Solid build quality and neat styling make the HP a desirable-looking piece of kit, backed up by good all-round performance. With a wealth of interfaces that come as standard, the C309G can connect to pretty much anything and everything, from your PC or Mac to your mobile phone or home network.

We liked

A quick and easy touchscreen menu system is matched by fast printing speeds in normal quality settings and the HP is far from sluggish even in top quality photo modes, although it lags behind the likes of the Canon MP640 and Lexmark Interact S605.

Dual input trays mean there's less swapping required between plain and photo paper stock but, sadly, the photo input tray only accommodates paper sizes up to 7 x 5-inches.

The one-touch Snapfish icon is pretty neat, enabling you to log onto your account and print photos that are stored online.

We disliked

Compared with the extra flexibility of the Lexmark Interact S605's customisable Smart Solutions, the HP Photosmart Premium is slightly lacking in versatility. And unlike the Canon MP640, there's no facility for direct printing onto compatible CD/DVD discs.

The five-ink line-up of dye-based and pigment-based inks is exactly the same as that pioneered by Canon but colour reproduction in photos isn't quite as convincing in the HP.

It's very good in general but, compared with the MP640, skin tones can be slightly lacking in vibrancy and very dark, near-black tones can lack a little depth.

Verdict

Overall, the C309G is a very worthy contender and packs plenty of punch when it comes to print quality and speed, as well as offering a wealth of standalone functionality behind its neat touchscreen.

However, with internet purchase prices currently running at about twice that for the Lexmark Interact S605, the HP looks a little pricey.