Best web-based printers

Thursday, February 17, 2011, 10:19 by Tech Correspondent

Web-based printers can print directly off the Web, with no need for a computer! Here are the top ones.

How many of you have booked a flight ticket online– at home–and then taken a printout of the same without having to route that task through your PC, where you’d have stored the soft copy of the same? Not too many, we would like to believe. But, hey, that’s something we can hardly do without, right? Not quite. With Web-based printers, you now can print directly off the Web without having to deal with a computer! Put simply, web-based (or, web-connected) printers are printers with Internet access that let you view and print web content (e.g. your Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and Twitter pages), or for that matter, coupons, recipes, greeting cards, personal calendars and other items from the Net.

If that sounds exciting, then the following list of seven web-enabled printers should whet your appetite even further!

Lexmark Genesis

lexmark genesis photo

Photo: Lexmark Genesis

Brand: Lexmark

Model: Genesis

Price: $400

Availability in India: No

What you get: The Lexmark Genesis is a Web-based inkjet multifunction printer whose USP lies in its collection of applications that gives users quick access to relevant, printable content on the Internet.

Sporting an eye-catching vertical design, this device comes with Lexmark’s proprietary suite of programmable, downloadable apps called ‘SmartSolutions’. Before you can start using these apps, you first have to create a user account through registration with the Lexmark SmartSolutions portal. Once this is done, all that is required is for you to link this account to the Genesis, and voila–you can instantly download apps that automate particular printing, scanning or copying activities such as printing out the morning news or uploading scanned pictures to Picasa.

What’s more, this web-connected Lexmark printer’s 4.3-inch color LCD touchscreen, titled “myTouch”, lets users create bespoke one-touch apps that can access the “cloud” (servers on the Internet sharing software, data and other resources) to make routine tasks easier. E.g. these customized apps help you print the latest photos of family and friends on Facebook, or scan photos or documents and upload them directly to Flickr accounts–without needing to boot up your PC!

The Lexmark Genesis comes with an auto duplex (allows printing or copying on both sides of a paper) feature. Expect a duty cycle (the maximum number of pages per month of imaged output) of 3,000 pages. Let’s look at some of the key specifications of this web-based inkjet printer.

Key specs: 

Dimension (W x D x H): 15.2 x 12.64 x 16.54 inches

Weight: 19.2 pounds

Printing resolution: Up to 4800 x 1200 dots per inch (color); up to 2400 x 1200 dpi (monochrome)

Print speed: 30 pages per minute (color); 33 ppm (black)

Paper capacity: 100-sheet input tray; 50-page output tray; No auto-document feeder

Interface: USB; Wi-Fi; PictBridge (industry standard connectivity to plug digital cameras directly into printers); memory cards (Micro SD; MultiMedia Card; SD Card; xD-Picture Card)

Copy speed: Up to 21 copies per minute (color); 25 cpm (black)

Scan specs: Featuring a 10-megapixel mono CMOS image sensor, the Lexmark Genesis can churn out a digital copy of a document in merely 3 seconds–thanks to a so-called “Flash Scan” functionality. Since the scanner uses a digital sensor, users get an ‘Instant Preview’ mode through which they can get that perfect configuration for the document before it’s scanned.

Scan resolution: 10MP

Web-based printers from HP

HP, whose ‘Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web’ model was launched in 2009 (now discontinued, though) with much fanfare as the world’s first-ever “web-connected home printer”, is way ahead of its competition when it comes to producing web-based printers. And what really sets the Internet-enabled models currently on offer from the US technology giant apart from rivals are the following three USPs (some of these might be model-specific, however):

HP ePrint

HP ePrint is a platform that lets you print on the move, without using PC, from any e-mail device–e.g., smartphones like the Motorola Droid, or the Apple iPhone, or even the iPad tablet–without the need for any special software (read, driver installation) and you having to fret over OS (operating system) compatibility.

Here is how this works. The web-based HP printer is assigned a unique e-mail id during registration. All you have to do is send an e-mail to that address, and the content of the e-mail–JPEG images, Adobe PDF files and Microsoft Office documents (the file formats presently supported)–will be printed!

Print apps

So-called ‘TouchSmart’ control panels on some web-enabled HP printers are preloaded with HP applications, which let users access games, coupons and maps, or add functions such as viewing social-networking updates.

Moreover, these web-based HP printers HP also allow you to install apps–akin to shortcuts–which can automate downloading of your chosen blog posts and newspaper columns, and other kinds of personal online content.

HP ePrintCenter

Involving partnerships with the likes of Google Docs, Google Maps, Yahoo, PBS, Kraft.com among others, the HP ePrintCenter is an online apps store. This Web-based hub permits users to stay updated with the latest print apps, configure their web-connected HP printers, see their printer status, monitor print jobs, add/delete print apps, and manage job history and ePrint settings from any Internet browser–all of this while on the go.

So, then, what are the available options as far as buying a web-based HP printer is concerned? Well, here are six of the best Internet-ready HP printers–priced at between $70 and $400–for you to consider:

HP Photosmart e-All-in-One

What you get: Donning a 2.36-inch color LCD (with TouchSmart Frame) display, the HP Photosmart e-All-in-One comes with the ePrint feature, as well as the integrated wireless connectivity. You won’t find any auto-duplex option, but HP provides driver support for manual duplex. The device has a duty cycle of as many as 1,000 pages.

hp photosmart-e-all-in-one printer photo

Photo: HP Photosmart e-All-in-One Printer

Key specs:

Dimension (W x D x H): 17.4 x 15.85 x 7.09 inches

Weight: 10.32 pounds

Printing resolution: Up to 600 x 600 dots per inch (monochrome); up to 4800 x 1200 dpi (color)

Print speed: Up to 29 pages per minute (black); up to 23 ppm (color)

Paper capacity: 80-sheet input tray

Interface: USB 2.0; Wi-Fi; direct photo printing through support for memory cards (Memory Stick Duo; Secure Digital/MultimediaCard)

Copier specs:

Maximum no of copies – Up to 30 copies

Copy speed: Up to 29 copies per minute (monochrome)

Scan resolution: Up to 1200 dpi (optical); up to 19,200 dpi (enhanced)

Brand: HP

Model: Photosmart e-All-in-One

Price: $70 (Rs. 2,737 in India)

Availability in India: Yes

HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One

What you get: The HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One, too, comes with integrated wireless networking and HP ePrint capabilities. The TouchSmart control panel on the printer’s 4.3-inch intuitive color touchscreen is embedded with Web-based customizable apps for printing specific Web content, without the need for a PC. Expect a duty cycle of up to 1,600 pages from this device, which is equipped with automatic two-sided printing functionality.

hp photosmart premium-e-all-in-one printer photo

Photo: HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One Printer

Key specs:

Dimension (W x D x H): 17.91 x 17.7 x 7.8 inches

Weight: 16.9 pounds

Printing resolution: Up to 600 x 600 dpi (black); up to 9600 x 2400 dpi (color)

Print speed: Up to 32 ppm (color); up to 33 ppm (black)

Paper capacity: 125-sheet input tray, 20-sheet auto-engaging photo tray for print on-demand

Interface: USB 2.0; Wi-Fi; Direct photo printing through memory cards (Memory Stick Duo; Secure Digital/MultimediaCard)

Copier specs:

Maximum no of copies – Up to 99 copies

Copy speed: Up to 33 cpm (monochrome); up to 32 cpm (color)

Scan resolution: Up to 19,200 dpi (enhanced); up to 1200 dpi (optical)

Brand: HP

Model: Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One

Price: $150

Availability in India: Yes

HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One

What you get: The HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One offers a 2.4-inch LCD (color graphics) screen, and comes with integrated Wi-Fi connectivity and HP ePrint features. You also get a 50-page automatic document feeder, auto duplex capability and a duty cycle of up to 1,600 pages.

hp photosmart premium fax e-all-in-one printer photo

Photo: HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One Printer

Key specs:

Dimension (W x D x H): 18.43 x 17.8 x 11.14 inches (including duplexer)

Weight: 22.92 pounds

Printing resolution: Up to 600 x 600 dpi (monochrome); up to 9600 x 2400 dpi (color)

Print speed: Up to 33 ppm (black); up to 32 ppm (color)

Paper capacity: 20-sheet photo tray; 125-sheet input tray

Interface: USB; Ethernet; Wi-Fi; Direct photo printing through support for memory cards (Memory Stick Duo; Secure Digital/MultimediaCard; CompactFlash; Memory Stick; Secure Digital High Capacity Card; xD-Picture Card)

Copier specs:

Maximum no of copies – Up to 50 copies

Copy speed: Up to 33 cpm (black); up to 32 cpm (color)

Scan resolution: Up to 4800 dpi (optical); Up to 19,200 dpi (enhanced)

Fax specs:

Fax speed dials – Up to 90 numbers; Incoming fax memory – Up to 90 pages;

Fax resolution: Up to 300 x 300 dpi

Fax speed: 3 seconds per page

Brand: HP

Model: Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One

Price: $200 (Rs.20,500)

Availability in India: Yes

HP Photosmart eStation e-All-in-One

What you get: The Photosmart eStation e-All-in-One is a tablet and a Web-ready printer, both rolled into one device–you can enjoy full Net surfing, as well as print, scan and copy documents through this HP printer.

The instrument comes with a detachable, full-color 7-inch wireless touchscreen tablet (with TouchSmart control panel) that lets you print files on the move by using the preloaded ePrint feature. Even if one user has removed the tablet from the machine, others can still give print orders make edits on the move!

hp photosmart estation e-all-in-one printer photo

Photo: HP Photosmart eStation e-All-in-One Printer

Plus, the HP Photosmart eStation e-All-in-One gives you customized apps for instant access to fun, useful and personal content. Automatic duplex and a duty cycle of up to 1,250 pages are couple of other highlights of this wireless all-in-one device.

Key specs:

Dimension (W x D x H): 17.7 x 18 x 9.7 inches

Weight: 17.42 pounds (including the removable display)

Printing resolution: Up to 600 x 600 dpi (black); up to 9,600 x 2,400 dpi (color)

Print speed: Up to 32 ppm (color); up to 33 ppm (monochrome)

Paper capacity: 125-sheet input tray, 20-sheet photo tray

Interface: USB 2.0; Wi-Fi; Direct photo printing through support for memory cards (Secure Digital)

Copier specs:

Maximum no of copies – Up to 99 copies

Duty cycle – As many as 1,250 pages

Copy speed: Up to 33 cpm (black); Up to 32 cpm (color)

Scan resolution: Up to 19,200 dpi (enhanced); up to 1200 dpi (optical)

Brand: HP

Model: Photosmart eStation e-All-in-One

Price: $400 (Rs.15,228 in India)

Availability in India: Yes

HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus

What you get: Those of you who have used HP’s OfficeJet Pro 8500 Wireless will find the HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus strikingly familiar–just like its predecessor, the latter, too, gives users many networking options, impressive performance speeds and a functional touchscreen.

But, there is a big difference between the two, with the OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus incorporating a string of enhancements, including the addition of eFeatures. To begin with, this multifunction inkjet comes with a 4.3-inch color graphics touchscreen that lets you access apps on the HP ePrintCenter, and print from the Web without a PC (using HP ePrint). Expect auto duplex option and a duty cycle of up to 15,000 pages.

hp officejet pro 8500a plus photo

Photo: HP OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus

Key specs:

Dimension (W x D x H): 19.76 x 16.85 x 12.12 inches (without duplexer installed)

Weight: 27.8 pounds

Printing resolution: Up to 1200 x 1200 dpi (monochrome); up to 4800 x 1200 dpi (color)

Print speed: Up to 34 ppm (color); up to 35 ppm (black)

Paper capacity: 250-sheet input tray with 50-sheet auto-document feeder

Interface: USB 2.0; Ethernet; PictBridge; Wi-Fi; 2 RJ-11 modem ports.

The printer is also compatible with memory cards, enabling direct photo printing.

Copier specs:

Maximum no of copies – Up to 99 copies

Copy speed: Up to 35 cpm (black); Up to 34 cpm (color)

Scan resolution: Up to 4800 dpi (optical)

Fax specs:

Fax speed dials – Up to 75 numbers; Incoming fax memory – Up to 100 pages

Brand: HP

Model: OfficeJet Pro 8500A Plus

Price: $280 (Rs.26,599 in India)

Availability in India: Yes

HP Officejet Pro 8500A e-All-in-One

What you get: Equipped with a 2.36-inch color touchscreen display, the HP Officejet Pro 8500A e-All-in-One gives you HP ePrint, integrated wired/wireless connectivity and Web-based print apps. Users also get automatic two-sided printing, a 35-page automatic document feeder and a duty cycle of as many as 15,000 pages.

hp officejet pro 8500a e-all-in-one printer photo

Photo: HP Officejet Pro 8500A e-All-in-One Printer

Key specs:

Dimension (W x D x H): 19.76 x 16.45 x 11.14 inches (excluding duplexer)

Weight: 25.4 pounds

Printing resolution: Up to 4800 x 1200 dpi (color); Up to 1200 x 1200 dpi (black)

Print speed: Up to 35 ppm (monochrome); Up to 34 ppm (color)

Paper capacity: 250-sheet input tray

Interface: USB 2.0; Ethernet; PictBridge; Wi-Fi; 2 RJ-11 modem ports

The printer offers support for memory cards, too, allowing you to print pictures directly without having to use a PC

Copier specs:

Maximum no of copies – Up to 99 copies

Copy speed: Up to 34 cpm (color); up to 35 cpm (black)

Scan resolution: Up to 4800 dpi (optical)

Fax specs: Incoming fax memory – As many as 100 pages; Fax speed dials – Up to 75 numbers

Brand: HP

Model: Officejet Pro 8500A e-All-in-One

Price: $200 (Rs.23,624 in India)

Availability in India: Yes

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