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 user 2013-06-23 at 10:22:04 pm Views: 136
  • #2211

    One Of the most interesting products here at the TechXNY show–to me, at least–is almost intentionally unglamorous. Hewlett-Packard's Business Inkjet 1200 series is a line of color inkjet printers designed specifically for color printing at work. That means that they're meant primarily for practical stuff like Microsoft Office documents rather than flashy photos and other fun projects. 

    But the 1200 line, which starts at $200, is meant to address something I hear a lot of folks squawk about: the expense and hassle of using typical inkjet printers. Most models, including other HP ones, put all the ink colors and a printhead inside one cartridge. Which means that you replace the whole shebang the moment one ink color runs dry–simple, but not very efficient. 

    By contrast, the 1200 printers use four separate color ink tanks ($34 apiece) and a standalone printhead. So you use up every usable drop of each ink color before you need to swap in a new tank, and you only replace the printhead when it's really worn out. 

    Each of the ink tanks is unusually large for a desktop printer, too–HP says you'll get around 1750 prints before you need to go through the bother of replaing a tank. That's a lot more than with the itty-bitty cartridges used by typical inkjets. 

    All of this adds up to what HP says is its lowest cost-per-page color printer, at around 8.5 cents a print. I didn't see enough output to judge its print quality; chances are that it doesn't do photos and other elaborate art quite as well as models that use more colors. But I bet there are a lot of folks printing business documents who'd like the idea of a respectable-quality desktop printer that's cheap and simple to run. (Of course, HP has targeted certain inkjets at business users for years without huge success as far as I can tell, but past models have cost a lot more than $200.) 

    One other note: A $349 version of the printer includes built-in Wi-Fi networking.

    * Post was edited: 2004-10-08 16:54:00