Want to know what a printer with an Android mini-tablet looks like? Feast your eyes on the "HP Photosmart eStation All-in-One Printer Series - C510" (pause for breath) and itss little Android-powered control station (neé Zeen). Sure, we could talk specs here - Like Android 2.1, a 7" screen, and so on - but HP is pretty much using Android like many companies use WinCE: as a quick OS to build their custom stuff on. Hence: no Google Apps like Gmail or Android Marketplace for 3rd party apps. Regarding the latter - HP says they will continue to evaluate apps that can bring quality printing experiences. Something we pretty much take as code for "you know we're switching this stuff to webOS soon, right?"

In any case, the mini-tablet does have some clever bits on it - the notification drawer has the printer's status and email address right there along with a shortcut to a dashboard that shows you ink levels and the like. There are a smattering of other apps like Yahoo Weather (with printing!), Snapfish (with printing!), and the default Android web browser munged up with a permanent menu at the bottom (with printing!).

Build-wise, it's nothing to write home about. There's a weird swoop on the rear of the tablet, but the full SD card slot is a nice touch. HP has added music functions as well. No word on battery life, but this is most definitely a print and print-app device with just a little bit of classic Android peeking through.

Basically, our take is that if you're in the market for a cool printer - have at it, this eStation is actually very cool and the email-to-print feature is underrated. Just don't expect to get a sweet Android tablet along with it. If you want an Android tablet, there are better ones coming that don't have a printer attached.

Video and photos after the break!

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There are 6 comments

dwt10 says:

i like how it says "(pause for breath) and itss"

Dave0373 says:

I actually played with one of these at bestbuy, cool idea. The tablet itself was really slow.

jelly roll says:

I love Dieter

icebike says:

This seems like an overly expensive way to get a control panel on a printer. Its one more thing to be somewhere else in the office on someone else's desk when you need it.

Why HP? Why?
What was wrong with your usual bloatware printer software that you could install on as many machines as you needed?

A printer with a music function is like a fish with a bicycle.

deparson says:

Root the tablet and install a nice stock 2.2 build. The whole thing should be selling for under $300 soon based on how other HPs are being discounted.

PGiovanni says:

No market, no apps = no desire.