HP Kicks Off Printer Palooza

As the summer winds down to Labor Day’s last gasp of fun, the folks at HP have been busy gearing up for the fall season. Today the company announced a bumper crop of Laserjet, OfficeJet and PhotoSmart printers, a community portal that addresses the needs of small business and the company’s strategic take on what it calls Print 2.0.

If you’re not up on the number one trend in printing today, HP will tell you that it’s printing in a Web 2.0 world, where half of all printing comes from the Web. Well, at least it does for consumers, but according to Jeff Walter, HP’s director of inkjet systems group, small business is trending in the same direction.

“More content is appearing on the Internet in the form of Web-based applications such as Google docs, Web pages and blogs,” said Walter. “Web pages aren’t formatted like paper documents, which makes printing them a challenge for small businesses.”

HP’s answer is Print 2.0, an initiative that incorporates various services and solutions designed for customers ranging from consumers to small-and-medium businesses and the enterprise. “With Print 2.0 we’re leveraging the power of the Web as a gateway for our customers to communicate, collaborate and publish their content in ways they could not before,” Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP’s imaging and printing group, said today in a written statement,

Walter said that printing plays an increasing role in small businesses, with needs ranging from marketing brochures and services and price lists to professionally designed logos, stock photos and digital photos for real estate and online auctions. To that end HP has created the SMB Community online site designed for small business.

“It’s a portal community where small business owners can share ideas and best practices,” said Walter. He added that the marketing portal gives small businesses a place to create their materials and then print them through the channel of their choice – in-house, through a retail outlet such as Office Depot or through a local commercial print shop. “We want to offer flexible solutions to meet a wide range of small business needs,” he said.

HP Officejet H470 Mobile Printer
Prints to Go: HP claims its Officejet H470 is the world’s fastest mobile printer.

HP also announced the HP Print It button. According to the company, the button is designed to format Web page content for easy printing. The button will appear on Web sites [exact sites were not available at press time], and when you click it HP guarantees “an attractively-formatted document designed for printing – with content that is relevant, organized, and positioned in a way that maximizes space on the page and minimizes waste.”

Of course printers form the foundation for all these announcements. The new generation falls into three categories: LaserJet, Officejet and PhotoSmart printers. Here’s a look at HP’s latest crop of small business printers:

HP LaserJet M2727 MFP Series
A multi-function monochrome printer/copier/fax designed for use for up to five people. Up to 27 ppm print speed, 1,200 dpi resolution, standard two-sided printing; Powersave mode and Instant-On technology. Expected availability: Nov. 1. Pricing: $599 -$699.

HP LaserJet P1005/P1006 Printer
HP said this is its smallest monochrome laser printer for the home and office. Designed to use less space and less energy. The P1005 prints up to 15 ppm. The P1006 rated for up to 17ppm. Powersave mode and Instant-On technology Expected availability: Nov. 1. Pricing: $149 and $179, respectively.

HP LaserJet P1505 Printer Series
A monochrome desktop printer with print speeds up to 24 ppm, integrated networking for print sharing with up to five people, a 250-sheet input tray, Powersave mode and Instant-On technology. Expected availability: Nov. 1. Pricing: $199 -$249.

HP Officejet H470 Mobile Printer Series
HP calls this the “world’s fastest mobile printer” and claims print speeds of up to 23 ppm in black and 16ppm in color. It’s available with an optional lithium-ion battery (rated up to 480 pages per charge), an optional Bluetooth printer adapter or a wireless adapter. Print from notebooks, cameras, PDAs or memory cards. Expected availability: January 2008. Pricing: $249/$299/$349.

HP Officejet Pro K8600 Printer Series
Designed for micro- or very small businesses that require wide-format color printing. Printing speeds of up to 35 ppm in black and up to 34 ppm color; in what HP calls Laser Quality Speeds, it’s rated at 13 ppm in black and up to 10ppm in color. Features borderless printing capability and networking for up to five people. Prints media sizes 3-x5-inches through 13-x19-inches. Expected availability: January 2008. Pricing: $299/$399.

HP PhotoSmart D5360 Printer
Designed for printing both photos and documents. Features a 1.5-inch color display for viewing, two paper trays for different media and the capability to print photos, designs and text directly onto a CD or DVD. Print speed: up to 32 ppm in black, up to 24ppm in four-ink (with optional six-ink) color. HP claims a photo print speed of as fast as 26 seconds. Expected availability: September. Pricing: $99.

HP PhotoSmart C8180 All-in-One Printer, Scanner, Copier
An all-in-one photo printer that features a 3.5-inch touch screen, prints documents, scans, copies, faxes and etches labels directly onto the surface of CDs and DVDs. Archive photos or documents to (or print from) CDs and DVDs, print speeds of up to 34 ppm in black and 33 ppm in six-ink color. HP claims a photo print speed as fast as 10 seconds. Other features include built-in Ethernet and wireless networking and USB 2.0 connectivity. Expected availability: September. Pricing: $399.99.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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