Culture

HP adds photo lab to all-in-one printer

In addition to printing, scanning, faxing and photocopying, HP's new unit will produce digital photos without requiring people to load them onto a PC first.

Hewlett-Packard is adding a fifth function to its all-in-one printers.

In addition to printing, scanning, faxing and photocopying, the HP PSC 950 will produce digital photos without requiring people to load them onto a PC first. The company released the $399 unit Wednesday.

Digital photo buffs simply remove the memory card from their cameras and insert it into the PSC 950. The printer accepts CompactFlash, SmartMedia and Memory Stick flash memory cards. The PSC 950 can also print photos from a PC.

One feature allows people to insert the memory card and press the "proof sheet" button to generate a sheet with thumbnail-size photos. A person then selects the photo, paper type and size desired and scans it into the unit, which then prints the photos as requested.

The device prints color images at 2400 by 1200 dots per inch.

HP, a market leader in printers and digital imaging, hopes to tap into a market that has been one of the few bright spots this year in an otherwise bleak environment for consumer-electronics products.

According to market researcher IDC, digital-camera shipments in the United States are expected to reach 8.6 million units this year, up from 7.8 million units last year.

"The need for these types of devices is there, as more consumers are printing at home," IDC analyst Chris Chute said.