The choice of what printer to buy just got a lot harder, or easier, whichever way you look at it.
Printer choice over the last decade or two has been pretty simple: inkjet or laser. Initially Inkjet offered colour while laser offered speed and latterly inkjet provides photo quality and laser has economy in its favour also. Now a new product, MemJet, looks to combine all the best features of all current printer technologies, creating the fastest, best quality and most cost effective prints.
The secret behind the technology is the new print head. It uses similar inkjet technology to a traditional inkjet, thus providing great colour quality, but instead of having a small head that moves left to right, it uses one static head that spans the width of the paper and contains over 70,000 jets. The result is that paper can continuously roll underneath the jet at a rate of 60 pages per minute (ppm), or one sheet a second.
The technology is currently only available in a prototype printer but the company is licensing it out to other inkjet manufacturers with a mind to having a whole host of products available in the near future.
The demos we saw while out at CES were only done on plain paper and were presentations, rather than photographs, so we can't vouch for whether this tech yet rivals the best inkjet photo printers (or die-sublimation printers for that matter) but for most casual snaps it's probably going to more than suffice.
With no products yet finalised for sale, we don't have any word on pricing yet but don't be surprised if it's a while yet before you can pick up a printer using this technology for £50.