Hewlett-Packard unveiled an innovative line of printers Monday that includes a new model with a detachable touchscreen control that can double as a wireless web tablet and e-reader. Called the Photosmart eStation, the new machine is compatible with HP's ePrint technology, which stores the user's documents in the cloud so they can be printed without the need for an intervening PC.
HP's ePrint-enabled printers allow web-connected devices -- such as Apple's iPhone and iPad, as well as netbooks and other mobile gear -- to print files remotely, noted HP Executive Vice President Vyomesh Joshi.
"HP is unleashing innovation, and has once again made the future a reality," Joshi said at the HP Innovation Summit in New York on Monday. "We have transformed the flow of content for all customers, letting them access, share, print and manage content virtually anytime or anywhere in the world."
An All-In-One Machine
The HP Photosmart eStation is designed to print files, photos and other content, as well as scan or copy documents. Slated to become available later this year for $399, the all-in-one machine is also capable of sending and receiving faxes, said HP spokesperson Cherie Britt.
Featuring a monthly duty cycle of up to 1,250 pages, the HP Photosmart eStation offers a print resolution of 600x600 dpi for black ink, and up to 9600x2400-optimized dpi when printing in color on selected HP photo papers from files delivering an input of 1,200 dpi. Moreover, the scan resolution for documents ranges up to a maximum of 1200x2400 dpi.
According to Britt, the new machine's seven-inch color touchscreen, which serves as a wireless control panel for remote printing, runs a modified version of the Android operating system. The detachable device is also capable of functioning independently as a portable e-reader, giving users convenient access to the latest e-book bestsellers and a million other titles from Barnes & Noble's online store.
What's more, the tablet-like device can be used to browse the web as well as access e-mails on the fly. Additionally, users can schedule the device to download and print specific web-site content at scheduled times of the day or week.
Mobile Device Access
Like any other HP ePrint machine, the Photosmart eStation is assigned a unique simple e-mail address that enables senders to deliver documents, photos and other files the same way they would normally send content as part of an e-mail message. With HP's ePrint technology, the user's documents are stored in the cloud so they can be printed on the fly using a mobile device such as Apple's iPad, the iPod touch, or any iPhone running iOS 4.2.
Since HP's new Photosmart printer is designed to communicate directly with the Google cloud, the Photosmart eStation can access the user's Google Docs, Photos and Calendar from virtually anywhere without requiring a local proxy PC or web appliance. What's more, the machine's roving wireless display provides users with one-touch access to customized content from Yahoo's news, mail, messenger, search and weather services.
In addition to remotely printing files on machines in the home or office, users can send documents to public print locations such as a hotel or FedEx store. HP ePrint technology even enables users to customize print apps as well as schedule the time at which specific content will be pushed to a remote printer.