HP PhotoSmart eStation: A Printer and a Tablet, Together
We recently got our hands on the new HP PhotoSmart eStation, a multifunction printer that would be unremarkable except for the fact that it includes a detachable 7-inch tablet known as the eStation Zeen. We'll be testing the eStation all week to gauge how well it performs as a printer, but we took a moment to record a quick demonstration of the tablet to give you a better idea of what the Zeen is and how it works.
The Zeen is a 7-inch touchscreen tablet running Android 2.1 and HP's TouchSmart software. The TouchSmart UI features many of the standard array of news, email and social networking apps. While the eStation is capable of functioning as a printer without the Zeen, the two are designed to work in tandem and nearly every app on the Zeen includes a "Print" function. The front of the Zeen features three command keys (Home, Back, and Menu) while the rear offers volume controls, a headphone jack, a USB 2.0 port and an SD card reader.
After two days of testing we've found the tablet itself to be sturdy and functional with a very responsive touchscreen, but the TouchSmart UI is often frustratingly slow. So far we've been underwhelmed by the Zeen's performance as a standalone tablet, but we'll be putting the printer through its paces all week to determine whether or not HP's eStation is worth the $400 price tag. Check back next week for our comprehensive review of the eStation as a whole.