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HP's Photosmart Pro B9180 professional photo printer. Courtesy of HP, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. HP announces pigment-based pro printer
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, February 26, 2006 - 22:57 EST)

Hewlett-Packard Co. has announced a new printer model based on pigmented inks that the company says has shown fade resistance of more than 200 years in preliminary testing.

The tests, conducted by Wilhelm Imaging Research, suggest that HP's Photosmart Pro B9180 Professional Photo Printer will offer exceptional fade resistance (when using the new eight-color HP Vivera pigment inks and HP Advanced Photo Paper, HP Matte Photo Paper, HP Hahnemühle Smooth Fine Art Paper or HP Hahnemühle Watercolor Paper). The B9180 is also swift, printing a 13" x 19" photo in 90 seconds or a 4" x 6" print in just ten seconds, and can handle a variety of media choices including canvas, watercolor, stiff pre-matte and film up to 1.5mm thick. HP notes that the printer features a closed loop calibration system to "[keep] photo color consistent, print after print", and an electrostatic drop weight detection system that can detect and correct for a clogged nozzle (and alert you to the need for head cleaning or replacement).

The Photosmart Pro B9180 has a resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 dots per inch, supports AdobeRGB and sRGB color spaces, has dimensions of 26.6" x 16.9" x 9.2", and weighs 37.7 pounds. Both USB 2.0 and wired Ethernet connectivity are available, and the printer will go on sale this May / June priced at $699.

HP's Photosmart Pro B9180 professional photo printer. Courtesy of HP, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

HP Unveils Professional Photo Printer Built on Company's Scalable Printing Technology

New exclusively formulated pigment inks offer print longevity of more than 200 years with select papers

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 23, 2006 – HP today announced a new professional photo printer featuring breakthrough print speeds and, for the first time, introduced a new portfolio of exclusively formulated HP Vivera pigment inks and digital fine art media. The new printing solution is the latest system based on HP’s scalable printing technology, announced last summer.

These new solutions round out HP’s growing portfolio of photography products geared toward the $780 million professional and advanced amateur photography market. Designed to offer photographers greater choice and flexibility with their professional printing needs, the HP Photosmart Pro B9180 Professional Photo Printer, together with HP Vivera pigment inks and select HP fine art papers, deliver professional image quality and increased fade resistance for prints that last more than 200 years.(1)

Thanks in part to the use of HP’s scalable printing technology, the HP Photosmart Pro B9180 is capable of producing 13 x 19-inch photos in as fast as 90 seconds.(2) Additionally, this new professional photo printer includes the HP Photosmart Pro Print plug-in for Adobe Photoshop®, which automatically synchronizes Photoshop and the printer driver for a single user interface and color management.

“We are delighted to be working with HP to provide solutions, like the HP Photosmart Pro Print plug-in, that will enhance a photographer’s workflow,” said Deborah Whitman, vice president of product management, Digital Imaging, Adobe. “As the industry-standard in professional digital imaging software, Photoshop has set the bar for high-quality digital imagery and the HP Photosmart Pro Print plug-in streamlines the path to printing those images from Photoshop.”

HP expands Vivera family to include pigment inks
HP expanded its Vivera product portfolio to include pigment inks, offering greater flexibility for printing on a broad array of media. HP Vivera pigment inks provide professional image quality and long-lasting photo permanence, accurate and consistent color reproduction, and smooth transitions and detail. In addition, HP Vivera pigment inks are smudge-, water- and humidity-resistant. The first HP printer to use Vivera pigment inks is the newly introduced HP Photosmart Pro B9180, which features eight efficiently designed Vivera pigment individual ink cartridges, allowing professional photographers to replace only the ink colors used.

New media offers choice for professional photographers
The HP Photosmart Pro B9180 allows photographers to print on an extensive assortment of media including canvas, watercolor, stiff pre-matte and film up to 1.5-mm thick, as well as new HP Advanced Photo Paper. The new paper is thicker and provides customers with lab-quality, vibrant color photo prints that dry instantly and exhibit excellent water resistance. With this new assortment of media, consumers can create prints in varying sizes from 3.5 x 5-inch up to 13 x 19-inch, with or without borders.

HP also introduced four new digital fine art papers to work seamlessly with the HP Photosmart Pro B9180. The HP Hahnemühle Smooth Fine Art Paper, HP Hahnemühle Watercolor Paper, HP Aquarella Art Paper and HP Artist Matte Canvas offer artists and photographers professional color-accurate prints with exceptional image quality and outstanding durability, meaning that prints maintain color integrity and resist fading for generations. (2)

Backed by HP Total Care
HP offers a comprehensive support package for the HP Photosmart Pro B9180 that includes one-year limited hardware warranty backed by HP Customer Care, service and support, including one-year technical phone support.

With HP Total Care, customers have more options for convenient support, including eSupport options such as printer diagnostics and software driver updates, the ability to chat real-time with a support agent, and 24x7 toll-free technical support in both English and Spanish.

HP Total Care strives to deliver quality support with one-hour email response times, increased first-time resolution rates, and reduced customer hold times. For support information visit www.hp.com/support.

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2006, HP revenue totaled $87.9 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.

  1. Fade results based on preliminary display permanence testing under glass by Wilhelm Imaging Research using HP Advanced Photo Paper, HP Matte Photo Paper, HP Hahnemühle Smooth Fine Art Paper and HP Hahnemühle Watercolor Paper; similar display permanence with HP additional HP recommended papers. Preliminary results, to be updated as test progresses—see wilhelm-research.com.
  2. Printing with HP 38 pigment inks. Based on light and thermal fade resistance testing by Wilhelm Imaging Research (Wilhelm-research.com) or HP’s Image Permanence Lab.

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