Over the years our beloved tech toys have evolved from a single-purpose device (such as a phone that just makes calls) through a convergence stage where one product can perform multiple functions (such as an iPad that not only plays music but also hosts photos, videos and games) to the ability to communicate with other gadgets (such as a television that can access media stored on a computer in another room).
HP is embracing this evolutionary trend with its new HP Photosmart e-All-in-One line of printers.
Not only can these printers (starting at $99) print, scan and copy documents and photos wirelessly from any room in the house, but this product is the first on the market that lets you print from anywhere outside the house, too.
So, What's the Big Idea?
Imagine having pictures of your kids or grandkids sent to your printer — even when they're still on vacation, at a school play or while scoring the winning goal at a soccer game. It's like having your own personal photo wire service.
No computer is necessary to use this printer, though a wireless network is required to print remotely. You can connect it to a computer the old-fashioned way, if you choose, and/or use the memory card reader to print photos from your camera (oddly, it doesn't have a USB port for images stored on a thumbdrive). Photos can be viewed on the printer's small 2.36-inch touchscreen. (Note: the HP Photosmart e-All-in-One Premium model, for $199, has a 4.33-inch touchscreen and other bells and whistles).
Setting up the printer was a breeze. You load it with paper, connect it to your wireless router, then complete the set-up by connecting to an HP website that registers the device.