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Tag Archives: Printers

Is Epson About To End Printer Ink Price Gouging With Its EcoTank Line?


Printer ink is one of the biggest rackets: you’re paying something like $70+ an ounce for that liquid, which is more than the most expensive scotch. But if Epson’s promise comes true, affordable printer ink is just around the corner. Its upcoming line of printers called EcoTank will have large, refillable cartridges that will last up to two years! Replacement ink will cost $13 per color, or $52 for all four, and that amount should last two years as well. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on how much you print, but these four bottles should be enough for 4,000 black pages, and 6,500 color pages. At current prices, you’d have to shell out $800 to print the same amount. That’s $750 in savings! The catch is that the printers themselves will be rather expensive, costing between $380 to $500 upfront. Still, if you’re using dead trees to communicate, you might want to look into this.


[ Product Page ] VIA [ ChipChick ]

Prynt Case Turns Your Smartphone Into A Polaroid


The days of having pictures printed on actual physical paper that you can hold in your hands are pretty much gone. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t lost anything in the transition. There was a certain magical element to being able to pass a bit of paper around your group (rather than a heavy and breakable smartphone), right after the pic had been taken. Heck, there’s even more nostalgia when stumbling on an old Polaroid stuck between old papers. So that’s why we have a soft spot for Prynt. It’s a case for Android and iPhones that will contain a tiny printer and up to 30 sheets of paper. The current prototype takes around 50 seconds to print one picture, but the hopes are that by the time all the hardware elements are properly integrated, this figure will be cut down to about 30 seconds.

Prynt is the brainchild of a French startup, who is now looking for funding and is planning a Kickstarter early next year. So expect to hear back from this product in the months to come. Expected retail price will be a very affordable $99.


[ Product Page ] VIA [ TechCrunch ]

GIF-TY: Turn Short GIFs Into Actual Paper Flip-books


Remember flip-books? You know, that old school stack of papers that you flip through with your thumb to reveal an animation? The GIF-TY from designer Jiho Jang is a digital camera that integrates a Zero Ink printer and produces flip-books. Set it to record between 1 and 5 seconds, shoot your clip (burst-mode style), and print. Just like that the device will print a long strip of images (at what framerate, we’re not sure, but presumably not very high) that you will have to cut (or tear off) and stack into a pile. It’s a little time consuming, sure, and maybe irrelevant for some in an age of fullHD video capable smartphones. But if that’s your hangup, you clearly don’t get GIF-TY and that’s fine. But even if you’re already lusting to get your hands on one, you can’t. It looks like there’s only the one prototype at the moment, with no word on eventual availability.


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Future Printing Tech May Be Able To Remove The Very Ink It Deposits

By David Ponce

One day the world will truly end its dependance on paper, but it’s going to take a pretty long time to get there. Until then, efforts continue to be made to reduce the impact on the environment that our need for dead trees has. One recent development comes courtesy of a team of engineers at Cambridge who are in the process of creating a device that can zap ink right off a page, leaving the paper free to be used once more. “The device works by using lasers at the wavelength of green light in pulses of four nanoseconds each, vaporizing the ink while preserving the paper underneath.”

The system is still in development and is not perfect. For one, it leaves a faint trace of ink, though for less than important documents, this may not be a deal breaker. Also, it can only be done a few times on any one sheet since it also strips off some paper in the process. But it is a step ahead of another similar solution on the market because this one can be used on any laser printed paper; one solution by Toshiba relies on a special blue toner.

Sadly, there are no patents or immediate plans to make this available to the public.

[ New Scientist Article ] VIA [ Chipchick ]

“Little Printer” Spews Ticker-Style Strip Of Digital Feeds

By David Ponce

We can’t help but feel a little sad about the dead tree business, well, dying. While it’s of course for the best, there’s something comfortable about holding a little piece of paper in your hands. “Paper is like a screen that never turns off. You can stick to the fridge or tuck it in your wallet. You can scribble on it or tear it and give it to a friend.” And in fact, it’s still more useful when you want to complete puzzles, like Sudoku. So a company called BERG is launching the Little Printer. It’s a web connected box that prints on a roll of thermographic paper, like store receipts. You set up what feeds it reads through an iPhone or Android app, and right on time the Little Printer will have your little ticker of info. Launch partners are Arup, foursquare, Google, the Guardian, and Nike, with more on the way.

There’s no price at the moment, but the Little Printer should be available in 2012.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ DVice ]

LG’s New Machjet Inkjet Printer Is One Of The First To License Memjet’s Technology

LG Machjet LPP6010N (Image courtesy LG)
By Andrew Liszewski

At CES earlier this year we were reluctantly dragged into a demo of Memjet’s high-speed inkjet printer technology. And while it’s hard to get excited about consumer-level printer technology, we ended up being rather impressed by their hardware which spat out full-color, 1600 dpi prints at a rate of about 12 inches per second. Which equates to 60 x A4 pages every minute. At the show we were told that Lenovo was one of the first companies to license the technology, but it looks like LG is about to beat them to the market with their appropriately named Machjet color printer.

Like the prototypes we saw at CES, the Machjet LPP6010N uses Memjet’s proprietary PSA (page straight array) printhead technology which crams more than 70,000 nozzles onto a single head, allowing it to produce 60 full-color, 1600×800 dpi outputs per minute. And while consuming less power, 32W compared to a color laser printer which uses 600W, and less ink. The Machjet is expected to be available from LG dealers starting this month, but the last real question when it comes to whether or not this technology will catch on, the price, hasn’t been specified yet.

[ PR – LG Launches World’s Fastest A4 Color Desktop Printer Powered by Memjet ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

PrintBrush 4×6 Handheld Printer And Digital Camera In One

PrintBrush 4x6 (Image courtesy designboom)
By Andrew Liszewski

It screams concept design, but apparently the PrintBrush 4×6, which incorporates a digital camera into a handheld printer that you manually swipe across any flat surface like paper, wood and fabrics to print an image, could be hitting the market as early as 2011/2012. The idea for the PrintBrush was originally cooked up way back in the year 2000, with early prototypes being shown in 2003. But it took 10+ years to perfect the design, which included replacing its LED-based optical sensors with infrared lasers for more accuracy.

As the PrintBrush is swiped across a flat surface, the scattering of the reflected laser beams and its power fluctuations are measured by the sensors, which are then able to track the device’s motion and position. That data is then used to calculate what color of ink droplets, one of 16 million shades, should be laid down depending on where the PrintBrush is on a surface, allowing you to swipe it in any direction to get a printed image.

Its built-in digital camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels, and the PrintBrush printhead is capable of producing a 4×6-inch full color image at 600dpi. When it is finally available, it will sell for a remarkable $149. Though I suspect that cost to increase once it actually goes into production. And let’s not forget, there’s still the cost of replacement ink carts.

[ PrintBrush 4×6 ] VIA [ designboom ]

[CES 2011] Memjet Radically Speeds Up Inkjet Printer Technology

Memjet (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Once dot-matrix printers were replaced by inkjets, printer technology hit a long period of stagnation when manufacturers realized they could just sit back and make a killing by selling replacement ink cartridges. But Memjet hopes to shake things up with their new inkjet technology that’s able to print at 12 inches per second, which equates to about 60 full color A4 pages per minute. That speed, which is actually about twice as fast as color laser printers, is made possible by a page wide printhead dotted with 70,000 ink nozzles (about 17 times as many as current inkjet printer heads) dropping 700 million drops of ink per second.

It’s easily the fastest printer I’ve ever seen, and it’s not like it’s spitting out low-quality draft prints either. These are full color, 1600 DPI copies that look as good as what you’d get from the current crop of home inkjet printers. Minus all the waiting. And while they had a functional prototype on display, Memjet actually plans to license their technology to OEMs. One of the first companies to announce a Memjet-based printer was Lenovo oddly enough, and it’s expected to hit the market for around $5-600 later this year. As for actual printing costs, the Memjet technology does it’s thing for about 5 or 6 cents per page.

[ Memjet ]

Epson PictureMate Show Digital Frame & Printer

Epson PictureMate Show Digital Frame & Printer (Image courtesy Epson)
By Andrew Liszewski

Digital photo frames have never been at the top of my gift recommendation list. Too much of a unitasker for my liking. But you slap a printer on there like Epson has done with their PictureMate Show, and you’ve got yourself a decent gift idea for those who like to share their memories. As digital photo frames go it does gobble up a bit more desk/fireplace mantle/dresser space, but sending a copy of a photo home with a loved one is as easy as them hitting the print button.

You are limited to 4×6 prints though which take about 37 seconds to spit out, but if there’s a specific part of a photo you want to concentrate on you do have the ability to maximize those 24 square inches thanks to cropping functions accessible via the included wireless remote. Yes, a touchscreen interface on the 7-inch LCD would have probably been far more intuitive, but at least you don’t have to worry about constantly buffing out fingerprints.

Photos can be loaded onto the PictureMate Show using its built-in SD card slot, or you can attach a flash drive or digital camera directly to its USB port. And an optional Bluetooth adapter presumably lets you send them straight from a camera-equipped phone. At $299.99 it’s more expensive than buying a printer and digital photo frame separately and then taping them together, so I guess you’re paying a premium for a slightly sleeker form factor.

[ Epson PictureMate Show Digital Frame & Printer ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]