Hewlett-Packard plans to release its latest multi-function printer next month. The device will feature Internet applications as well as color printing, faxing, scanning and copying capabilities on a single machine.
Directed toward the SOHO market, the HP OfficeJet K Series will have an Internet application called HP NetDirect that provides a series of services over the Web without requiring a PC. The device comes with a 33.6K-bps (bits per second) fax/data modem.
The company will produce two models of the unit - the K60 priced at $US399 and the K80 version costing $499. The higher-priced model will come with the modem and scan resolution of up to 3600dpi. Some models will provide networking capabilities, giving users the ability to print, fax, send and scan on PCs networked throughout an office.
Keith Kmetz, an analyst with International Data Corp (IDC), said that the Internet-related functions of OfficeJet K Series pale in comparison to the speed and memory advancements the device offers.
These improvements, however, may not be sufficient to entice many people to buy the new HP device, Kmetz said. Although the Net applications are a new feature, he doubts that users will opt to access the Internet via an all-in-one device when they probably already own a more user-friendly PC. "To me, it's a first implementation of the technology," Kmetz said. "It remains to be seen how users will accept this."
Susan Polizzotto, HP's product manager for the K Series, said that she expects users to adopt the device's Internet capabilities quite quickly.