HP and Epson have used the Macworld Expo San Francisco trade show to unveil new products that can be used with either Macs or PCs.
HP demonstrated two new printers and a scanner, all geared toward working with photos. The Photosmart 230 printer, a successor to the HP Photosmart 130, prints borderless 4-x-6-inch photos at up to 4800-x-1200dpi on plain or photo paper. Unlike the HP 130, the new model provides a colour LCD screen for previewing photos.
HP’s other new printer is a seven-ink unit capable of printing on legal-size (8.5-x-14-inches) paper. The HP Photosmart 7550 prints black-and-white pages at 17ppm (pages per minute) and colour pages at 13ppm. Because it uses seven colours, it can produce fully saturated images, according to the company. And because it supports a wide range of paper types and sizes – envelopes, transparencies, photos, banners, labels, cards, and iron-on transfers – it can serve as a standard all-purpose printer, HP says. The Photosmart 7550 can connect directly to a PC via USB or across a network using HP’s Jetdirect 175x or 310x external print server. It supports wireless printing via the HP Jetdirect 380x wireless print server.
Both printers support a full complement of compact media, including CompactFlash Types I and II, SmartMedia, Sony Memory Stick, Secure Digital, and MultiMediaCard. Users can plug these cards directly into the printer to print images they’ve created on digital cameras or handheld devices, without having to fire up the computer, HP says.
The company’s new colour flatbed scanner targets buyers who want to capture photos digitally. The HP Scanjet 5500c functions like the older Scanjet 4750c, except that it has an automatic photo feeder for reading in a series of 3-x-5 or 4-x-6-inch prints. Like its predecessor, it has an adaptor for reading slides and negatives. It has a maximum hardware resolution of 1,200-x-1,200dpi, and an enhanced resolution of 999,999 dpi. The flatbed portion can handle documents up to 8.5-x-11.7 inches. It ships with HP PrecisionScan Pro, HP Photo Imaging software, HP Memories Disk Creator, integrated Iris OCR, HP Share to Web, and HP Scanjet Copy utility software.
Epson quietly introduced two configurations of one basic scanner. The Epson Perfection 3200 Photo and 3200 Pro replace the Epson Perfection 2450 Photo scanner, offering the same resolution as most 35mm slide scanners. The Epson Perfection 3200 Photo and the 3200 Pro have a maximum hardware resolution of 3,200-x-6,400dpi and 48-bit colour depth. Both offer USB and FireWire connectivity.
The difference between the two models is not in the hardware, but in the bundled software. The 3200 Photo includes LaserSoft SilverFast SE 6, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, Epson Smart Panel, and Epson Scan scanning software. The higher-end bundle includes LaserSoft SilverFast Ai 6, MonacoEZcolor 2.5, ArcSoft PhotoStudio, ArcSoft PhotoBase, ArcSoft Panorama Maker, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, Epson Smart Panel, and Epson Scan scanning software.