HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275 review
The last all-in-one printer to try something totally different was the Lexmark Genesis S815, which crammed a 10-megapixel camera into an upright chassis to give instant “scans”. Perhaps taking its cue from that, the HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275 borrows that same idea, but carries it in a totally different direction.
The printer itself looks like any other, but instead of an ADF on top, HP has fitted a flat white scanning tray. Above that extends an 8-megapixel camera arm, with lenses pointing downwards to capture whatever sits on the tray, be it a document or, intriguingly, a 3D object. It does so by snapping six times, with and without flash and at various exposures, then merging those shots into a single composite image.
It’s undeniably fun to play with. We tried a wide range of objects – fruit, mobile phones, body parts, even a mini-PC – and the TopShot did its full object-scanning business in as little as 35 seconds, depending on quality and complexity. You can spit the resulting image straight out onto paper, or use HP’s software to automatically crop it to size and remove the background, which works very well. It can then be saved as a PDF, JPEG or PNG for quick use online.
The results were surprisingly good at first. With small objects, such as an orange or a pocket multi-tool, the TopShot produced what can only be described as a perfectly usable brochure shot. If the product is an odd shape you’ll need to angle it to face the camera, but for an online shop selling small items, it’s a quick and ready replacement for a light tent and a DSLR.
The key phrase there, though, is “small items”, as moving up the size scale sees diminishing quality. The closer to the camera an object gets, the more the TopShot struggles to capture the correct perspective, and we’re not talking particularly big objects here: we tried a Panasonic bridge camera lying on its back (total height 110mm) and the resulting image made the lens look huge. A smartphone in a dock created a mess of an image, and we noticed far more grain and noise with larger objects, particularly those with dark, glossy surfaces.
at last or missed chance
It could be great as a book scanner. But i bet the arm is fixed height.
By davidk1962 on 11 Jan 2012
Early April Fool?
Are you sure this isn't an April Fool press release sent out early by mistake?
By ElectricPics on 11 Jan 2012
... the overhead projector didn't really die, but has been alternatively re-invented.
By JohnGray7581 on 13 Jan 2012
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