HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One Review

July 8, 2009 | Jon Canfield | Printer Reviews | |


Based on the Canon MP 980 All-In-One (AIO) printer I recently reviewed, I've raised my expectations for these devices. Where they were once something I'd only recommend if someone were short on space and budget, these newer devices are coming into their own as a quality option for printing and scanning. With that in mind, I took a look at the latest offering from HP, the Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One. With the Photosmart name, I expect to see high quality output. Did the Fax All-in-One deliver?

The HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One is a combination Printer/Scanner/Fax/Copy device. Unlike many devices in this category, the Fax All-in-One uses individual ink tanks and offers photo quality printing on glossy and luster surface papers. The printer has built-in duplex, or double sided printing, and includes wireless, USB, and Ethernet in the standard configuration. The HPFax All-in-One goes a step further and also includes Bluetooth as a standard feature, which makes for some interesting possibilities that I'll cover a bit later.

Ease of Use

HP Photosmart Premium C309a
Figure 1

You can use the HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One without a computer if you like. The color LCD gives you access to all features, and a very well laid out control panel (Figure 1) makes it easy to select which options you want. For printing photos directly, you'll work directly from a memory card using the built-in card reader that supports SD, CF, Memory Stick, and xD cards. You can also connect a PICTBidge compatible device via the provided port.

To get started, simply pop the memory card into the slot and print your JPEG images with onboard image adjustments like red-eye correction, and color enhancement. You can also print contact sheets, passport photos, convert to black and white or sepia, and add borders to your prints.

The HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One was a little problematic to setup wirelessly on my network. I had compatibility issues with the firewall I use (McAfee) that wouldn't allow the printer to be seen until the firewall was disabled. I ended up using the Windows Vista firewall for my tests. Once this was done, setup proceeded without further issues. I had no problems at all with setting up on a Mac system.

The HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One uses a five ink system - pigment black for text, cyan, magenta, yellow, and photo black for photo printing. The inks are HP's Vivera and available in two sizes. The XL size gives you about 2.5 times the prints at less than twice the cost, making it a much more effective way to print.

Printing from all machines worked fine using the wireless connection. Scanning was less convenient since you do need to go to the device to load the film or image to be scanned, but once loaded, scanning over wireless worked flawlessly.


One of the driving factors in this type of device is the ability to handle the odd scanning job that you might have. Both devices can turn out a quick scan of photos or documents, and work as a photocopy machine with multiple copies.

If you're interested in scanning negatives or transparencies only, you can stop reading right now - the HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One only supports reflective scans. The hardware resolution of 4800x9600 at 48-bits will handle most any task you want to throw at it. HP includes their Photosmart Studio software. HP Scan Pro (Figure 2) is not as sophisticated as the Canon application, but there is a TWAIN driver that is installed for Photoshop Elements (the driver did not install for CS4) that is more full featured (Figure 3).

HP Photosmart Premium C309a
Figure 2

HP Photosmart Premium C309a
Figure 3

Entry Tags

wireless, printer, bluetooth, scanner, all in one, photosmart, AIO, HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One, HP, Fax All-in-One

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Your Comments

18 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Underwood

The cartridges contain a microscopic 7 cc of ink.  The machine starts to nag you when only 4 cc have been used.  The maximum ink you can get out of a cartridge is about six thousanths of a litre for about 14 quid.  If this was petrol it would cost you about ten thousand five hundred pounds per gallon.  You could fill up a car with a couple of gallons and throw the car away after it had driven sixty miles, at these prices.  No wonder the printers are so cheap.  The ink is a rip off.

7:53 am - Monday, July 13, 2009

#2 printer

Stinkyink now offer ink cartridges for the HP Photosmart Premium Fax ink. Oh and it’s free delivery too!

11:37 am - Thursday, July 30, 2009

#3 grüner tee

I have read the article based on the HP photo-smart Premium printer which has many facilities , we can say All in one functionalities.The maximum ink you can get out of a cartridge is about six thousandths of a liter for about 14 quid.I want to know suggestion from others.

10:28 am - Saturday, December 5, 2009

#4 Jinger Studios

I really like this printer - just bought it last week but think I paid way too much - $199 at cosco I thought I was getting a bargain.

2:07 am - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

#5 rm campos


6:53 am - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

#6 MervynG

If you use Mac Snow Leopard (10.6) and Photoshop you will find the the driver seems unable to offer the full selection of media e.g. I couldn’t choose to print onto card media. Wish I hadn’t bought it.

6:11 pm - Thursday, January 14, 2010

#7 Richard Martin

My HP C309A fax is a stand alone model. The fax has been checked out with the equipment status, and it passed all tests. I have received faxes from HP support office in India, and a friend in Hawaii. I have received a long distance fax from AT&T, which has set up the fax line for this equipment. However, I have received a number of rings from other fax machines, and my fax connects, but then there is never any incoming fax message. For some unknown reason, the distance end fax then cancels the transmission, and there is never any fax. I have lowered the speed from 33600Kbps to 14400 Kbps, to see if they will help in receiving fax messages from other fax machine. I have checked out the Internet, and received information on what to do when you cannot receive faxes. However, I still have the same problem. I think it depends upon the kind of fax machine that is trying to communication with my HP C309a fax machine.
Any comments or suggestions about this problem.

12:52 pm - Wednesday, May 12, 2010

#8 internet based fax

Very awesome! That’s the printer I’ve seen a while ago in a post.

Well, look at the print results. I think it really looks good. It’s not bad.

11:05 am - Tuesday, August 3, 2010

#9 internet faxing

@Underwood: Is that true? With the price, I don’t think it’s cheap because I can hardly get that one. :D

Based on what I’ve read about this hp smart fax all-in-one, it’s doing well. Plus, it’s offering all you need.

3:30 am - Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#10 email fax services

@Jinger Studios: I agree with you Jing. Thumb’s up for you. So how it works? Does it give the service you expected?

Now you’ve learn a lesson that you have to check first who’s going to give you the best price for the best machine. What do you think?

6:21 am - Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#11 email fax

. I have received faxes from HP support office in India, and a friend in Hawaii, It was great!! :)

4:19 pm - Sunday, February 13, 2011

#12 Tulsa Bankruptcy

Well ,I don’t think it’s cheap because I can hardly get that one, thanx for the share.

11:36 am - Sunday, February 20, 2011

#13 Meladerm

This Hp is the complete package, and for that price I will call it a bargain.

2:40 pm - Sunday, March 6, 2011

#14 lezerski

This is the worst printer I have ever owned.  I upgraded from the previous HP 4-in-1 printer because of problems, but this is terrible.  In the beginning it worked great.  Then the multiple sheet feed scanner/copier quit working after a few months, and now less than a year later the photo tray won’t advance the paper so I keep getting a message to add more paper.  In addition, it is the noisiest printer and has very slow start up times.  Whatever happened to HP having the best printers?  DO NOT BUY!!!

11:46 pm - Wednesday, March 30, 2011

#15 bean bag

I don’t think it’s cheap because I can hardly get that one, thanx for the share.

7:16 pm - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

#16 traffic empires

Awesome I don’t think it’s cheap because I can hardly get that one…

6:24 pm - Thursday, July 28, 2011

#17 auto power blogs 2.0

Wow, That’s the printer I’ve seen a while ago in a post and looking so nice.Thanks

7:10 am - Sunday, July 31, 2011

#18 cheap used hp computers

In very good way you share the all information. I have also HP printer scanner and also cheap HP laptop and its work awesome. Suggest To All That Buy HP cheap laptop with Hp printer.


7:40 am - Tuesday, June 12, 2012