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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

HP Web Printers finally arrive

Some time ago the age of printers came to a decline. Quite a few people decided it's not worth it to print stuff, when it's so easy to just store and transfer it electronically. The popularity of smartphones sealed the deal on this decline, because smartphones cannot connect to printers (easily), and more and more people where getting into the smartphone bandwagon.

The Management of HP Ink & Printers division (what used to be their biggest  money making division, if I understand correctly) announced this year that they would revitalize printing by adapting it to the electronic lifestyle. Well, here is their first effort: The Web printer. It's called the HP Photosmart ePrint.

The principle behind this unit is that it doesn't need to be connect to anything to receive media to print. Instead it has its own email address or IP, that when the user emails or sends a file to it, will print instantly (with options for setting tweaks of course). I know, remote printing has been available forever, using routers or hubs (like Apple's Time capsule). But the big difference here is there is NO driver required and NO installation required. It works with everything that can send a file wirelessly to the printer.
This means that people with laptops, smartphones, or iPads (tablets) can keep feeding their stuff to the printer from outside their house, and then come home later and find it all printed out in their tray.
The ePrint will be available worldwide by end of August with a price of US$200-$300. Sounds good to me. Will it revitalize the printer market (or the ink market, which is much more lucrative)? We'll see soon enough.


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