Yesterday we met with HP for a hands-on look at the four new consumer products - including the Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One - released on Monday at PMA.

While we got time with all four devices in our meeting the main focus was on the HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One (AIO), the industry first Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certified printer.  HP is excited about this new certification, which will allow users to print wireless from other DLNA certified devices such as the popular PlayStation3 game console.  The idea behind the new feature is to allow users to connect and share information across multiple devices.  From the PS3, users can print photos as well as game screens.  For more information about other qualified devices, you can visit the DLNA website.

Besides being able to print wireless from DLNA devices, owners of the Photosmart Premium Fax will also be able to print from Bluetooth enabled devices since the new printer has Bluetooth compatibility standard, a competitive advantage for HP.

The Premium Fax has CD/DVD printing, a separate photo paper tray and auto sense - a feature that reads implanted bar codes on HP consumables.  The printer can identify different consumables and choose the correct one for each print job without any assistance from the user, reducing potential waste.

Many printers these days include double sided printing standard but the Premium Fax features double sided copying, scanning and faxing as well.  The automatic document feeder on the Premium Fax can read both sides of the paper simultaneously, and then produce the requested result, whether that be a sending a double sided fax or printing a double sided copy.

For Vista users, there is added value in the Photosmart Premium Fax printing gadget.  It is a widget that resides on your desktop.  Simply drag documents, photos etc. from their folder and drop them into the gadget.  The Premium Fax will print them and automatically smart crop (no missing heads!), reduce red eye and - thanks to the auto sense - make sure it’s on the right print media.

The Premium Fax uses five individual dye-based ink cartridges to print.  The set includes: photo black, magenta, yellow, cyan and matte black.  The 4x6 color prints HP had on display were great.  When we get back to the office, we will be sure to scan in some of the samples for viewing.  All of the cartridges can be recycled through HP’s Plant Partners program.

The Photosmart Premium Fax AIO will be available in March 2009 for $299, not a bad price for all the features and benefits standard on this model.  

Don’t worry; we didn’t forget the other new models all though we have considerably less information to add to the product announcement we wrote up earlier this week.  Let’s start with the most budget-friendly and perhaps more eco-friendly – the single function Deskjet 2600.

It is a standard, simple device, consisting of a three button control panel and not much else.  However, the each Deskjet D2600 is made from recycled materials – 50 percent to be exact.  It uses HP 60 dye-based ink, which is made from 20 percent recycled materials.  They are selling the HP 60 inks as a part of a photo pack that also included 50 sheets of photo paper.  The idea behind the new packaging is giving consumers a deal – you’ll save $5 on each photo pack versus buying the supplies separately – while educating them on the results the cartridges can provide (the photo pack doesn’t apply to the D2600 since it isn’t a photo printer).

Need more than just a printer?  Consider the Deskjet F400 AIO.  This 3-in-1 device offers print, scan and copy capabilities along with decent print speeds – up to 28 pages per minute (ppm).  Not exactly bursting with creative new features like the Premium Fax but it is made from 20 percent recycle materials.  The F4400 also uses the HP 60 ink.

Interested in printing photos as well?  Then the affordable Photosmart C4600 AIO might be the ticket.  It includes print, scan and copy capabilities – and like the F4400 and the D2600 – uses the HP 60 ink.  Unlike these lower end models, the C4600 has a touchsmart control panel.  The panel buttons only light up when needed.  For example, the cancel touch button (a bright red X) is only available when performing a function that may need to be cancelled. 

 

Estimated print speeds aren’t bad on the C4600 either; 29 ppm in black and 23 ppm in color. 

As we reported earlier in the week, these new models – the Photosmart C4600 All-in-One, the Desktop D2600, the Deskjet F4400 All-in-One – will all be available in the spring of 2009.

All of the devices include HP’s new green initiatives.  We’ll have more coverage on HP’s recycling program in late March so stay tuned.

Also, check out our PMA headquarters for the latest news out of Vegas.