June 9, 2010

HP Announces Web-enabled Printers

US computer company Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduced this week new printers that can print directly from the mobile devices or any other Web-connected gadget.

For years, HP has relied on the sale of its printer ink which makes up a huge chunk of the company's profits. Smartphones posed a challenge because they are not connected to printers, and with people reading more of their Internet content on their mobile phones, fewer pages are being printed.

HP hopes to change that with its announcement made Monday. The company is giving its new printers Internet capabilities to allow pages to be printed anywhere, from any Web-connected device. The printers will range in price from $99 to $299. Each will have a unique email address, allowing smartphones to send printing jobs to the printers.

"If you can email it, you can print it," HP said in a statement.

"Our customers want an easy way to print their content anywhere, anytime," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP's Imaging and Printing Group, adding that "We're making that a reality today by giving people the power to print from any Web-connected device -- smartphones, iPads, netbooks and more."

The new HP printers will each have their own e-mail address, to which smartphone users can send photos and other files they wish to print. The printers will also be able to connect to an HP website, from which users can have their printers perform specific tasks at any given time, such as printing out daily top stories each morning from news sites.

The printers also feature touch screens that can access and print files from Google documents, photos and calendar items and events.

The first of the new printers will be available this month in North America and the remainder coming out in September.

Analysts from market research firm IDC said the new printers are "innovative" but cautioned they are "not without execution challenges," such as the need to attract enough software developers to build creative applications that can use the new features and functions.


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