HP unveils new high-tech printer

June 22, 2009 1:45:14 PM PDT
Palo Alto-based HP unveiled Monday morning a new kind of printer that connects directly to the Internet. Although it doesn't have or use a browser, the new "HP Photosmart Premium with Touch-Smart Web" will enable users to do a multitude of print jobs without having to set up a notebook, laptop or desktop computer.

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By using a touch screen similar to the one used on the Apple iPhone, a user can print grocery discount coupons, movie tickets, news summaries or maps. A small touch-screen keyboard appears when data entry is required.

HP believes the $399 device (which is also a computer printer, copier and fax machine combination) will attract developers to create many new applications that can be activated with the touch of the screen. HP this morning said Google, Coupons.com, Fandango, USA Today, and Nickelodeon are among its partners that will have Web applications (or "web apps") on the new printer.

The new printer will be released this fall, probably in September.

A deal is in the works with filmmaker DreamWorks to show movie trailers on the small printer's color screen so people can preview a film before using the printer to buy an online ticket.

Coupons.com will deliver shoppers' coupons to the HP printer so customers can browse through discounts for hundreds of grocery items and retail store merchandise. Steven Boal, president and CEO of Coupons.com, based in Mountain View, says that many consumers still prefer to use printed coupons, even though electronic coupons are now available over cell phones or smart phones.

One such electronic coupon service, San Jose-based Cellfire, Monday announced a deal with Safeway nationwide to deliver coupons to shoppers' cell phones.

HP says buyers of the new printer can recapture the cost in about four months from savings generated by the coupons it can print.

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