Setup and Hardware

One of our biggest complaints about HP printers has consistently been the length of time that installation takes. Although this printer shaved some time off previous models, installation still took us more than one and a half hours on a fast Windows 7 machine. Installation of the software alone took more than 20 minutes, and we also had to wait through a somewhat time consuming initialization and alignment process. You can expect to spend even more time if you have a slower computer.

To HP’s credit, the on-screen animations that demonstrated installing ink cartridges and loading paper were clear and helpful. There is also a helpful pictorial cartridge installation guide right inside the printer, as shown in Figure 4.

HP Photosmart Premium C309g All-in-One Printer ReviewFigure 4: Ink cartridge installation in pictures

When installing, the printer gives you two options: wired and wireless. If you choose “wired,” the installation takes you to the setup for the Ethernet connection with no mention of using a wired USB connection. This may well be confusing to an uninitiated user. To install for use with a USB connection, you must install the software first. That said, however, the step-by-step installation instructions are easy to follow and the wireless setup worked seamlessly.

As shown in Figure 5, the printer has only one physical button, the power button, which is shown to the right of the screen. The 3.4,” touchscreen, which is also shown in Figure 5, is large, clear, and responsive. The angle of the screen is adjustable, so it is easy to see whether sitting or standing.

While having only one button creates a sleeker device, we longed for a “stop” or “cancel” button. This is becoming more popular with some of today’s printer manufacturer’s and is a welcome way for users to easily cancel a print job.

HP Photosmart Premium C309g All-in-One Printer ReviewFigure 5: The screen, power button, and trays

Figure 5 also shows the input trays in the front of the printer. The white spacers can be moved to accommodate smaller photo paper and envelopes. There are two paper trays, the top for photo paper and smaller sheets and the bottom tray for A4 paper and envelopes.

In Figure 6, you can see that the cover of the input tray of the C309g acts as the output tray. On the lower left, you can also see the slots that accommodates a Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo,SD, xD, and PictBridge devices.

HP Photosmart Premium C309g All-in-One Printer ReviewFigure 6: The front of the HP C309g


Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.