HP Debuts Secure NFC Mobile Printing for Android

HP's new LaserJet M680 multifunction printers feature an NFC-based solution for quick, secure printing from Android smartphones and tablets.

Hewlett-Packard has introduced two new printers for enterprises with new near-field communication (NFC) touch-to-authenticate technology that makes its simpler and more secure for workers and contractors to print from Android-based smartphones and tablets.

HP Access Control 14.0 enables a user to tap an Android device to the NFC console at the top of the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise MFP M680, allowing them to print without the need to download a driver or connect to the enterprise's network.

"As mobile device usage in the office continues to grow, many businesses are concerned with security," Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions at HP, said in a March 17 statement. "By simplifying authentication for users, IT managers can better secure printer and MFP fleets without the concern of burdening users with a complicated authentication process."

The multifunction M680 can print at speeds up to 45 pages per minute and offers advanced paper-handling and finishing options, including a three-bin stapling mailbox. It can hold more than 4,000 sheets of paper and is intended to support a workgroup of 10 to 30 people.

Scanning, which customers now do even more than printing, according to HP, is also a major focus. Flow technology enables users to drop a bundle of various documents into the tray and be assured everything gets scanned and ideally. Flow skips blank pages; uses EveryPage (the technology that keeps ATMs from ever giving you an extra $20) to ensure each page is accounted for; auto-corrects color tones; and makes it simple to print the documents, email the files, save them to the cloud or a USB drive, or direct them to appropriate channels (HR, accounts payable, etc.) using the printer's 8-inch color touch screen.

On the display, a user can type an email to forward the documents, add notes, and review and adjust the files. A small document that the scanner put into landscape mode can be adjusted to portrait, for example.

It's easy to imagine any company tasked with handling extensive loan applications, or customer records, benefiting from such technology.

The MFP M680 series will be available worldwide April 1, priced between $3,649 and $5,899.

A single-function M651 will arrive the same day. It features the same NFC-based authentication for Android devices, a 4.3-inch color touch-screen panel and built-in acoustic noise reduction. It can hold more than 3,000 pages and print up to 45 pages per minute. Pricing, based on options, will vary from $1,349 to $2,999.

HP for the Micro Workgroup

Last week, HP debuted the Officejet Pro 8610, 8620 and 8630, printers for very small workgroups that offer cost savings of up to 50 percent per page, compared with Laserjet models.

The new Officejet models feature NFC touch-to-print capabilities, wireless direct printing, HP ePrint, AirPrint and Google Cloud Print technologies.

With them, HP also offers its Instant Ink service, which allows customers to print in black and white or color for as little as $2.99 per month. (There are also $4.99- and $9.99-a-month plans.) Unused pages in the service account roll over to the next month. There's no contract—users stay in the plan because it's convenient and saves them time and money, says HP. Reportedly, once customers sign up, 99 percent of them stay.

Officejet Pro 8610 and 8620 printers will be available April 7 for $199 and $299, respectively. An 8630, arriving May 5, will start at $399.