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HP Releases JetDirect Consumer Print Servers

JetDirect print server line into the consumer market last week, with the launch of the 70X Home Print Server.

The 70X is designed to be a simple way to allow network printer sharing and is targeted to homes and small businesses sporting basic computer networks, said Cathy Mattson, JetDirect product marketing manager.

The primary benefit of the 70X, she said, is it eliminates the need for the network’s host PC to be powered up for the printer to operate. It also allows the printer to be located any place in the house where a phone line jack exists, so it doesn’t need to be slaved to a PC.

The 70X enables multifunction devices to fully operate in a network environment, Mattson said. “When an MFP is used without a server, only the print function can be accessed by the networked PCs, but the server allows the non-host computers to share all the features.”

The 70X can only be used in a Windows environment. It works with the Home PNA networking standard, but Mattson said HP is considering other networking formats such as wireless and USB.

The JetDirect 70X is available with an estimated street price of $99.

HP has sold the JetDirect line for several years into the reseller channel, but this week’s launch represents the first time such a business product has been extended into retail.