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HP printers address need for speed

A new HP printer line-up is on the way that features blazingly fast photo printing speeds.

CNET Australia staff headshot
CNET Australia staff

Following its recent decision to withdraw from the camera market to concentrate on home printing solutions, HP has bolstered its product line up with new printer models which will be available in Australia from October 1. Built on a new ink-based printing platform HP calls "scalable printing technology", the new printers focus on boosting speed and lowering the cost per page of digital prints.

HP claims to have a five-year US$1.4 billion investment behind the range, but believes the pay-off will be in its ability to scale the new technology across a broad range of home, office and commercial printers and applications.

Enhancements to image quality and print speed are a result of newly developed technology that places 3,900 nozzles on a single printhead. The components are fabricated as one unit, and this, as well as the increased nozzle density improves the accuracy of ink drop placement and increases the area that can be covered with each pass of the printhead - thus producing faster, high-quality prints, HP claims.

If you've ever been irked by a printer stopping mid-page due to lack of ink, the new HP printers will please, as they are designed to avoid such waste and will not start the print process unless there is sufficient ink to complete the page.

New inks and photo paper
The speed and quality theme has also been carried through to new HP Vivera ink formulations. The six  HP02 ink cartridges used in the new Photosmart 8200 and 3000 series have been designed specifically for the 'stop-start' nature of home photo printing. A pumping system recirculates ink to eliminate air bubbles when priming the printhead without flushing or wasting ink. According to HP, the inks sport better fade resistance properties and they are also colour coded to make replacement a simple process.

New HP Advanced Photo Paper has been developed to dry instantly, so high-speed prints will not smudge or scratch. The backside of the photo paper is barcoded, so the printer will not activate if the paper is loaded upside down. This same Auto-Sense techology also notes what type of paper is being used and selects the print settings to optimise print speed and image quality.

Some of the first 'hero' products Australians will see based on the new technologies include:

Photosmart 8230

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  • 6-ink printer
  • 4 x 6-inch print in 14 seconds
  • 24 4 x 6-inch prints in 7 minutes
  • 2.5-inch colour graphic display
  • On-printer editing functions: crop, zoom, adjust brightness and contrast, remove red eye
  • Multi-slot memory card reader, PictBridge compatible
  • Optional Bluetooth adapter
  • A4 colour print speed 31ppm
Photosmart 3310

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  • Same print speeds, connectivity options and editing capabilities as Photosmart 8230, with added fax, scan and copy functions
  • Wireless networking with built-in 802.11g
  • Built-in 3.6-inch colour graphic display
  • 100% page completion -- will not start print unless there is enough ink to print entire photo
  • Auto Sensing -- detects HP paper and automatically selects optimal speed and image quality for media; will not print if paper is inserted incorrectly
Photosmart 475

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  • Compact photo printer for 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 prints
  • Built-in 1.5 GB memory to store 1000 photos
  • Connects to TV for photo slideshows
  • 2.5-inch display
  • Optional battery pack
  • Multi-slot memory card reader, PictBridge compatible and optional Bluetooth adapter
Scanjet 4890

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  • Scanning resolution at 4800 x 9600 dpi and 48-bit colour
  • Scan multiple images into individual files at 10 seconds per image
  • Built-in film scanner for up to 16 35mm slides or 30 35mm negative frames