HP has raised its pimp hand to smack its competition with a brand-new printing technology. Known as EdgeLine, the new system can print a massive 60 pages per minute in mono and 50 pages per minute in colour -- it's the Ferrari Enzo of printing.
Crave witnessed the official unveiling of two EdgeLine-equipped machines, the CM8060 and CM8050, at an event in Paris yesterday (get us!). HP bigwig Jan Riecher hit a switch, some curtains pulled back and before us stood the mother of all printers -- a forklift-sized behemoth that rivalled Mr Bean for sheer beigeness.
Looks aside, the CM8060 is a great technical achievement. EdgeLine is an ink-based printing system that uses large, stationary printheads -- arranged in a line -- to dispense ink across the entire width of the page as the paper passes beneath them. Unlike traditional print heads, which squirt ink bit-by-bit across the width of a page, EdgeLine prints entire lines in one go. It's a bit like using a multi-nozzled sprinkler system instead of a hosepipe. Or a guillotine instead of a chainsaw.
Other cool touches include an integrated colour screen that shows video clips to help you resolve problems, plus internal and external LED lights that flash to indicate which bit you need to fiddle with. In theory, it's going to be easy to use and require little maintenance, which is handy -- we'd hate to get our arms stuck in one of these trying to sort a paper jam.
Crave doubts we, or any of you lot, will ever buy any of today's EdgeLine machines -- the CM8060/CM8050 will cost somewhere in the region of €18,000 (£12,225). But there's good news -- the tech is scalable and could find its way into printers that normal folk can afford at some point in the future. In the meantime, anyone with big bucks, a big budget and big printing ambitions should holler at HP -- EdgeLine printers will be available in a couple of weeks' time. -Rory Reid