Friday, 16 September 2011 15:05

HP cooks up a baker's dozen printing and imaging devices

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It's spring, so a fresh crop of HP printers, all-in-ones and a scanning station is on its way. The company is making a big deal of web and wireless connectivity.


It's been HP's habit to launch a raft of imaging devices around this time of year. 2011 is no exception with 13 new models being announced together.

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Arguably the most interesting is the HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275, an all-in-one featuring a scanning 'arm' that can capture images of flat or 3D objects. The TopShot technology combines six images into one in order to maximise the quality of the result. One obvious use is to obtain good-quality images of smaller objects that are to be sold on eBay or similar sites without needing a non-trivial camera rig.

(Last year, Lexmark introduced its Genesis all-in-one which also uses a camera-based mechanism for rapid scanning, but it only accommodates flat documents.)

The M275 is capable of uploading the resulting image directly to a remote host. And like many of HP's recently announced printers, it runs a variety of other apps including Google Docs access, a business card reader.

In addition to USB and network (Ethernet and Wi-Fi b/g/n) connectivity, it also supports direct wireless printing from phones and tablets, and HP's ePrint service for remote printing via the Internet. The M275 is scheduled for an Australian release in 2012 at an as-yet unannounced price ("coming soon" in the US for $US399.99).

"We believe the TopShot is a big idea" with tremendous potential for collaboration as well as the ability to create and share content, said Vyomesh "VJ" Joshi, executive vice president of HP's imaging and printing group.

There are more new consumer, SME and enterprise models coming from HP, so please read on.




The HP Color LaserJet Pro 100 MFP M175nw is available immediately. Billed as "HP's smallest ePrint-enabled colour multifunction laser printer", this model features Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, instant-on technology to allow aggressive power-saving settings, double-sided ID copying to a single page, and ePrint and wireless direct printing.

The $349 M175nw has a rated speed of 4ppm for A4 colour printing and copying (16ppm for black).

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Then there are three new Photosmart e-All-in-One models aimed at the home market. The 5510, 6510 and 7510 e-All-in-One are all due next month for $129, $169 and $249 respectively.

Features include touch-screen operation, duplex printing (5510 excluded), a range of apps, and an ADF for the scanner (7510 only).

AirPrint support is provided for direct printing from iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, while HP's ePrint Home & Biz app handles the printing of various document types including photos and PDF files from iOS, Android and Symbian tablets and smartphones, as well as scanning to those mobile devices.

A pair of ink-based office printers is due in November: the Officejet Pro 8600 Plus e-All-in-One ($499) and the Officejet Pro 8100 ($199). Key features include low running costs (HP claims up to 50% lower cost per page than comparable lasers) and new inks that resist smearing when highlighter pens are used or even after a page is immersed in water. A live demonstration of the ink's water-resistance was very impressive.

Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, inkjet web solutions at HP, said the new Officejet Pro models were up to 30% faster than their predecessors, with duplex printing up to twice as fast. They also feature edge-to-edge duplex printing, he said.

Page 3: Enterprise printers and a scanning station. And one more thing...




Products aimed at enterprise customers were also included with the announcement of the LaserJet Enterprise 600 M601, M602 and M603 series and the LaserJet Enterprise 500 M551 series. All these models will be available in Australia by the end of the year at prices to be announced (US prices start at $US649 for the M601 and $US649 for the M551.

Features and options of the Enterprise 600 series include print speeds of up to 62 ppm, multiple trays, duplex printing, encrypted storage, access control, printing from USB storage, ePrint, auto-on/off to minimise energy use, envelope feeder, stapler, and five-bin mailbox.

HP's Scanjet Enterprise 8500fn1 Document Capture Workstation will be available in Australia sometime in 2012. The local price has yet to be revealed, but it costs $US3199 in the US.

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The 8500fn1 features a large colour screen and a QWERTY keyboard, and scans at up to 120 images per minute (double-sided) from its 100-sheet automatic document feeder. Imaging features include automatic deskew, rotate and blank page removal.

The company hasn't overlooked the home market. The followup to the ENVY 100 e-All-in-one is the ENVY 110. The industrial design is basically unchanged apart from the colour change from black to cream, intended to fit in with current trends in home decor.

Mr Nigro noted that the ENVY 100 had been particularly successful in Japan and among Apple customers, and said the 110 would be available in 12 countries compared with 6 for the 100.

CONTINUED




The 'e' prefix refers to the ePrint feature that allows printing web content without the use of a computer, and to run a selection of apps for various tasks. The ENVY 110 also supports AirPrint for direct printing from the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and the ePrint Home & Biz app for printing from Android, iOS and Android devices.

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Other features include a touchscreen control panel, duplex printing, Wi-Fi, printing from memory cards, copying, and photo printing.

Mr Joshi said all of HP's printers costing $US79 or more would feature ePrint support. The existing 10 million web-connected printers would grow to 50 million by the end of 2012, providing "a brave new channel" for big brands and companies to publish their content to people who want fresh online content daily. "No other company has been able to catch up [with HP]," he claimed.

Disclosure: The writer attended an HP event in Shanghai as the guest of the company.

 


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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