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samsung-paper-printer.jpgAh, now this is clever - Samsung have designed a trio of laser printer concepts, one of which could be partly made of cardboard.

Recognised by the International Design Excellence Awards 2013, the Samsung Origami was envisioned as a commentary on printing's effect on the environment - printer cartridges are notoriously difficult to efficiently dispose of, and all printers make heavy use of plastics in their construction. Made of recycled materials, the Samsung Origami is also eco-friendly, built with far less plastics and plenty of biodegradable cardboard in its place.

Folded together by the user around the plastic printing mechanisms, all construction instructions are printed onto the cardboard casing itself, saving on paper manuals.

"There's no barrier for production," Samsung's senior designer Juehyun Jung told Wired.

"After a few engineering problems are solved, it can be offered about 10 per cent cheaper, compared to other products in same segment."

Not sure how a leaky ink cartridge would fair within a paper design, but it's good to see Samsung thinking outside of the box.

Kodak-hero-9-1-top.jpgKodak have announced that they are to stop manufacturing cameras digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames in the first half of this year in order to cut costs following their bankruptcy protection filing.

Despite inventing the digital camera, Kodak have been forced into the move after noting that it will save them somewhere in the region of $100 million dollars. On top of their long list of patent sales, it's hoped the move will save the iconic brand.

"Today we announced that Kodak is phasing out digital cams [sic], video cams & digital frames in 2012," read updates from the Kodak UK Twitter feed.

"Kodak will continue to honour all warranties and provide support as we phase out dig & vid cams and frames.

"Kodak will focus consumer biz [sic] on inkjet, online and retail printing."

Kodak's new focus will be on their printer business. We had a look at their Hero 9.1 All-in-one (pictured above) at the back end of last year and came away impressed.

Easyshare wireless M750_Red.jpgAfter a gruelling period of decline, Kodak last week were forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, leading many to wonder about the future of the company and, in many cases, just what was going to happen to the much-needed consumable products that Kodak's gear needed, such as printer cartridges.

"After considering the advantages of chapter 11 at this time, the Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak," Antonio M. Perez, Kodak chairman and CEO stated.

"Our goal is to maximise value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees. We are also committed to working with our valued customers."

That customer commitment has been backed up today by a statement from the Kodak UK team, who confirmed to Tech Digest that it was very much "business as usual" for the British arm of the veteran camera makers:

"The Kodak UK team is still very much in business and we are going full steam ahead with our planned activity," said the Kodak spokesperson, who also settled loyal Kodak customers' fears by explicitly stating there would be no changes made to the distribution of consumables in the wake of last week's news.

Kodak also took the opportunity to reveal UK launch details of their CES 2011 star compact camera, the EASYSHARE Wireless Camera M750.

Offering 16 MP stills, a 5X optical zoom, HD video recording and 3 inch touchscreen, it lets users send photos straight to Facebook, email or tablet devices over Wi-Fi, pairing up with the KODAK EASYSHARE Camera App on Android, iOS and blackBerry devices.

"The launch of the EASYSHARE Wireless Camera M750 marks the perfect union of the smartphone and digital camera," said Phil Scott, Vice President of Digital Capture and Accessories.

"The two technologies are now married to bring consumers the best experience from capture to share. Socially savvy users no longer have to compromise on image quality, now we can take great pictures and share instantly."

Available in silver and red for £129.95, it'll be hitting all major photography retailers in the Spring.

Kodak-hero-9-1-top.jpgName: Kodak Hero 9.1

Type: All-in-One printer/scanner/copier

Specs: Click here for full specs

Price: £199.99

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The Kodak Hero 9.1 throws into the mix pretty much every high-end feature you can think of for a consumer all-in-one printer. Can its print speed and quality live up to the allure of its silky 4.3 inch touchscreen and cloud-printing capabilities? Read on to find out.

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If you're flushed with cash, the £199.99 Kodak Hero 9.1 is the premium offering from the company's all-in-one printer range. With a 4.3 inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi and internet connectivity, duplex printing and cloud printing, it ticks every box when it comes to high-end printer features.

It looks very stylish too. In keeping with the rest of the Hero range's boxy look, the rectangular Hero 9.1 features a mix of gloss and black plastics, as well as brushed metal effects either side of the print tray and a red trim just under the scanner lid. Two paper trays feature, one each for 100 regular A4 sheets and another solely for 40 pieces of photo paper. It's a relief not to have to swap paper load outs, and the powered photo tray also conveniently removes the need to manually push sheets. We'd like to see dual-trays hit consumer printers as standard. A printer is unlikely to win any style awards, but Kodak have made a strong effort here to make the Hero 9.1 look tidy and sleek.

Only one physical button (the power one) sits on the Hero 9.1's control panel. The rest, including home, back, help and preview keys, are touch sensitive, illuminating when they can be used to navigate a corresponding function on the gorgeous 4.3 inch touchscreen. A touchscreen this big makes a massively good impression; it not only allows a full QWERTY keyboard to be displayed, making the Wi-Fi set up really simple, but also gives you a far more legible look at any snaps you plan to print off too using the Hero 9.1's front-mounted USB and memory card ports.

Kodak-hero-9-1-b.jpgSetting up the printer is as simple as it gets. After removing a series of protective tags, inserting the print head and clicking in the two ink cartridges, it's just a matter of switching it on, installing the relevant drivers to your computer, and choosing whether to connect using a standard USB cable, or over Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

If you choose to go down the web-connected route, you also open up the ability to use Kodak's cloud printing service, that lets you send documents to be printed to the unit no matter where you are in the world. The Hero 9.1 is compatible with Google's Cloud Printing service, further expanding your on-the-go print options and effectively doing away with the need to ever have it permanently tethered to your desktop machine.

Though not class leading, the Kodak Hero's 9.1 print speed and quality remains solid. A 10-sheet set of single sided black-and-white text documents printed in two minutes and one second, while a twenty page set of single sided documents sped up noticeably, taking three minutes and 47 seconds. Duplex printing, as you'd expect, was noticeably slower, adding a good third onto the time to print the same documents on a single side. Duplex printing on the whole had some quirks, with the printer automatically reducing the print size by a noticeable margin. Be sure to extend your page margins manually before printing duplex pages as a result, or you'll end up with considerable space around the edges of your prints. In all tests however, text was crisp and sharp.

Kodak-hero-9-1-c.jpgColour prints were considerably slower, but we were surprised at the snappy speed of photo prints. In just 45 seconds we had a 4 x 6 inch holiday snap sitting in our hands, ready to be tucked inside an album. Colour print quality was mostly great, delivering really vibrant, rich colours that shone on photo paper. There were a few isolated cases of banding (and dotting for those anally examining their photos with a magnifying glass), but overall it was an impressive show from the Hero 9.1.

The Hero 9.1 is fairly cost effective too, working out at roughly 2.25p per black and white sheet and 3.8p for colour prints, including paper costs. However, when it comes to colour prints you could argue that that figure could erratically jump. The Kodak Hero 9.1 uses a single cartridge for all of its colour pools. Should one run out quicker than the rest, you're going to have to swap out all the colours and abandon any reserves they may have left.

Lastly, printing and scanning. The scanner lid has an automatic document feeder, letting you scan multiple sheets in one go without having to replace each one manually. There's also a small hinge on the scanner lid, letting you more comfortable accommodate a book or magazine for scanning purposes. The 9.1 only manages single-side scanning however. Still, the scanner has a solid 2400dpi optical resolution, delivering accurate colour and detail levels. Copying capabilities are just as impressive, delivering a black and white sheet with great accuracy in just 17 seconds.

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Verdict:

It's not the cheapest all-in-one on the market, nor the fastest, but the Kodak Hero 9.1 does deliver solid print and scanning results, as well as offering a premium feature set that you'll be hard pressed to comprehensively find elsewhere. The single cartridge for all colours however is a disappointment; while it may ease the set-up process, it does mean you wont be able to eke the very last drops out of of each colour pool should one run dry.

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4/5
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Kodak share price drops a whopping 25%

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kodak-logo.jpgEastman Kodak, the legendary photography and printing firm, have seen their shares go into freefall today, with their worth dropping 25% following the news that they have taken out a £103 million loan for "general corporate purposes".

The news means that Kodak shares have dropped by 66% in this year alone, with the company failing to turn a profit since 2007. Turn the clock back to 1997 and Kodak were riding high, with shares worth $90 (£57). As of yesterday, those shares are now worth a measly $1.74 (£1.20).

The Wall Street Journal's Dennis K. Berman put the decline sharply into perspective with this tweet:

#Kodak stock closes at all-time low. The employer of 19,000 is now worth $468m, or $330m less than 50-person, profitless Tumblr. $EK

A once-powerful force in the analogue age, Kodak have struggled to keep up with digital competitors like Canon. Kodak as a result this year have been forced into selling off elements of their sizeable patent portfolio.

LG-Machjet.jpgThough it can be difficult to drum up excitement for the release of a new printer, LG have managed just that with the Machjet LPP6010N. The "world's fastest" desktop printer, it's twice as fast as traditional A4 home dektop printers, printing at a approximately half the cost per-page to boot too.

Developed by Memjet and first shown off at CES 2011, LG have now got onboard to manufature and distribute the tech.

Using Page Straight Array (PSA) technology that has over 70,000 ink nozzles on a single printhead (17 times the nozzle density of a regular inkjet) it's capable of pumping out 60 A4 full colour prints a minute. For those incapable of basic maths, that's a sheet every single second.

Don't believe those speeds are possible? Just check it out in the video below, courtesy of UberGizmo:

It's energy-conscious too, using just 32W compared to the average 600W used by similar printers.

"LG prides itself on launching truly innovative products and is pleased to bring the world's fastest A4 colour desktop printers powered by Memjet's game-changing printing technology to the Korean market," said Sihwan Park, vice president of LG Electronics' monitors and printers business unit.

"The Machjet delivers completely new levels of colour performance and affordability and uses significantly less energy versus laser printers."

No pricing or release date yet, but we'll let you know as details trickle in.

sx525wd-top.jpgName: Epson Stylus SX525WD (Epson)

Type: Inkjet printer/scanner/copier

Specifications: Click here for full specs

Price: £89.99 from Amazon

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Boasting class-leading print speeds and a robust feature list that includes duplex printing and Wi-Fi connectivity, the Epson Stylus SX525WD sub-£100 all-in-one is certainly an attractive proposition. But have any concessions been made to hit this value price bracket, and can it really meet those super-fast print speeds?

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Sturdily built, the SX525WD measures up at 455x359x164 mm. It's fairly chunky therefore, but makes itself more desk-friendly by featuring a front-rather-than rear loading 150-page feed tray. A 6.3 cm screen sits on the front of an angle-adjustable control panel. As the screen is not touch sensitive, you get a sensible array of control buttons on the panel, allowing you to print without hooking up to a PC should you insert an SD, Memory Stick or xD storage device into the front-facing card slot.

Thanks to an in-built Wi-Fi connection and rear Ethernet port, connecting the SX525WD to a wireless network is a cinch. The printer quickly found our network and within a few minutes all devices in our house were hooked up. Connecting the printer via USB however was an unexpected chore, with the printer repeatedly failing to pair with our PC.

The Espon Stylus SX525WD has claimed print speeds of 36ppm in both black and colour modes. Though this spec is quoted from draft speeds, we still found a discrepancy in how fast it churned out our pages. Five pages of black text showed print speeds of closer to 8.9ppm in print mode and 9.9ppm in draft mode; respectable, but a far cry from the 36ppm that Epson are touting. The figures don't seem to take into account the time the printer takes to process the pages before shoving them out, which obviously leads to a dramatically different speed when compared to real-world usage. Print a longer document and the SX525WD picks up the pace slightly however, once it's warmed up a little.

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Full colour pages were produced at a slower speed than the marketing suggests too, with just a 1.5ppm real-world speed in our tests. Printing photos was again clocked at a fair speed (between 1 minute and 2 minutes 10 seconds depending on the quality), but didn't match up with the specs. Overall these are reasonable speeds though, and we can't fathom why Epson decided to open themselves up to criticism when the actual speeds would have been more than worthy.

Print quality is above average too. Though black text over colour images could muddle colours slightly, overall full colour images were solid, and text not overly jagged. Photo prints (at a rather good resolution of up to 5,760 by 1,440dpi) seemed to result in a slightly raised contrast ratio, which had a pleasant effect on some of our snaps, but washed out some of the deeper hues in a handful of evening outdoor shots.

Moving onto the scanner, it's of the CIS variety, A4 in size with a 2400 dpi resolution. It produced previews of pages in a little over 12 seconds, managing a 300ppp scan in 11 seconds. These aren't ground-breaking specs by any means, but more than a match for this price bracket, and more than enough for most home usage scenarios. Scanned images looked a little smoother than the pin-sharp originals, though barley noticeably to all but a highly trained eye. Colours however were a tad less vibrant. Copies on the other hand were nice and fast; 8 seconds for a black and white, 26 seconds for colour.

Where the SX525WD really shines however is running costs. Two cartridge capacities are available, and using the larger one resulted in page costs of 6.5p for colour and 2.5 p for black and white sheets, including the price of the paper itself. It's not quite a match for the value of Kodak printers, but manages to beat the majority of rivals in this regard.

As a closing point, we wouldn't recommend using this printer too regularly around flatmates or work colleagues, as it can get pretty noisy. Though it's hard to quantify the noise levels as I wasn't prepared for them and thus unable to take a reading, suffice to say it was annoying enough for a nearby pal on the phone to leave the room.

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Verdict:

Though noisier than we would have liked, and Epson have exaggerated a little on the print speeds, the SX525WD is a solid all-round performer. With low running costs, above average print quality and print speeds, Wi-Fi connectivity and duplex print modes, it's a great value domestic printer that should meet all but the most demanding of needs. review-line.JPG

4/5

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Name: ML-1865 (Samsung)

Type: Monochrome laserjet printer

Specs: Click here for full specs

Price: £76 from Amazon

Image Gallery: Click here

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In an age in which you can pick up a decent multi-functional colour inkjet printer and still get change back from £100 you'd be forgiven for believing that the days of the humble monochrome laserjet were numbered. However Samsung's latest laserjet model, the ML-1865, may well sway naysayers who say that the monochrome printer is dead. Read on to find out why.

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You could hardly call the black, curvy box build of the ML-1865 exciting, but there's no denying it's one of the smaller printers on the market, and that's within its own streamlined single-function category as well as the traditionally-chunkier multi-function scanner-and-printer field. Measuring just 341 x 224 x 184mm, it'll happily sit tucked away under a desk or on a cramped office tabletop. Open up the loading and output trays and those dimensions expand substantially of course, but either way it makes for a very portable printer that can easily be moved around a house or office with ease. Seeing as this is a USB-only model (no Wi-Fi networking here we're afraid) it's important that Samsung have made the ML-1865 this easy to shift about.

The ML-1865 can be loaded with 150 sheets of paper at a time, with an output tray that'll hold 100 sheets before straining under the weight. Paired with a manual duplex mode, you'll be able to leave the printer loaded up for quite a while without needing to fill it back up, which makes it particularly useful in print-heavy office environments. No-one likes to be the one whose document doesn't come through because the printer has ran out of paper, do they?

Even for a monochrome laserjet, the ML-1865 spits out prints at a fantastic rate. It took about 1 minute 20 seconds for it to complete a 20 page document cycle, which works out at roughly a sheet every 4 to 5 seconds. Firing up from cold, the printer also performed impressively, getting to work in about 9 seconds. In terms of text quality at least, the printer was sharp and detailed, with no shaky edges or sliding lines in our heavily-formatted documents.

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Though the box claims to have a print quality of up to 1200 dpi, we found that higher quality images in our print-outs suffered a little in detail and grey-level gradients. It's unlikely that this printer will be your first port of call for image printing anyway however, and is more than capable of handling the odd graph or infographic.

Though overall a very basic printer in terms of features, the ML-1865 does have one stand-out function that we'd like to see hit more printers over time. That would be the One-Touch print ability, triggered via a dedicated button on the device itself. Using this allows you to print your PC screen exactly as it appears on your monitor (except in black and white, of course), carefully scaled down to fit onto a single page. Perfect if you quickly need to take down a hard copy of typed notes or work on a presentation with a team, it's a nifty little function that we imagine would actually get quite a lot of use.

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Verdict:

In terms of performance, it's hard to argue with the quality of the Samsung ML-1865. It's relatively pint-sized when it comes to printers, and though we'd like to have seen a little more detail in printed images, it does a sharp, fine job in pretty much every other department. The elephant in the room will always be colour multi-function kits however, and with an RRP of £79.99 the ML-1865 printer could do with being a little more competitive in that respect, or at least be packing Wi-Fi connectivity.

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4/5
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Kodak printer

Kodak launches the ESP 5210 All-in-One printer, a Wi-Fi enabled printer designed to make home printing simple.

Over the past few years Kodak has been trying to make a name for themselves as a simple, inexpensive home printing option and this printer is just further evidence of this.
The Wi-Fi printer allows you to easily print from anywhere in your home without cables. It also features memory card slot, so that you can view, edit and print photos straight from the printer without your computer.

In addition it runs on Kodak's premium pigmented inks that come in a two-cartridge set-up, with black cartridges retailing for £6.99 and the five-ink colour cartridge retailing for £11.99. Ultimately saving you up to £75 a year on ink.

The Kodak ESP 5210 retails for £89.99

Photosmart Premium AiO.pngFrom HP comes a new range of Photosmart printers complete with TouchSmart touch-sensitive technology which HP claims enables the youngest family members to print photos without using a PC.

Using the built-in memory card slot and HP TouchSmart screen you can navigate and select photo collections. There are also automatic adjustments for red-eye, lighting and colour.

Alternatively the HP Photo Print Gadget allows you to drag and drop photos to a desktop icon from virtually anywhere - folders, applications, e-mail and websites.
HP software will also intelligently edit and crop photos to suit the photo paper size.

Many of the printers in the new HP Photosmart series have built-in wireless features to provide flexible printing for all the family to use around the home, including the HP Photosmart with Wireless, HP Photosmart Plus and the HP Photosmart Premium.

Using the iPrint Photo application, iPhone and iPod touch users can also print wirelessly.

11208-hpwebprinter1.jpgYeah printers are boring, we know. But not the HP PhotoSmart Premium with TouchSmart Web. Oh no. This printer is so far from boring, it's positively intoxicating.

Ok, it's not that exciting but as far as printers go, it's pretty cool. You see, dear readers, the HP PhotoSmart Premium is the first printer that will connect directly to the web.

It has a 4.33-inch screen in order to access its internet apps. Yes, that's right, I said apps. On a printer.

HP has struck up partnerships with USA Today, Google, Fandango, Coupons.com, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Web Sudoku and Weathernews so as users can select the relevant app to access, and directly print if required, news, maps, coupons, tickets, recipes, personal calendars and more - all at the touch of a button. Users can also connect directly to Snapfish to print their own digital photos.

The printer prints, faxes, copies and scans. It can print directly from Wi-Fi-enabled PCs, Bluetooth devices and the iPhone.

Out in the Autumn across the pond for $399, the model is expected in the UK next year.

(via HP)

Xerox-ColorQube.jpgYou won't often catch me writing about printers but then it's not often that a revolutionary one comes out. Meet the Xerox ColorQube or at least its colour ink cartridges, anyway. Unlike most printers, these ones are solid and not powder or liquid.

These waxy lumps are melted down and sprayed onto the paper and work out around 62% cheaper than normal cartridges which would be fine if the ColorQube didn't cost $20,000 in the first place.

The new technology is all part of Xerox's plan to get people to print in colour. Last year, of the forest flattening 2.25 trillion pages printed in offices worldwide, just 15% were printed in colour, largely because, until now, it's cost a bomb.

The ColorQube runs off pages at 85 per minute and is apparently perfect in every other way except for the typo.

(via WSJ)

hp-printer.pngWe don't often do printers round these parts any more, being total converts to the paperless office. In fact, it's been ages since I physically wrote something on paper. Occasionally, though, you do have to print something out, so you'll need a printer.

When you do, you don't want to be hanging around, so I thought I'd share the news that Samsung has invented its fastest ever colour printer - the CLP-770ND. This baby can pump out 32 pages per minute, with the first one showing up just 11 seconds after you hit the 'print' button.

You're unlikely to want this thing in your house - it's aimed more at the corporate world - but it packs an 80GB hard drive and 720MHz processor, if high specs are what you want from a printer. It comes with 256MB of memory onboard, expandable to 1GB if you want things even faster.

The CLP-770ND will be out in June, and cost an unannounced amount. Expect the toner cartridges to cost you a vast amount more.


Here's the Polaroid PoGo. It's a photo-printer. Lucy checks it out above. It's Bluetooth, it's fast, and it's only £90 or so. The little prints that you get out are 2" x 3". Remember that refill cartridges will cost you extra, so budget in for those, too, if you planning to get one.

Polaroid PoGo Printer

Related posts: The Polaroid is BACK, baby.. yeahhhh! | Polaroid PoGo Bluetooth instant printer for all your mobile photo needs

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Kodak has announced its latest series of inkjet printers, the ESP 7 (pictured) and ESP 9, featuring the ability to print, copy, scan, and fax documents. Nothing particularly new there, but what is welcome is that Kodak claims to offer the lowest ink replacement cost in the industry.

Printer consumables is where the serious money is made, but Kodak's printing technology and premium-quality inks could save users up to £75 per year (has anyone thought about setting up an ink cartridge price comparison site?)

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Epson has announced the arrival of its Stylus Photo PX700W and PX800FW printers, offering high quality colour images and, on the PX800FW, four-in-one functionality.

Epson claims that the quality of the photos printed by these machines exceeds that of photo labs.

The compact PX700W is fitted with a 6.3-inch colour LCD for easy perusal and selection of images, and features a high printing speed, with photos produced in around 17 seconds, plus integrated Wi-Fi and Ethernet for home networking.

canon_selphy_es3_photo_printer.jpgCanon has announced two additions to its SELPHY line of photo printers: the ES3 and ES30.

Designed to be portable, with a compact, vertical design and fixed carry handle, the ES3 features a 3.5-inch LCD and the ES30 a three-inch LCD, for easy selection and editing of photos.

Key features include built-in image optimisation (trimming, red-eye correction), creating print button for adding frames and filter effects, direct printing from cameras and memory cards, wireless printing, plus storing of favourite prints in the ES3's 1GB of memory.

Epson has today announced four new inkjet printers boasting not only high quality printing but a range of other features including faxing and wireless access.

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The Stylus Office BX300F (£79.99) is a compact 4-in-1 printer offering faxing, scanning, and copying. It uses individual DURABrite Ultra Ink cartridges, making it more efficient and without inks bleeding through the paper.

It will print up to 31 pages per minute, scans at 1200dpi, and comes with OCR software.

polaroid-pogo.jpgPolaroid has launched a product that may just have saved their bacon after the last batches of their old school instantmatic camera film went out of production. Keeping with their on the spot pronto-printing theme, they've launched a palm sized photo printer designed to be used with other cameras and mobile phones called the Polaroid PoGo.

Weighing around 225g, or 8 ounces if you like it that way, the pocket-sized, Li-ion battery-powered gizmo prints around 15 pics when fully charged using absolutely zero ink whatsoever or ZINK technology as they've called it. It's all in the paper.

canon_selphy_photo_printers.jpgCanon has announced the availability of two new SELPHY compact photo printers, the CP770 and CP760.

Both feature an easy-to-use design, user interface and button layout, have a 2.5-inch angled colour LCD TFT screen for displaying and editing photos, can print directly from a range of memory cards, and has image correction, face brightness optimisation, and red eye removal functions.

The CP770 also has an integrated storage unit with carry handle, plus optional wireless printing and battery pack.

Both printers can output a range of media types and sizes, and prints will last for 100 years (who tested that I don't know) thanks to a special coating.

Related posts: SELPHY 740 + 750 | Canon IXUS 85 IS

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