Print 27 comment(s) - last by feraltoad.. on Jun 23 at 4:27 PM

HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web  (Source: Gizmodo)
HP's web printer can surf the web like no other

HP announced Tuesday what they are calling the world’s first Web-connected home printer: The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web. The new Web-enabled printing platform is expected to be available this fall and cost an estimated $399.

The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web distinguishes itself not only in its ability to connect to the Web, but also in its HP applications (apps) feature, similar to that of other Internet-connected devices.  The feature includes preloaded apps on the printer and also allows users to download new apps via the HP Apps Studio.
In late 2009, users will be allowed to take the feature a step further, by creating and sharing their own personalized apps.  HP’s first app partners include: USA TODAY, Google, Fandango,, DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, Web Sudoku and Weathernews Inc. Among other things, these partnerships will allow users to view/print news stories, maps, weekly schedules, coupons, recipes, movie tickets, coloring pages, word finds and more.

The printing platform will also let users connect directly to their Snapfish accounts and will make additional projects available through the HP Creative Studio.

Apps, photos and additional projects will be viewed on a 4.33-inch touchscreen, which, according to HP, stands as the largest LCD touchscreen of any all-in-one inkjet printer on the market.

The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web will also grant the ability to fax, copy and scan. It will provide opportunities for both wired and wireless connectivity, enabling users to print from a variety of devices, such as Wi-Fi-enabled PCs or the Apple iPhone.

In an HP press release, Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP, offered an opinion on the significance of the new product: “By giving people access to the content they want at the touch of a finger, the ability to customize their printing experience and create their own apps, and enabling easy 'one touch' wireless setup, we are driving a significant shift in how people will be printing in the future.”

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Could be good if..
By GreenEnvt on 6/23/2009 8:25:15 AM , Rating: 4
If everything required to print remotely is contained in the printer, meaning no services having to be installed on a PC.

Bloat from printers is insane. I worked on someones computer yesterday who has a Canon printer and there were 23 Canon applications installed (as per add/remove programs), and the task list showed about 8 running processes. That is a massive bit of bloat in my opinion.

RE: Could be good if..
By cabjf on 6/23/2009 8:51:58 AM , Rating: 2
I think in most cases you do not need to install all that software. Usually, just the driver is all that is required to print. In fact, I don't even think I need a specific driver for my printer, just the generic postscript one included with my OS would work. For network printers, there is also usually a web interface for tweaking options.

RE: Could be good if..
By Yawgm0th on 6/23/2009 10:56:39 AM , Rating: 2
You usually do need that software for scanners. And anyway, the problem is that end-users will just install what's on the disc. Printer companies, like PC OEMs, do a terrible job at giving people a good out-of-the-box experience.

RE: Could be good if..
By mindless1 on 6/23/2009 3:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily, at a minimum you need to install the twain driver, then if it has buttons on it for one-touch features like scanning in, making a PDF, being a copy machine, you'll need that polling app.

The other software is often a picture manager, an image editor, stuff like that which you don't really need as there are so many 3rd party products that have been out for years that we all have our own favorites already.

Beyond that, I just download the newest driver from the manufacturer's website anyway, the CD seldom if ever gets put into the DVD drive unless I just want to rip the files off so I have an online copy of them available on the NAS.

RE: Could be good if..
By feraltoad on 6/23/2009 4:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
Try telling someone they can use Office or Picasa 3 to use their scanner and see what kind of look you get from them.

RE: Could be good if..
By mindless1 on 6/23/2009 3:46:59 PM , Rating: 2
While old B&W laser printers may not need drivers installed, just about anything modern benefits from the driver as it allows advanced print settings, on-the-fly adjustment of things like quality and darkness vs ink or toner amount used, whether to print in color (more costly) or only B&W, set power management timers for sleep mode, how many virtual pages per physical piece of paper, which paper stack to use (like when printing an envelope on printers with multiple feeds) etc, etc.

The HTTP interface for network printers is indeed handy but even handier is when the driver allows a quicker interface to printer settings with each print job. The windows built-in drivers, when available, will provide some of that funcitonality in many cases, but usually not all of it.

RE: Could be good if..
By bhieb on 6/23/2009 9:35:47 AM , Rating: 3
It is getting absolutely ridiculous, and HP is really bad too. Most times they don't even make a basic driver available.

RE: Could be good if..
By Weedsy on 6/23/2009 11:43:53 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if this thing knows when it's about out of ink and just orders more. Knock, knock, it's FedX! Ummm, I didn't order anything. No Ma'am, but your printer did.

RE: Could be good if..
By bhieb on 6/23/2009 12:53:34 PM , Rating: 3
... that will be $50/oz. pay up.

RE: Could be good if..
By mindless1 on 6/23/2009 3:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
I agree about the bloat, BUT on a positive note we can consider a couple things.

1) At least it didn't install it all as a "suite" meaning you can still selectively uninstall what isn't needed.

2) Besides the polling application for quick-start buttons on AIO printer/scanner combos, a lot of the other background processes can simply be disabled from loading at boot-time with one of the many startup manager utilities like HijackThis. Many of the apps will still run, what they load just checks for updates in the background.

However, this bloat isn't much of a problem today as it doesn't slow down use of the system like other bloat can, doesn't impact HDD space much, and consumes minimal memory as a % of total memory installed in modern systems.

Even so, I'm still in favor of only installing the base driver and what software is really needed to meet the intended use. More installed and more running means more to go wrong, like security flaws or memory leaks, etc.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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