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HP Expands Retail, Home Print

Las Vegas – HP will seek to drive demand for its print products by linking with a number of entertainment brands to offer photo merchandise that blend an individuals photos with licensed content.

At PMA, the company will announce a content partnership with Dr. Seuss, Marvel Entertainment, the NBA, Nickelodeon, Star Trek, and Normal Rockwell, among others, to offer branded products online and in-store.

HP also introduced four new inkjet printers for home use.

The HP Image Store Web-site will house a portfolio of branded merchandise which consumers can personalize with their own images.

They will be able to create posters, calendars and greeting cards, among other merchandise.

Certain brand owners will also host their own online stores as well to sell merchandise. Those orders, as well as those on HP Image Store will be routed to retail partners provided they have the requisite equipment, said Kalle Marsal, retail publishing solutions marketing director. Some products will also be available in-store, on demand, the company said.

The first retailer to offer in-store fulfillment will be select Meijer stores.

In the spring, HP will introduce – an online “print portal” that will launch with the National Parent Teacher Association. The site allows users to create customized merchandise including calendars, graduation invitations, photo books and fundraising merchandise.

The printing will also be fulfilled by HP partners.

HP’s goal is not to create a “Web presence” per-se but to “have an open platform where we can enable ordering and creation of photo products,” Marsal said.

The company also introduced its Photo Center 4.0 software for its retail printing platform, which includes kiosks, ordering terminals and inkjet minilabs. The software includes new templates and up-selling screens, HP said.

On the home front, the company will introduce four inkjet printers. All of which will include a widget for Windows Vista that will enable drag-and-drop photo printing. They will be housed in 100 percent recycled packaging, the company said.

The $299 HP Premium fax all in one includes a new printing system, introduced last year, that uses five individual ink tanks with a pigment-based ink for black and dye-based inks for color.

The model will be HP’s first DLNA-certified printer, with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet connectivity. It features a built-in duplexer for double sided printing, scanning, copying and faxing, the company said. It is due this month.

The rest of the company’s printers are shipping in April.

The $99 C4600 all-in-one offers a built-in 1.45-inch display with a flush, touch-panel interface. It offers print speeds up to 29 ppm black and up to 23ppm color with photo printing at 4,800 by 1,200 dpi. It can copy at 9 ppm in black and 6.5 in color.

The Deskjet F4400 all in one ($79) has a double-sided print short cut in the driver to save paper.

The printer is composed of 20 percent recycled material and is Energy Star compliant.

For $49, the Deskjet D2600 is a single function unit with an ink level indicator on the front panel and the double-sided print driver. It is composed of 50 percent recycled material and is 30 percent more efficient than the model it replaces, HP said.

The D2600 offers 28 ppm black and up to 21 ppm color print speeds.

Finally, the company will add the number 60 photo value pack to its media line. The pack bundles a color cartridge and 50 sheets of photo paper and will retail for $21. It will be available this month.