Canon expands its PowerShot, IXUS and PIXMA ranges.

Mention the name Canon to many camera aficionados and it will be greeted with an almost god like reverence, for Canon is for many, the first and last word in compact cameras. That said, the printer range is not too shabby either. So Canon fans rejoice, as not content to sit around sitting on its laurels, it has announced enhancements to its already lauded PowerShot, IXUS and Pixma ranges.

 

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The IXUS 1100 HS at just 21.9 mm is billed as the slimmest 12X optical zoom compact in the world, with an impressive 28mm wide angle lens and a 3.2” high colour touch screen. The IXUS 230 HS together with its slim 22.1mm figure gets an increased zoom to 8X, a larger 3” screen and full 1080 HD movie recording capability.

The PowerShot SX150 IS has an improved 14.1 ccd sensor up from the previous model’s 12.1 megapixels and Intelligent IS which chooses the most appropriate settings and stability according to the shot you’re looking for.

The PIXMA range of all in one printers has had a revamp with five new models. The high end wireless PIXMA MG6250 and MG8250 versions are aimed at photographers who want quick professional quality prints with 9600 dpi from the 6 ink engine on a 10x15cm borderless print in 20 seconds, whilst the MG8250 also offers a 35mm film and slide scanner. Both versions use Canon’s Intelligent touch system using a built in 8” TFT colour screen.

The mid range MG5350 is up next, with its 5 ink print engine producing photos and documents at 9600 dpi. It also has a 3” TFT screen and wireless connectivity. All three printers feature a cloud printing link giving you access to print your online pics directly and also through mobile devices with Google cloud print.

 

The budget value PIXMA MG2150 and 3150 printers are suitable for a compact everyday all in one solution, with Canon’s FINE cartridge  outputting at 4,800 dpi resolution.

 

The new PIXMA range is available from £49.99 to £300

 

Samsung ML-1865W review

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Removing the Samsung ML-1865W from its box causes a moment of quiet reflection – remember when wireless laser printers were the size of photocopiers? The 1865 is tiny (341 x 224 x 184mm). We’re talking pretty-much-inkjet size. And it all folds away into a neat little box. AND it looks nice. So what else is good?

The printer’s not just small in size – it’s small on noise. Samsung state that it’s quieter “than the gentle hum of a running refrigerator” while printing – just under 50dBA. We can concur, albeit we didn’t pitch it head-to-head in our kitchen. It’s quiet though, eerily quiet.

The quality, 1200 x 1200, is impressive – as is the print time, a huge 18 pages per minute.  It’s also pretty quick from the off – it takes about nine seconds to start printing from cold. In fact, the 1865 is a bit of a speed demon all-round – it loads from eco-off to print-ready promptly, with the “On” button right on the front of the device.

Here’s a video review from Micro Center

Another useful button is One Touch. One touch of this button lets you print the contents of your screen quickly and easily – even when you’re away from your desk. Hold down the button for two seconds (One Touch and hold?) and the printer will work out your last activated window and print that – be it a website, email, document, picture – anything with a print function. Cool.

Set-up is a breeze – especially if your router supports WPS (Wifi protected set-up). You simply select the WPS option on your router, and then press the WPS button on the printer and you’re done.

If you don’t have WPS, you have to hook it up to your PC with a USB to set the Wi-fi settings. You only have to do this once, but it’s a little annoying. We’d much prefer a complete solution that involved no cables at all – then you could easily lend your printer to less technology practiced relatives. Once WPS gets more widespread we’ll be okay.

If you’re only interested in mono printing, the Samsung ML-1865W is wonderful. It’s small, quick and wireless – so you can tuck it away when not in use. It’s also cheap, too – around £75.

uPrint SE Plus 3D printer unveiled by Stratasys

Just one year ago, Stratasys introduced their first 3D printer, the Dimension uPrint, which became the world’s best selling printer. This year, not content at being the market leaders in 3D printing technology, the company has exceeded their printer product supremacy by producing the uPrint Plus – an enhanced version of the original, with heaps of additional features.

If printers can be attractive, then the uPrint Plus is about as attractive as they come. The printer possesses a neat display panel, which not only shows users at a glance its current status, but also allows for direct user interaction to adjust operations.

These operations are at the height of sophistication and precision in the field of 3D printing. After heating solid threads of modeling and support material into a semi-liquid condition, the extrusion head then makes exceptionally precise movements to deposit the materials onto the modeling base, the platform on which each model is printed. Two material bays sit neatly underneath the printer, ready to collect meticulously produced material.

Check out this intro video:

One of the key improvements of the uPrint Plus is that it can print eight different colours of Stratasys ANSplus material, including black, red, blue, dark grey, olive, ivory, fluorescent yellow and nectarine. This vast assortment of colour enables designers to distinguish individual components and ultimately gives them a greater illustration of their designs.

Stratasys are assertively promoting their latest extension in 3D printing as still being available for under $20,000 (£12, 280 approximately). At this price, it is obvious that this printer is ‘slightly’ exclusive, and is intended to be used by professional designers, engineers and architects. 3D printing is quite ‘magical’ to watch at the best of times. But with its smart and stylish appearance and multitude of new features, those professionals who place a uPrint Plus printer amongst their design tackle, will not only look like they mean business, but will give them greater evaluation of design concepts and extended options for crafting models based on 3D printing technology.

The new uPrint Plus is not available for shipment until March, when it will be available through authorized Stratasys resellers.

Pandigital & Zink launch 6×4 zero-ink photo printer

We’ve had the Polaroid PoGo Mobile Printer with its no-ink technology and tiny print-outs for a while. But now Pandigital has teamed up with Zero Ink company, ZINK Imaging, to offer a world first as part of a range of printing products: a 6×4” portable photo printer; the first device to offer instant prints of anything bigger than the size of your pocket.

ZINK Imagery technology allows you to print in full colour without even thinking about an ink cartridge or ribbons. How does it work, you ask? Well, it requires special paper, special ZINK-patented paper even, which uses a polymer coating and a combination of embedded yellow, magenta and cyan dye crystals that colourise when heated.

With touch-based interface, it promises a LCD screen for previewing and selecting images; plus, you can print without a computer by slotting your camera’s memory card straight into the printer’s memory card slot. It also has a USB port. Producing borderless, full-colour prints of your best snaps, this printer lets you share printed photos in real-time. Pretty impressive, really.

While the technology is clearly very clever, the usefulness of being able to print on-the-spot, on-demand 6×4” prints is yet to be proven. Will the ability to print on-the-go mean lugging around another piece of kit when we could just wait until we get home to print? While frustrations at the limited pocket-size print outs of previous portable devices may dissolve with the ability to print 6×4”, the expensive paper may also be a sticking point. If the printer provides quality prints, that is quite an exciting first regardless of practicalities.

Retailing at $149.99 (£92 approx) and $39.99 (£24 approx) for paper in the US, distribution is planned for the first quarter of this year.