Comdex Fall: Canon reveals future bubblejet

Karen Packham is editor-in-chief of PC Direct

Canon Computer Systems has unveiled its next generation high-end bubblejet printer, code-named Aspen.

Offering the highest resolutions yet seen within this sector - 1,200 x 1,200-dpi - the Aspen incorporates Canon's new MicroFine Droplet Technology, having a new printhead design which creates an 8 picolitre drop, the smallest in the world according to the company. It also features Canon's Plain Paper Optimised Printing (P-POP) technology and an improved inking system, resulting in very high quality colour output.

Still at the development stage, the printer can handle paper up to 13 x 19-in, with edge-to-edge printing possible up to 11 x 17-in. It can print on a wide variety of media including high-gloss photo film, fabric sheets and cards as well as standard paper, envelopes and transparencies. The Aspen's three printhead cartridges include light cyan and light magenta which help improve the quality of photographic images. Print speeds are up to 6ppm for black-only output or up to 4ppm in colour.

Canon's P-POP uses a clear liquid solvent, Ink Optimiser, to eliminate feathering and bleeding, and to improve optical density, said the firm. It also creates a water-resistant surface. Meanwhile the Dual Density Ink System uses 1/5th of the density of regular colour to provide 17 levels of gradation. The company estimates the cost per page as three to four cents for black or eight cents for colour.

The Aspen measures 24 x 14 x 23-in and weighs 38.6lb. It should be available in the first half of next year, with an estimated street price in the US of $1,500.

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