Scanners are a bit of a running joke around the Giz office. "If you post a scanner, you're probably fired," our editors demi-joke. So it's sorta distressing news that HP's got a cheap 3D scanner that's actually kind of awesome.

HP's TopShot Laserjet Pro M275 works by taking six images of an object and compiling them into one 3D image. It also connects to wireless networks, so it can send the image wherever as soon as it's scanned, and it's got AirPrint, which lets you print directly from an iPad, Pod, or Phone.


But the price is the oh-hey-waitaminute bit: $400 is sort of nuts for a 3D scanner. The TopShot certainly won't have the same granular image quality as the models that go for tens of thousands of dollars, but an easy and affordable approximation means you can 3D-scan everything in your apartment or all the cats on the block or whatever the heck else on a whim. [HP]

Update: The wording "3D scanner" here may have been confusing; the TopShot works in three dimensions, but the images it creates are decidedly 2D.