Surprisingly, though, the printer app does not dominate the screen, nor is it the biggest default widget on the home screen--two points that run counter to HP's attempts to position the Zeen as being specific to the printer. When activated, the Printer app provides the usual touchscreen controls for copying, scanning, or fax (via eFax). But those options are buried beneath the Printer icon, which is one of six small icons running along the bottom of the screen. The others include Internet, Facebook, HP Gallery, Yahoo Daily Digest, and Yahoo Mail. No sign of Google Mail or Android Market, though, omissions that fit this device's general lack of Google services.
Expand the menu by pressing the up arrow above the icon ticker, and you'll see other apps that come preinstalled. Suddenly, the appearance is much more reminiscent of stock Android, with version 2.1 of the OS--replete with its indistinct icons--on board. HP says that it will push an update to Android 2.2 in "early 2011" (and that newer units shipping after then will come with 2.2 preinstalled). The home-screen skin appears to be slightly different from stock Android, with a selection of widgets available to customize the three home screens. The opening home screen has a module for Barnes & Noble, a weather module, and four apps that are primed for printing--sort of. All four--Disney, Yahoo, DreamWorks, and MSNBC--require an Internet connection just to get started.
Many of the preinstalled apps support printing, and are present because they focus on possible printing activities. And for that, I can see the Zeen's potential: If the Zeen manages to approach the functionality of HP's proprietary app store through the use of standard Android apps, so much the better for consumers who want to do a quick-hit print of a map, a weather report, a store's hours, or an e-mail with directions to a wedding.