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HP Handhelds Portables Printer

HP Shows Off Android 'Printer' Tablet 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-not-sure-the-market-was-crying-out-for-this dept.
angry tapir writes "Hewlett-Packard showed off a tablet computer that serves as a control panel for its new printer. The tablet browses the Web and can be used as an e-reader. It has a 7-inch screen and can be easily connected to HP's PhotoSmart eStation all-in-one printer. The tablet can be used to move and print documents and images from multiple media devices and can also be used to exchange content between the devices. The display is a larger version of the 3.5-inch control panel screens on HP's earlier Web-connected printers. The device is focused on providing access to content that can be printed, such as photos, articles, e-mail, recipes or e-books."
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HP Shows Off Android 'Printer' Tablet

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    From TFA:

    "The company did not specify the operating system used on the tablet."

    Where did the editor take that it runs Android? I got shocked when i read that, since HP bought Palm to use WebOS on pretty much these kind of devices.

    • by symbolset (646467) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:20PM (#33645526) Journal
      It's reported elsewhere. [pcworld.com] HP is a big company. They don't need everything to run the same OS.
      • HP is a big company. They don't need everything to run the same OS.

        What's really interesting about your link is the title of the article: HP's New Printer Tablet Stays Away From Android Market [pcworld.com] Why has Google still not taken on the iPad directly, given the iPad's huge success for Apple? HP is a huge presence, they could market the Android-based tablet + printer without the need for the carriers, but they're still denied the goodness of the Android Market... why?

        • by symbolset (646467)

          I suspect this is over concerns about liability and tech support rather than strategic issues like preferring Chrome OS. There's also some overblown concern about the apps scaling well on a larger display.

        • No 3G (Score:4, Informative)

          by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @12:34AM (#33645856)

          but they're still denied the goodness of the Android Market... why?

          Speculation has it that an Android device must have cell network connectivity in order to be approved to use the Android Market.

          Also Google has said they are worried some of the 80k apps on the Android Market will not run properly on a tablet, but that doesn't explain how the Samsung tablet gets Market...

          I agree it doesn't make any sense. But never mind the iPad, there's also nothing really like the Touch!

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by worx101 (1799560)
          Because, believe it or not, Google and Apple are "close" to one another. As close as two companies can be while still sorta competing. The two companies share alot of the same board members to my understanding. And Brin, Page, and Jobs are not enemies.
          • Because, believe it or not, Google and Apple are "close" to one another. As close as two companies can be while still sorta competing. The two companies share alot of the same board members to my understanding. And Brin, Page, and Jobs are not enemies.

            Have you lived in a cave for the past year?

            There were two shared directors as of May 2009 when the DOJ mentioned [dmwmedia.com] they would investigate. Then Eric Schmidt quit Apple's board [apple.com] and Arthur Levinson quit [blorge.com] Google's board...

            Then Jobs proclaimed that Google was trying [wired.com]

            • by worx101 (1799560)
              Oh they compete technically, but its far from cut throat, and the markets each one appeals to is different. Alot of what you are talking about is formality to keep lawsuits from other not so friendly competitors down.
      • according to your source, HP has other tablets in the pipeline. Including webOs based and Window 7-based for the business world (well, obviously). No comments about the webos tablet, but the current android tablet is really only a printer companion. So that is also probably why it is not on the android market : it's not targeted as a multipurpose tablet, and only gets a few yaho apps. It less like the ipad and is more to printer what the logitech tablets are to media players (= remote controllers on steroid

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's reported elsewhere. [pcworld.com] HP is a big company. They don't need everything to run the same OS.

        That would be fine (it being reported elsewhere), if the /. posting was about that article. However, the article quoted doesn't say it's android. The title should reflect what the article is about not what may be available information from some other source (unless that source is included in the posting).

      • As long as slashdot is now including information from sources outside the posted article to determine the title, maybe the title should be changed to "HP adds defunct tablet line to new printer." Because, according to this quote from CNN http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/09/20/hps-first-and-last-android-tablet-printer-does-apples-airprint [cnn.com]: "Focusing on the tablet aspect, the device will likely be one of HP's last that runs Google's (GOOG) Android. " This is HP's last android table and later in the article

  • Title says it all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:17PM (#33645518)

    This reminds me of those atrocious oscilloscopes that run Windows [windowsfordevices.com].

    Or one of the many software projects that have inexplicable dependencies or balloon way past their original purpose. (Emacs, I'm looking at you!)

    Keep it simple. Or as Einstein more precisely put it, as simple as possible but no simpler.

    • by scdeimos (632778)
      Or a Futaba 14-channel transmitter for Radio Control aircraft. [14mz.com] What's the point of putting Windows on that again?
      • by gad_zuki! (70830)

        Well, that's WindowsCE not the full blown desktop OS. Its perfectly appropriate for a device like that. Its a RTOS with a small footprint that can drive touchscreen GUI apps. If you're already familiar with Visual Studio its easy to develop for.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      WindowsCE isn't desktop Windows. Its a small RTOS that can handle touchscreens and GUI apps. While I'm not a big fan, I don't see why it can't be used on devices like these. You're going to have to run some kind of embedded OS on there if you want an advanced featureset (tcpip support, local storage, config menus, etc).

    • Don't knock Emacs! It's a great operating system – it just lacks a good editor.
  • what a surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alizard (107678) <alizard&ecis,com> on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:21PM (#33645534) Homepage
    I think it's fairly obvious that one of the places where a tablet can shine is specifically for device controller UI applications. It's compact and all one has to do to make it control a device is to stick a mini-webserver on it, after which your UI can be simple static webpages plus hardware control/monitor scripts. That's why I bought one (MID-006) directly from China a couple of months ago, to enable me to experiment in this area. Other places where it makes sense is as an e-reader and casual websurfing.

    That said, I prefer a netbook for multimedia on the basis that one doesn't have to hold it to view it in place to view it and it has a lot more CPU and GPU horsepower than one can stuff into a tablet with acceptable battery life and size.

    People and companies are still trying to figure out where tablets make the most sense, the idea that it will magically replace every other form of computer in the next few years is a non-starter no matter how many IT pundits tell us that It Must Happen.
    • Re:what a surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pspahn (1175617) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:55PM (#33645678)

      I think it's fairly obvious that one of the places where a tablet can shine is specifically for device controller UI applications. It's compact and all one has to do to make it control a device is to stick a mini-webserver on it, after which your UI can be simple static webpages plus hardware control/monitor scripts. That's why I bought one (MID-006) directly from China a couple of months ago, to enable me to experiment in this area. Other places where it makes sense is as an e-reader and casual websurfing.

      The first thing I thought was the fact that it brings a simple UI to printers with web access and all that jazz. Maybe this means in a few years I won't have to listen to people complain about not being able to print something. The way we print stuff is still pretty archaic, well, in the sense that it often requires further reading to do it right.

      • Re:what a surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

        by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @12:41AM (#33645880) Journal

        The way we print stuff is still pretty archaic, well, in the sense that it often requires further reading to do it right.

        The way we do almost everything is still is still pretty archaic, well, in the sense that they often require further reading for us to do them right.

      • HP web printing is an awful kludge. HP have to do something quick before Google Print makes printing vendor-agnostic.
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Actually, the answer is to do things in an even more archaic manner and let us fend for ourselves.

        Just document the damn printers and let anyone who's interested write a "driver" for them.

        Although if you can't print something then you're probably one of those people that can't use a
        computer at all without constant hand holding from someone with the slightest bit of persistence.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Actually, the answer is to do things in an even more archaic manner and let us fend for ourselves.

          Just document the damn printers and let anyone who's interested write a "driver" for them.

          Although if you can't print something then you're probably one of those people that can't use a
          computer at all without constant hand holding from someone with the slightest bit of persistence.

          Buy better printers. Get one that supports PostScript (or an unlicensed compatible version - Brother calls it BrotherScript), or one

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think it's fairly obvious that one of the places where a tablet can shine is specifically for device controller UI applications. It's compact and all one has to do to make it control a device is to stick a mini-webserver on it, after which your UI can be simple static webpages plus hardware control/monitor scripts. That's why I bought one (MID-006) directly from China a couple of months ago, to enable me to experiment in this area. Other places where it makes sense is as an e-reader and casual websurfing. .

      For a table to work as a device controller, it needs to be able to do so without adding significantly to the cost. Adding $300 to the price of a standard multifunction inject printer doesn't sound like a good deal, unless you don't have a computer in the house. A more useful gadget would have been a printer that lets me print from my smart phone (iphone, evo, pre, etc) wirelessly and effortlessly.

      • by alizard (107678)
        I paid $105 plus shipping for my own generic tablet... which is underpowered. I think a $150 generic tablet would be about right.
    • by c++0xFF (1758032)

      This makes me think of LabVIEW, and it would be perfect for a tablet. For those that don't know, it's essentially a block-diagram programming language (you connect wires on the screen instead of typing code) that lets you create a UI to control physical devices. Putting that GUI on a tablet would be the next logical step.

      Up until recently, there would be no chance of this being approved by Apple (it boils down to a code interpreter) and probably needs to work as a USB host. Looking around, it seems that

    • Oh goody. ANOTHER (*$&)#*&(&*(&* remote control to lose!

      Right now I have an iPod and a cheapy cell phone. That's bad enough. ONE device. I'm giving serious thought to upgrading to an iPhone JUST to decrease my gadget count.

      I don't want a device to control my HP printer. I want to be able to download an app for ANY smart device to control my printer. E.g. I want any wifi device in my house to control my printer (subject to usual network security.)

      So my iPod, my wife's iPhone, an android

      • an Android tablet with IR support and a "learning remote" app and you can toss your individual remotes as quickly as you can load the commands from each into the remote.
  • by tooyoung (853621) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:30PM (#33645572)
    ...I should buy an HP tablet so that I can use a printer?
    • by davester666 (731373) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:55PM (#33645682) Journal

      No, you need to buy the HP printer so you can use the tablet. Obviously, to reduce costs and to help sell consumables, HP doesn't include a screen on the tablet, it just prints out a page with the new contents of the screen whenever the display buffer changes.

      And yes, they acknowledge that it is difficult to play games or watch video on the tablet, as the printer may not be able to keep up the frame rate necessary for smooth playback. And the printer also prints image side down.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by gmhowell (26755)

        And the printer also prints image side down.

        You're holding it wrong.

      • The tablet is for printing web pages. You navigate to the web page, then put the tablet face down on the scanner.
  • by dmomo (256005) on Monday September 20, 2010 @11:32PM (#33645584) Homepage

    But, I do see it driving the direction of general tablet development. Instead of having to buy a specialized tablet for "printing stuff" others will simply have to "do that too". What is special about this tablet that cannot simply exist on others with software? Couldn't the iPad do this with an APP? Why would one need the HP tablet to obtain the functionality?

    I suppose that HP is still largely a printer company. Even though people are printing less as the days go by, it's good to see them pushing forward.

  • It's a tablet that wants me to print out things that I would have bought the tablet for to read them on?

    Really, what's with HP and it's need to push printers in directions no one wants or sees a need for? Why not make a palm phone that is nothing more then a printer remote? That seems equally useless.
    • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @04:06AM (#33646654)
      HP makes money out of ink. That's basically it. So giving you an almost-free tablet that integrates seamlessly with an HP printer encourages you to print stuff when before you would have just made a note, or read it on-screen. A lot of home printing is done by (mostly) women printing out recipes, knitting patterns, things like that (I'm not being sexist, this is the result of a pop survey of my own). Getting them to print them out without thinking on a color printer = $$$.

      Canon have a different approach to the same end - they have a print driver for Android that prints photos to their pixma printers. Another way to encourage ink usage.

      • A lot of home printing is done by (mostly) women printing out recipes, knitting patterns, things like that (I'm not being sexist, this is the result of a pop survey of my own).

        Ah, thank goodness you provided the citation for your 'proof'. You must be a real hit with the ladies.

        HP makes money out of ink. That's basically it.

        Not even close. As you can see in this article [boston.com], imaging/printing/ink is less than 25% of their revenue. I'm not saying they're a great company, but the idea that they're making the lion's share of their money from ink is incorrect.

        • by spxero (782496)
          Using the article you cited, I have highlighted the relevant items:
          -- Personal systems (personal computers): $35.3 billion (31 percent of total revenue)
          -- Services: $34.7 billion (30 percent)
          -- Imaging and printing: $24 billion (21 percent)
          -- Storage and servers: $15.4 billion (13 percent)
          -- Software: $3.6 billion (3 percent)
          -- Financial services: $2.7 billion (2 percent)
          -- Total: $116 billion

          By selling the tablet, we include the Personal sytems stats in addition to the Imaging and printing. Those
          • So you're accounting for the tablet in 2 different categories of the earnings? You definitely need to be in finance. ;-)

            The OP's point was that he felt that the point of the tablet was to increase Ink sales, and he was erroneously stating that the Ink sales were the only profitable section of HP's revenue stream. I was correcting him.

            I can appreciate that you and your family fit into the stereotype that he was referring to regarding "home" printing. I was simply pointing out that it was indeed a stere
            • by spxero (782496)

              I'm accounting the tablet in the personal computers and the stuff it prints off in the imaging and printing. I think it's fair to say those items fit into the respective categories.

              HP isn't trying to influence business printing, regardless of it being at the office or home office. Businesses are going to print stuff. Just because the printing happens from your home doesn't mean it's "home" printing.

              They're trying to get Mom to print off her recipe rather than writing it down on a piece of paper. Or get her

        • When I wrote "HP makes money out of ink. That's basically it." I meant that selling ink is the main profitability engine of the printer division. I did not mean "it is the only way HP make money". I meant "because HP makes money on ink sales rather than making it up front with printer sales, they need to turn printer sales into volume ink sales to make a profit". I didn't spell it out but, you know, most Slashdot readers are quite intelligent and they don't need things spelt out to them.

          As for your other co

          • Oh goodness, someone needs a nap, or maybe come cocoa and a blankie.

            Sorry if I'm not intelligent enough to have finessed your true meaning out of your statement. I'm also sorry if my nick bothers you in some fashion. Since you seem pretty keen on tutoring others on the ins and outs of Slashdot, you might want to keep in mind that a lot of people here have senses of humor, and can take a little playful ribbing.

            You might also keep in mind that a lot of people here prefer citation of facts when makin
  • by thynk (653762)

    So, it's a tablet with printer drivers and some of HPs bloatware installed on it? Like, the same thing I could do with say, a laptop, or a desktop?

    • by tehcyder (746570)
      But with a desktop you can't paint it a shiny colour and put a home made i-Pad sticker on it and take it down the coffee shop and fool your friends that you are hip and cool and technology-forward.
    • by mounthood (993037)

      So, it's a tablet with printer drivers and some of HPs bloatware installed on it? Like, the same thing I could do with say, a laptop, or a desktop?

      No, no. The bloated drivers weren't enough so they added hardware. Now when you buy a printer it comes with a tablet instead of that little LCD. Rumor is, the next generation of HP printers will require you to change your DNS and DHCP servers to an HP OS.

  • by Zouden (232738) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @01:37AM (#33646108)

    This just shows how enormously profitable printing is (for ink makers). HP is giving away a tablet with their printer to make it easier to customers to find things to print. Nevermind the fact that for everyone else, tablets and e-readers are seen as an alternative to printed material. If there's even a chance that this increases the amount of printing that people do, HP will come out ahead.

  • by hex0D (1890162)
    Gin Rummy(voiced by Samuel L Jackson): Basically, nigga technology is asomething that doesn't plug into a printer. Does that plug into a printer?

    Ed Wuncler(voiced by Charlie Murphy): No

    Gin Rummy: Wanna know why?

    Ed Wuncler: Why?

    Gin Rummy: 'Cause niggas never have nothin' to print.

    - The Boondocks

    and before you call me racist, an earlier quote from the same exchange "...and dont start trippin callin me a racist and shit because I mean nigga as a general term for ignorant mothafuckas."

  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vegiVamp (518171) on Tuesday September 21, 2010 @02:43AM (#33646404) Homepage
    Basically, this is a tablet that has a printer queue running ? Impressive. *cough*
  • Multifunction office printers/fax machines/scanners have horrible, horrible UIs with lots and lots of buttons. And they must - because they are multifunction, and the buttons are function-specific. Hopefully, we'll start to see such machines that can be used be mere mortals and not specially trained secretaries.

    Come to think of it - WHAT A HORRIBLE IDEA!

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Any remotely interesting scanner is going to have more than just a braindead UI on it.

      It will demand that the user actually know what's being talked about (like collating).

      If you are going to give it anything but a very basic "copy" button, ANY interface you
      give it is going to quickly increase in complexity. Throwing a touchscreen at the problem
      isn't going to help.

      • by OG (15008)
        That's not exactly true. While modern printer touchpads have helped out with the situation, push-button systems, generally speaking, aren't as efficient for creating a UI control systems for complex machines. Every time I use one it feels like a kludge, overextending the button interface. On the other hand, a rich widget toolkit (if you have a good UI designer) really can make the overall experience quicker and easier. Not to mention the fact that it would be fairly trivial to set up multiple levels of
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tehcyder (746570)
      If you think you need special training to operate a Multifunction office printers/fax machines/scanner I'm not sure you're on the right website.
  • Yes, yes--that's what I need! A tablet computer so that I can walk over to my printer and print something I'm already holding in my hands.
  • Why would you want to print an ebook? Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
  • If HP allows people to print e-books on REGULAR PAPER, how will they control who gets to read them, and make them expire and self-destruct after some incredibly short amount of time?

    Think of the publishers!

  • No thanks. If I need to print something, what's wrong with hitting the "print" control within any application? HP's misguided belied that users want to enter some long-term love affair with their utilities is as misguided as Adobe's....do your job (print, show document, etc) and then get the f**k off the device's limited resources....

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