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HP held its Impact Asia Pacific printing event in Shanghai. We went along to take a sneak peek at what HP will offer consumers in the very near future.

The Envy 110 is the follow-up to last year's Envy 100. It's gone from black to white (HP says it sold well amongst Apple fans) and added two-sided printing. Estimated cost is US$299 with availability in Australia in January.

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To give you an idea of size; the Envy 110 next to the Samsung Galaxy S II. No, we're not sure what they've really got in common, but a random journalist stuck it there anyway.

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The TopShot — more formally the HP LaserJet Pro M275 — modelled by HP's executive vice president Imaging and Printing Group, Vyomesh Joshi.

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The TopShot is a colour laser multifunction, but its key selling point is this unusual scan head. It's lifted well away from the printer body itself — it reminds us somewhat of the head on an overhead projector — and acts as a 3D scanner head, allowing you to — so HP claims — easily take 3D images through taking images of it from six different angles.

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The Impact stage, empty of everything. And yes, that includes TouchPads, although there was a split-second glimpse of one in a promotional video for printers.

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HP's Joshi is ebullient about web-connected printers.

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On stage is Margaret Noonan, executive officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities Randwick. McDonald House uses ePrint printers to have cute animal pictures and jokes printed up for unwell children at the house.

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There's now over 100 available ePrint apps, covering everything from scheduled deliveries of ABC news to fun Dreamworks colouring applications for the youngsters.

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You can't have a launch event without lots of flashing red lights. For the first time in a very long time, however, there are no booth-babe-style models to display next to the new printer models. Perhaps this industry is maturing.

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HP's expanding its ePrint offerings. When we reviewed the Envy 100, we noted that the worst aspect of ePrint was that the email address your printer ended up with was a nonsensical (and very hard to remember) email address. HP's new approach is what it calls "SocialID". When you register an ePrint-enabled printer — which will be any model going forward costing US$79 or more — you'll get a SocialID, which allows you to assign any name you'd care to pick to your ePrint account. It's a first come, first served service, so if you are called Alan Smithee, you'd better get in quick.

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HP's printer control app is currently iOS only, and mimics the control panel of HP's printer touch panels. An Android app is said to be "in development", although HP declined to specify when we might see it.

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The Home & Biz app isn't iOS only — it'll appear for Android and Symbian platforms as well. It allows for remote or local printing, using Wi-Fi or 3G intelligently to send to your printer as quickly as possible.

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To give things an Aussie angle, HP showed a video of Torah Bright, Australian snowboarding champion, talking up her use of ePrint for printing photos, tickets and documents.

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The 8600 has redesigned ink and ink systems; the practical upshot of this (HP claims) is that it's up to 30 per cent faster for printing and twice as fast for duplexing as the previous model.

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The Photosmart 7510 uses five individual ink tanks and HP's new Auto Wireless Connect software. It'll connect up to Wi-Fi simply by loading a CD into your PC; it's claimed you don't need any Wi-Fi passwords or configuration that way.

Alex Kidman travelled to HP's Impact printing launch in Shanghai as a guest of HP.

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