updated 04:10 pm EST, Tue January 15, 2008
HP B8850 photo printer
One of HP's showcases at the Macworld Expo is the Photosmart Pro B8850, what the company describes as a prosumer-level photo printer. The printer is designed to handle a variety of materials as thick as 0.7mm (0.03 inches), including satin, watercolor and matte papers, as well as more conventional options. Depending on the size, some prints may be completed in as little as 90 seconds.
One of the primary features of the printer is said to be "electrostatic drop detection," which is used to keep it operating smoothly. This monitors the printer for building ink, and is used to only clean the nozzles that need attention, thereby avoiding waste.
The 8850 also boasts closed-loop calibration for color consistency, and native support in both Mac OS X Leopard and Photoshop CS3. The latter will automatically sync the printer with an image's particular color gamut, eliminating the need to tweak either software or hardware. The 8850 should ship to North America in April, at a cost of $549; Macs will require Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher, but PC support has not yet been announced.