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Monday, September 21, 2009

New HP Printer Leaves the PC Behind, Almost

This week HP's new Photosmart Premium TouchSmart Web All-in-One printer (whew, that's a mouth full) becomes available, representing the first printer that can print directly from the web without being tethered to a PC.

But before you send your faithful PC to the recycling center you might want to take a closer look at the new printer. There is no actual browser capability available on the TouchSmart, rather users tap on widgets from about a dozen of HP's partners.

Users will be able to print out movie tickets from Fandango, maps and calendars from Google, coupons from and even select articles from USA Today. Not all capabilities are available immediately on the TouchSmart, however, so users will have to wait until later this month to print tickets from Fandango and even longer to print driving directions from Google Maps.

Still, this is an important step forward in the world of printing. It wasn't that long ago when printers weren't capable of true photo-quality images and all-in-one devices were clunky and slow. Today, we take those capabilities for granted in our printers.

Within a short time, HP and other digital imaging manufacturers will provide printers that enable us to connect, view and print directly from the web. Video on your printer screen is not that far off. These products will not only change the way we print, but will change the way we interact with our computers.

But for now, hang on to your PC.

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