Sunday, September 26, 2010

HP unveils mobile, Internet printer

Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced a new printer with a detachable tablet, part of the company's strategy to integrate the Internet into its printing business.

Printers used to be seen as a necessary extension of the desktop PC. However today, since more and more people and companies store their information on smartphones or the Internet, HP wants to ensure everyone is still buying printers and ink.

HP's new printers will have the ability to print directly from the Internet without going through a PC. As the world's biggest seller of computer printers, HP's strategy is to position itself as the leader and innovator in the printer and ink space. Question is will Epson, Lexmark, Canon and the other giants follow suit? This is a given. Competitors such as Canon, Xerox and Ricoh have already introduced printers capable of printing documents and data from smartphones, but they are mostly aimed at business customers using office software from Google or

HP's mobile printing announcement comes 1 month after competitor Epson released its new line-up of WorkForce all-in-one printers that also feature small-business tools such as a two-sided 30-page automatic document feeder, high-dpi scanning and a 250-sheet tray. The specifications that are similar to HP’s, at nearly identical price points.

Both companies are targeting the same customer but sets them apart? Epson focuses on its ink technology that is fade, smudge, and water-resistant. HP however, focuses on mobility, a sector that’s exploding and has yet to show even a fraction of its potential, according to industry experts. The type of printer businesses opt for largely depends on their industry standard, brand recognition, and reliance on mobile devices.

The good news is that with large companies like HP and Epson targeting the small-business sector, startups have more choices than ever before and can buy products that perform at levels that only enterprise companies could afford in the past. Ink and toner included.

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