Reporting from Shanghai: HP's new range of printers include customisable ePrint addresses, a new white design for the Envy range, an app-centric approach, as well as a laser-capable 3D scanning printer.
I'm in Shanghai at the moment at an HP printer event. Printing's not the most exciting of technology topics, but print vendors do try to make it enticing. HP's latest salvo at the consumer market includes an app-centric approach, a friendlier ePrint addressing scheme and a number of new models, including the glamorous HP Envy 110.
As glamorous as a printer can get, anyway.
On the App side, HP will shortly offer up a pair of new printing applications. The iOS-only HP Printer Control Mobile App turns an iOS phone into an HP printer control panel, while the HP ePrint Home & Biz Mobile App embraces Android and Symbian as well (notably, WebOS isn't mentioned). The Home & Biz app allows for both local and remote printing directly from the application, be it pictures, documents or web pages. Both applications will be available this month.
HP's continuing on with its ePrint service. Every HP printer sold from now on for more than $US79 will feature ePrint, which gives each printer a unique email address that you can send documents to from any phone or tablet capable of email. When the service launched last year, I thought (and I wasn't alone) that the implementation was clunky, because the supplied email addresses were lengthy and impossible to remember. HP's pitch this year is called SocialID, and it's designed to remove the complexity of ePrint addresses. Once you've registered the printer, you can assign any name address to it that you'd like to use. Obviously, as it was last year, you'll want to be careful with who you tell your SocialID address to, lest you burn through ultra-expensive printer ink quickly. While you can name your account whatever you like, it's first come, first served for any name.
The HP Envy 100 printer gets replaced with the all-white HP Envy 110. It comes with a 3.45" touchscreen display, ePrint, automatically retracting tray and two-sided printing. It's Airprint and Google Cloud Print capable. It'll be available in October for an estimated $US299 -- no word yet on Aussie pricing.
HP also showed off the Topshot Laserjet Pro M275, which is more of a small business product with one neat gadget feature; the top scanner can take a full 3D image of whatever's placed on the scan tray. It's also WiFi and ePrint capable. I'm hoping to get some hands-on time with the TopShot later today.
Alex Kidman travelled to Shanghai as a guest of HP.