Epson launches colouring book printers

Beam your snaps to the Epson Artisan 800
Beam your snaps to the Epson Artisan 800

Epson has launched a pair of new high-end inkjet printers to appeal to stressed-out parents. The Artisan 800 is a six-ink all-in-one with 4800dpi scanning and fax and a generous 3.5-inch LCD.

More interesting, though, are Epson's built-in image editing functions, controlled by a Star Trek-esque 7.5-inch illuminated touch panel.

Zoom, rotate and crop options are pretty standard but how often have you seen (or would you ever want) the ability to print your own lined and graph paper, add background images to make personalised notepaper, and even turn photos or drawings into colouring book pages?

Basically, this finds the edges of objects in pictures, stripping out texture and colour - and seems to work well enough, if you really can't find your little angels a knife or some matches to play with.

Photoshop killer?

More traditional photo editing features include face detection to improve exposure of portraits, red-eye elimination and an 'old photo' mode that restores faded snaps to their full Technicolor glory.

The ever-so-connected Artisan 800 multifunctional also boasts memory card readers, Bluetooth printing (dongle required), Wi-Fi and an Ethernet port. It's on sale in September, in the US to start with, at $300.

There's also the Artisan 700 for a hundred bucks less, with a smaller (2.5-inch) LCD, lower resolution (2400dpi) scanning and lacking the wackier 'creative' colouring book features.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.