or someone who is not computer literate.
Pros The 510C is a very good photo printer/scanner/efax device. Detail in images and color reproduction are accurate, with prints indistinguishable from photographic prints.
The scanner works well and the eFax feature can be handy for occasional faxes.
Cons The tablet is terrible. It is VERY slow, often does not respond to button touches, and cannot run any Android apps other than the ones distributed by HP.
Summary Don't buy this printer if you want a tablet. If you do, you will be very disappointed.
Save $200- 300 and buy another HP Photosmart printer.
Pros Prints good quality. Can FAX. Can print documents/images from any email source. Removable Zeen tablet. PRINT APPS. Read documents, eBooks and images. Can play MP3s. Can read emails from any POP or IMAP server. Duplex printing.
Cons Ink costs are high. eFax doesn't currently work. Zeen can be slow. Zeen cannot be turned off if docked. Touchscreen keyboard is harder to use than physical keyboard. Product not fully developed. Server problems.
Summary This is one of the most exciting products I have seen. It is a printer that can print and scan from a computer, as does any multifunction printer. It has a removable tablet computer called the Zeen which is the control panel. Using the Zeen, you can copy, scan to SD memory card or fax via eFax (if you can get it to work). The Zeen can have a home page which can display WIDGETS you install on it which can have such things as the time, date, temperature, etc. There are many to choose from. You can have up to 8 home pages. The home page also has room for 6 "APPS" at the bottom in the APP TRAY. There is a tab with an arrow that can be clicked above the apps to give you access to the available apps, which contains up to 100 (I think) apps. These apps are mostly used to print content and which come directly from the WEB. Additional apps can be installed from HP's app library. Android apps cannot be easily installed. The printer (and Zeen) are web connected through WiFi. The printer gets its own email address assigned and it is possible to send attachments such as .DOC, .DOCX, .PDF, .JPG files, etc. It then prints the document/image as if you printed it off your computer application. My daughter, who is attending college, says this would have saved her a lot of hassle last semester had I had the printer then. Using the Zeen, you can read books (from Barnes & Nobel or from your SD card (.PDF format)) and view image files from your SD card (I have had trouble viewing images using GALLERY. It may have been caused by the large, 6GB size of the folder). You can (if it works) send or receive up to 20 faxes each from a phone number which is assigned to your computer (Zeen).In using the printer again, I have discovered the following:
564 ink cartridges are very expensive to use. Even the 564XL cartridges don't last long. It uses 5 cartridges and they tend to run out at one time.
I have had my C510a eStation printer for 48 hours and had the following experiences:
I have been unable to register with eFax. When I attempt to register, I get a "cannot get a fax number" message. After two days, I have been told that the server is down and they don't know when it will be working. They said it could be several days. The engineer said to keep trying to register.
Except for eFax, everything was working until late last night when the "PRINT APPS" stopped printing. Everything would seem normal until the paper exited the printer. All it printed was a thin line at the top of the page. It should have printed something like a coloring page, according to which app I was printing from.
After calling HP support several times, I was finally contacted by an engineer who had me do a hard reset on the Zeen by powering up while holding both volume buttons. This caused me to lose everything I had spent hours setting up. It also caused all home pages to disappear, leaving just one blank home page with only one app showing (Yahoo! mail). I will now have to create new home pages and reload the apps to the home page. I assume I will have to set up various apps again which is a pain to do using the virtual keyboard. I think touch screens are overrated. After resetting the Zeen, the Print Apps now print properly.
I have read a review on the WEB for this printer who said it wouldn't read from his SD card. I had the same problem, but found it was my fault. You simply have to press the card in all the way until it "snaps". When I did that, it worked fine.
One thing I don't like is that the Zeen cannot be turned off when it is docked on the printer. If you take the Zeen off the printer and turn it off, after you put in in the dock it turns back on. Even after it dims, light still comes from it. Our printer is in our bedroom and my wife is very light sensitive. I have been taking the Zeen off the dock, turning it off and leaving it on my desk at night. The printer LEDs (3 of them) can be turned off. I am strongly considering purchasing a holster from HP to protect the Zeen ($24.95)and a power supply ($24.95) to allow longer operation when not docked. They also have a neoprene sleeve for $19.95 which seems less bulky than the holster. HP has an anti-glare screen protector for $19.95.
The engineer told me that the eStation C510a is a very new product which is still in the testing phase. I would have thought the product would have been tested before being released to the public. She told me to report any other problems so that they could improve the product. She also said that a newer version of the Android operating system would be available soon which would make it faster (it can be very slow).
I love the product. I just wish it would work properly. If you buy it, be prepared to spend a lot of time on the phone with support. This is especially important if you have a cell phone without unlimited minutes.
Updated on Dec 24, 2010
1. Zeen scan to SD card doesn't work.
2. Zeen copy works.
3. Print Apps will not print, again. They eject one blank sheet of paper.
4. ePrint from email to photo paper works fine.
This printer has plenty of promise, but is very frustrating to use.
Updated on Dec 24, 2010HP support had me do another hard reset on the Zeen by powering up while holding both volume keys. I lost all my settings and home page. Now, the Zeen scan to SD card works as do the print apps.
Now I have to set everything back up.
Updated on Jan 15, 2011I now believe the rating on this printer should be ONE star. I can no longer recommend this printer.
I have been having trouble with the Zeen tablet locking up on various applications such as Home, Internet & eReader. I get an error message such as: "Activity Internet (in application Internet) is not responding". I get the option to Force Close or Wait. Wait doesn't usually work, so I have to Force Close. When I restart the application, I have to re-enter data. In the case of the eReader, it loses track of where I am in the book I am reading.
HP now tells me that they do not support such applications and the upgrade of Android operating system will not occur. I was told to call Google Android support for help and to download the newer version of Android on my own.
In addition, HP has substantially cut the price and is giving a free $50 gift card with the purchase. I believe they are closing it out and that support will soon evaporate.
Do not buy this printer.
Pros Clean, clear printing quality of text and graphics.
Cons Poorly written manuals send reader to other sites, explanations are not thorough. CONSTANT Connectivity problems. FAX NOT WORKING.
Summary This machine has too many negatives. HP needs to send every customer who has tried to get the scanner or fax to work or work consistently a check for "time on task" trying to get their document where it needs to be. My husband spent several hours talking to a tech concerning printing problems; then, faxing problems. I'm trying to send a fax--the machine stopped scanning. It told me to try again. When I did, it told me to retry. FRUSTRATION, FRUSTRATION, FRUSTRATION!!!!!! Our next machine won't be an HP!!!!!!!!!