Despite all of the eco-friendly strides HP is making, we mustn’t forget that they are also a printer company.
HP yesterday took the lid off a new all-in-one they plan to launch in the Fall. In addition to scanning, copying, faxing and, of course, printing, the new HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web has a new trick up its sleeve: direct printing from the Web.
Pretty neat, come to think of it.
Targeted directly at the consumer market, the new printer uses a touchscreen along with a dash of today’s app-mania to hop onto the Web and print out content from partners like USA Today, Google (Maps), and Fandango. The logic is that you don’t have to fire up your PC and launch a browser for things like coupons, movie tickets and maps.
Again, neat, but really?
On the plus side, an all-in-one is preferred unless you run a household or home office that’s rough on equipment or you require specialized features that only standalone devices can deliver. Powering and maintaining just one device is the green way to go.
It’s also an eco-friendly little unit, as far as printers go:
ENERGY STAR qualified, the all-in-one printer helps users save paper with automatic two-sided printing and reduces packaging waste by shipping in an innovative, reusable bag made from recycled plastics.
In the negative column… Where to begin?
Of course, HP cannot discourage people from printing, but let’s just get it out there: print only when absolutely necessary. Movie tickets and coupons are all fine and good, but USA Today?!
If you’re spending in the neighborhood of $400 for a printer, you probably already have an iPhone, BlackBerry or other smartphone that can access the USA Today website. Unless you’re indulging in a tome–which you shouldn’t be printing anyway–getting caught up on the day’s events is hardly torturous on today small, but pixel-packed screens.
Paper maps are somewhat handier, but GPS-enabled cellphones can also get you where you want to go.
We’re still a good couple of years (or more) away from widespread use of a cellphone’s screen to gain entry into a movie theater or show to the cashier to save on our groceries, so I won’t harp on that too much. But that, too, is coming…
I love seeing companies innovate, and HP genuinely strikes a couple of geeky cords with its new printer. But I suspect that they’ll have a tough time convincing eco-minded consumers to pony up for this feature-packed printer unless they can make a truly compelling case that it’s good for the environment too. Let’s not forget the cost of inks and hauling around reams of dead-tree.
So far, I’m having a tough time seeing the green lining.