In the days leading up to the Photo Marketing Association International trade show in Orlando, FL., Hewlett Packard
announced a new printer
aimed squarely at a burgeoning market for printer manufacturers — the advanced amateurs. The Photosmart 8750 gives customers the ability to print professional quality images at home with the same quality that would once take a more expensive printing solution.
“We’re understanding that we are in the image business, not just the printing business,” Hugh Amick, Worldwide Graphics Segment Manager, Hewlett Packard, told MacCentral. “We want people to understand the benefits of printing at home.”
Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Hewlett Packard Imaging and Personal Systems Group, said that 36 billion images would be printed in 2005, with more than 60 percent of those being printed in the home.
“We believe we can go from consumers to the professionals and do it in a very consistent way,” said Joshi.
The Photosmart 8750 can produce pictures as large as 13 x 19 inches in approximately three-and-a-half minutes and print 4 x 6-inch shots in as little as 29 seconds, according to HP. Its nine-ink system uses HP’s new Blue Photo inkjet cartridge, which enhances the blue shades in all output. This, according to HP, is going to be a huge benefit for consumers.
“Blue is the most sensitive color to print,” said Amick. “A lot of the pictures people take are outside with the sky, water or both — this technology will make a real difference.”
The 8750 features USB 2.0 and Ethernet ports, with 802.11b/g or Bluetooth wireless connectivity available through optional adapters, PictBridge technology for direct printing from compatible cameras and slots that accommodate CompactFlash Type I and II, Secure Digital, MultiMedia Card, Memory Stick, xD-Picture Card and USB flash drive. HP will ship the printer in April with a US$499 price tag.
With the printers ability to handle memory cards straight from the camera, HP is giving consumers the option of bypassing the personal computer altogether — a move HP believes will make getting digital images to print much easier for some consumers.
“The customers aren’t always computer literate,” said Amick. “If we take the computer out of the equation, we eliminate a huge number of potentially complicated steps.
With their printing customers, HP said they are addressing and answering the challenges from its customers.
“HP is not just about printing, it’s about sharing — we are listening to our customers,” said Amick. “Our challenge is to make it easy, affordable and with he best quality that we can.”
Amick believes that, in addition to the printer, paper and inks also play a huge role in how customers photos will look coming out of the printer and over the years.
“It definitely is a science trying to get the right combination of ink and paper,” said Amick.
“We will change this game,” said Joshi. “We are the leaders and we will remain the leaders.”