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Published in TidBITS 89.
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HP Deals & Info

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HP just doesn't give up. The DeskWriter was a pretty cool printer when it first appeared, but HP added AppleTalk support, increased the amount of ink in a cartridge (but made it impossible to refill them in the process) and later came out with the DeskWriter C, dropping the prices all the time. The latest price reduction puts the standard DeskWriter at the same price as Apple's StyleWriter, $599. With the normal discounts that could bring the real-person price of a DeskWriter down into the $325 range or so, an extremely respectable price for an extremely respectable printer. I probably wouldn't buy one even at that price, if only because the DeskWriter C is even more attractive for the occasional times I want to print in color - birthday cards and the like.

HP makes good printers in all parts of the market, though, and it has some deals that go with its PostScript printers (do keep in mind that HP's PostScript cartridge is generally considered to be one of the slowest implementations of Adobe PostScript) and with its PaintWriter series for the Mac. If you buy any PostScript printer from HP, HP will include ATM 2.0 for free, a whopping $7.50 deal! :-) OK, so that's not so impressive given that Apple and Adobe will be distributing ATM for almost-free soon. It's still a nice thought on HP's part. However, while supplies last you can get a free Ronco[tm] Address Program Thingy for a mere $19.95 if you call now (it slices, dices, and tries to print envelopes), or if you prefer, the program that Guy Kawasaki is pushing these days, TouchBASE, for free. Oh, you've got to buy a LaserJet IIP or IIIP PostScript printer, so it's not a great price for TouchBASE either. Not a bad deal though. I'd settle for TouchBASE personally, although I'm currently more fond of the database I was able to set up in ProVUE's excellent Panorama II. I still can't for the life of me figure out how they made it that fast.

For those of you who want brighter color than the DeskWriter C can provide, the HP PaintWriter might be the printer you're looking for. I still like the concept of the DeskWriter C better, especially since it's 300 dpi in comparison to the 180 dpi of the PaintWriters, but HP claims that the PaintWriter is better if all you're doing is printing in color. Whatever. In any case, if you buy a PaintWriter before December 31st (that's the expiration date for the other software deals too), HP will include Freedom Of Press Light (less filling, but still makes you burp) for free. I've heard some criticisms of Freedom Of Press Light, but it will provide a certain level of PostScript compatibility for a non-PostScript printer.

Oh yes, operators are standing by... :-)

HP -- 800/752-0900 ext. 2700

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