HP is getting ready for the Cloud with its HP ePrintCenter and a series of e-All-in-One printers. In addition to the new Internet site and new hardware, your printer will also be getting its very own email address. Using this system will allow you to print to the printer from anywhere in the world. This will also be accomplished from any device that you use to connect to the Internet including laptops, netbooks, tablets, smart books, and just about any device that can send email.

HP also states:

The HP ePrint printers potentially free you from ever having to connect to a printer, either with wires or wirelessly, before you can print. More than that, they open the door to letting you print to any ePrint printer, anywhere in the world, from any device—desktop, laptop, or smart phone—that can send e-mail. Although HP isn’t explicitly touting this as part of its Print 2.0 strategy, an HP representative confirmed that, indeed, it is.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first scheme by any means for printing over the Internet. However, it is the first that’s aimed at consumers and the small and home office, and it’s the first that includes special support in the printers it works with. The disadvantage for ePrint compared with other approaches is that you can set it up only with printers that include ePrint support. The advantage is that setup promises to be far easier than with other approaches, and that’s precisely what makes it suitable for consumers and small offices.

The print-through-the Internet feature (which won’t work with the older generation printers, unfortunately) lets you simply e-mail a file to the ePrintCenter’s email address, which rasterizes the image and sends the print job to the printer. According to HP, the ePrintCenter can handle files in most common formats, including PDF, JPG, and Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 versions of Word and Excel. Each printer gets a unique e-mail address.

Along with the newfound ability to send files to print over the Internet, HP also announced new print apps from Yahoo!, msnbc.com, Facebook, Live Nation, Crayola, Reuters, DocStoc, and Picasa Web Albums. It also announced a new service called Scheduled Delivery, which lets you choose information to automatically send to the printer. With Scheduled delivery, you can, for example, automatically print the latest news every morning and have it waiting for you in the printer’s output tray when you wake up. (Although I can’t help thinking that buying a newspaper is a lot cheaper than printing it yourself). The new apps will work with the older-generation Web enabled printers. Scheduled delivery will not.

One other added trick for the new-generation printers is that they can print from the Google Cloud directly—with no PC or Web appliance involved. The printer itself is all you need to print from Google Docs, Google Photos, or Google Calendar.

I went to the HP site and I was pleasantly surprised that the cost for the ePrinter was reasonable.

HP Photosmart e-All-in-One – D110a

Priced at $129.99 direct from HP

  • Easy wireless setup
  • Prints up to 29 pages/min in black, 23 in color
  • 4 x 6″ photos in as little time as 70 seconds
  • 2.36″ color display with TouchSmart frame
  • HP ePrint for printing anywhere

I am glad I waited since I have an all-in-one and a laser that both are going to need to be replaced this year.

Comments welcome.

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