HP PhotoSmart Premium 309G and Kubuntu 9.10

My old and faithfull 7 year HP PSC1210 starting to do bad photo prints (bands) and so it was time for a replacement. HP support with the HPlip driver on Linux, namelly [K]ubuntu, make all other available printer brands  out of the equation for a replacement… This meant no Canon, no Epson, and so on. There are printers of these brands that do work with Linux, but never with of level of support that HP is providing right now. So HP it is. After much reading, I’ve chosen the HP PhotoSmart Premium 309G printer mainly because:

  • It has a wired network connection (RJ45). It also has Wireless and Bluetooth, but the network connection meant that my computer and my wife’s computer can share the printer, scanner(!!!) and the card reader.
  • It has 5 ink cartdriges.

And that was it. I also was thinking on the HP c5380, but a network interface was one of my requirements. So I bought the 309g at a nice price with a HP backpack and mouse as a gift. Yet, it is still an expensive inkjet printer…

So first impressions:

  • The latest HPLIP driver for Kubuntu, works flawlessly with the printer. At installation time it detected, by IP, the printer, but wouldn’t allow me to complete the add printer wizard. The OK button didn’t do anything. I added first the printer using KDE print manager, and then it worked. May be related or not. Please note that the shiped hplip on Karmic doesn’t work. You must download and upgrade hplip from the above hplip site.
  • Printing from Digikam through the network works flawlessly.
  • Scanning from the network with skanlite works flawlessly.
  • Acessing the card reader from KDE’s dolphin works, using the smb:// protocol, but I can’t browse the DCIM directory. Not sure if it’s a printer or Dolphin issue.
  • The touch panel is very cool, allowing to print calendars, sudoku and mazes….
  • Printing from the card reader or USB port is also usefull, for a quick print without powering on the computer. The touch screen makes printing very easy, but had trouble using the manipulation features, like crop… User problem…
  • Printed photo quality, for my standards is superb! I’ve used HP paper and Fuji film, and both prints are faithfull and high quality.
  • It prints quick, but after ending it makes a lot of internal stuff with a bit of noise (a bit hard to explain…)

So I’m very happy with the Linux support for this printer and the photo quality of it’s printing.

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