Hewlett Packard announced a new large format photo printer today; the Photosmart Pro B8850. This new printer can print on paper up to 13 by 19 inches in size glossy paper using a new type of pigment-based ink that HP claims will last up to 200 years.
HP claims that the new HP Vivera pigment inks that the B8850 uses provide fade resistance of up to 200 years, and the B8850 uses eight individual ink cartridges, including a photo black, matte black and a light grey ink that provides more neutral black and white images. The new printer also includes a newly designed self-cleaning system called Electrostatic Drop Detection that, HP claims, will monitor the individual print nozzles for blockages and automatically performing a self cleaning cycle when required. Status lights on the front of the printer show when each cartridge is empty, and they can be swapped out individually.
The B8550 can print on paper up to B size (13 by 19 inches), with a paper thickness of up to 0.7mm, which means it can handle canvas and fiberglass based print media. The built-in paper tray can hold up to 50 sheets of standard paper; other media has to be hand-fed into the printer. HP claims a print speed of up to 90 seconds per page for 13 by 19 inch color images or 10 seconds for 4 by 6 images, but we'll have to wait until we can get our hands on a review unit until we can see if these claims are accurate.
The B8850 connects to a PC or Mac via a USB 2.0 connection; there is no ethernet or wireless connectivity offered. HP inclues software that integrates the printer's color management within the latest version of Adobe Photoshop (CS3); color settings from documents are automatically used on documents printed from within Photoshop, preventing any color settings clashes, and making managing colors in different documents easier.
The B8850 will be available in April for $549.