Printing from tablet to Wireless printer

How to set up printing from tablets and phones

A few weeks ago, Ed Bott on our sister site ZDNet reviewed his first two months with the Surface RT. He brought up a problem that he had with the device: Lack of support for his printer. I experienced the same problem with my home printer. Considering that the printer is now around five years old, I chose to solve it by purchasing a new printer.

The opportunity to upgrade my printer meant I could also look for some of the newer features available, such as direct printing from various memory cards and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as any improvements in resolution and speed.

(Image: Tony McSherry/TechRepublic)

My first step was eBay, and after sifting through a large number of printers, I decided on the HP Photosmart 7510 e All in One Printer for around AU0 delivered. I've had good experiences with a range of HP printers, but any new printer should offer much the same features. This gave me a scanner/photocopier/printer that would connect to my Wireless-n network. The printer provides around 33ppm for black and colour in draft mode, and around 13.5ppm in black and 9ppm in colour for normal printing. Colour resolution on photographic paper is 9600x2400dpi, which is great for producing photographs, and will also do double-sided printing. It also provides HP ePrint and Apple AirPrint for mobile devices. It uses a five-cartridge ink system that means you only have to replace the cartridge that is low.

While the printer is new, it's not the latest model, with a newer version on sale at HP — but I saw no need to get the latest, as it offers only minor improvements, and the price and free delivery from eBay were also tempting.

Like any modern device, the HP 7510 has a touchscreen control panel and a 40-page manual. Actually that's a five-page English manual with only the first page dealing with setup. You simply unpack the printer, remove the shipping tape and turn it on. Setup actually happens on the touch display panel. The display will step you through the setup process, beginning with installing cartridges. There is a very useful animation available for each step, which will show you how each action is performed.

Once the printer is up and working, and the test pages have appeared, the touch panel suggests that you may like to install the HP printer software on your PC from the accompanying CD to set up Wireless connectivity. I hadn't connected the printer to any PC, so I decided to just install the Wi-Fi manually and the printer quickly identified my network, and I simply entered the password. I could now place the printer anywhere in the house without the need to connect it to a PC.

The next stage was selecting the printer on my various windows 8 PCs and tablets. When I chose PC Settings under the usual Settings charm, I selected Devices and Add a Device. The HP Printer appeared in the Device list and I selected it — that was it. Windows 7 correctly identified a wireless printer when I used Add a printer from the control panel, but then forced me to select the manufacturer and printer type from a list of available drivers — I prefer the Windows 8 method.

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