Take a sneak peek at the new HP Deskjet 5550, due to hit the stores any day now. I don’t have a direct link, but you can get all the info by going to the HP Shopping site. Type “5550” into the “Search” box. It’s so new that I can’t find any reviews yet, but it will be getting a blast of publicity in the next few weeks. HP apparently felt driven to blow away Epson and Canon, so they poured money into overhauling their Deskjet line, and this is the first product to hit the shelves. Here’s HP’s press release about the new printers.

The price is $149. And the specs are magnificent. If this is half as good as it looks, we all want one.

It’s fast – 17 black & white pages per minute. (And they claim 12 color pages per minute, but of course that’s just joshing. It will be faster than previous Deskjets, but printing a color photo will still be time-consuming.)

It’s high-quality. They’ve worked out a new ink cartridge that will print in six colors on photo paper and last far longer than previous inks – more resistant to fading. And the print resolution is higher than HP has ever gone before.

It will print 4×6 photos without borders on HP 4×6 photo paper. No general-purpose Deskjet has been able to do that before. I’ve got a printer that prints borderless 4.6 photos, and it’s very cool – it makes the experience with a digital camera feel much more like a conventional camera.

I’m very impressed. Watch for the advertising hype to begin shortly.