HP announces printer with detachable tablet PC

HP has announced an electronic printer with a detachable 7-inch tablet that allows remote control of users’ net-based printing.

The all-in-one printer, called the HP Photosmart eStation, contains a detachable touchscreen tablet which allows full access to a variety of printer-based apps, allowing remote printing and management of other essential office tasks.

Users can also access a variety of additional features through the tablet, such as the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, effectively turning the tablet into an eReader, with the potential to then send an ebook to the printer if a hard copy is required.

Yahoo provides a number of additional applications for the tablet, such as Yahoo Mail, Messenger, Search, and Weather, making it more than just a remote control for printing. It will probably need a lot more in the way of apps if this tablet is to become anything more than an office tool, however.

It comes with HP’s ePrint facility, which allows direct printing from other devices, such as Apple’s iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, providing they are running iOS 4.2. HP may be trying to cut out the middleman, however, by offering its own printer-friendly tablet.

It also has a fax feature which does not require a phone line, but we’re not so sure anyone uses fax anymore.

The printer will launch in the UK on September 28. A UK price has yet to be confirmed, but it will cost $399 in the US, which should work out at around £250.