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HP develops its printers into smart Web appliances

Hewlett-Packard's newly introduced LaserJet line underlines just how quickly printers are shifting from being designed as peripherals to intelligent information appliances.

Hewlett-Packard’s newly introduced LaserJet line underlines just how quickly printers are shifting from being designed as a peripherals to intelligent information appliances. Launched today, the Internet-enabled printers are designed to act as appliances that can both deliver and access a variety of printing e-services, information and solutions via the Internet.

“The explosion of Internet connectivity within organisations and the proliferation of wireless devices has created a tremendous need for our customers to better access and share information in any format,” said Olivier Evain, category manager, HP hardcopy organisation ME. “With these new printers, HP customers will be well-positioned to leverage Web based services and information to maximise their competitive advantages.”

Analysts IDC have forecast that 35% of devices connected to the Internet will not be PCs by the year 2004, which has caused HP to be optimistic about existing customers upgrading to the new series. The new printers will possess a range of Internet and wireless features, including an embedded Web server (EWS) and embedded virtual machine (EVM) technologies to scan to Web functionality and infrared for wireless printing.

The series includes: the HP LaserJet 4100, which is positioned as a “high-performance workgroup printer for business environments,” which can be managed remotely through its embedded Web server, as well as being capable of executing Java applications and printing at 24 pages per minute at 1200dpi; the HP LaserJet 3200 and 3200m (Macintosh), which possess colour scan-to-Web and scan to e-mail functionality; the HP LaserJet 2200, which is an affordable business printer with a 133 MHz processor and 8MB of standard memory; and the 1220, which offers an effective upgrade from the 1100 printer, offering full document management software to allow users to view and edit many different document types, including Word, HTML and PDF formats.

The new series will be available from the 1st of April, according to HP, with pricing details available from www.hp.com

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