Sunday, August 10, 2003

HP Must be listening to me...

About 3 or 4 months ago, my beloved Espon Inkjet printer died on me. I have decided not to replace it just yet, primarily because I really don't have much of a need to print at home. But, I began to ponder replacing it with one of those multifunction printers. Epson, Lexmark and HP, among others, have these so-called multi-function devices that can act as printers, scanners, and have standalone fax and copying capability. Some of the newer ones have flash memory slots that can be used as either digital media card readers or that will enable you to print photos by removing the cards from your digital camera and sticking it in the printer.

All of these items were great, but here is my beef - in the past 2-3 years practically all printers on the market have USB connectors and not the older parallel-type connectors like my beloved Epson. In the same timeframe, wireless networking has become more and more popular. One of the more popular features of wireless routers is a built-in print server. Yet all of the print-servers are designed with parallel port connections! Which means that you, Mr. or Ms. Techno-gadget-gotta-have-it person, couldn't connect your USB printer to your wireless router. Sure, there are usb network print servers on the market, and you have the ability to attach your usb printer to an 'always on' pc and have it act as a print server - but while these solutions allow you to print, neither of them let you access some of the 'cooler' functions of your multi-function. Until now.

HP Introduced its PSC 2510 printer today. In addition to the all-in-one features I mentioned above the 2510 also has built-in wireless networking. From some of the media information I read on their site and others, it seems that with a small piece of software on your computer, you would be allowed to use the scanner, and/or read from the smart card readers from any computer on the wired or wireless network!

Maybe now my wife will let me buy one :)

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