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 user 2005-08-16 at 8:09:00 am Views: 55
  • #12535

    HP banks on single ink
    Printer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard now wants to use a technology for its
    photo printers that supplies ink to the printheads via a system of tubes. Such
    systems have previously only been used in the manufacturer’s business inkjets.
    In the US, HP has presented a number of printers and multifunctional units with
    this technology. The company announced that the manufacturing process for
    printheads has been improved so that 3900 nozzles can now be used in one
    printhead. Starting on August 15, the new PhotoSmart 8250 is to be available in
    stores in Germany; HP is calling it the “fastest photo printer in the world.” It
    will cost just over 200 euros.

    According to HP, however, the superlative only concerns the standard or draft
    mode; in the highest quality, the PhotoSmart needs 80 seconds for a 10×15 photo.
    This speed is four times faster than previous HP models  but still ten
    seconds slower than Canon printers. In the past few months, HP has been losing
    market shares to this competitor in particular, even losing its market

    Experts believe that HP’s previous strategy of integrating the printheads in
    the ink cartridges, essentially making them disposable products, is one reason
    HP has lost ground. For instance, HP has only been able to put 200 print nozzles
    per color in one such printhead, while Canon has up to 765 nozzles per
    printhead. With this new technology, HP wants to have up to 650 nozzles per ink
    color in one printhead. A new test of A3 photo printers in c’t 16/05 (at stands
    on July 25th) shows how much slower HP’s old combined printheads are in high-end

    However, HP models with combined tanks as well as the high-end photo printer
    segments of competitors Epson and Canon print with up to eight inks for expanded
    colors and additional photo grey and photo black for black-and-white photos. The
    new HP tube systems only have six standard colors for photo prints — a lighter
    photo cyan and photo magenta in addition to the process colors of cyan, magenta,
    yellow, and black. The spectrum of colors is limited here to CMYK, with the
    lighter pastel hues improved with the addition of these “photo colors.” In
    September, two multifunctional devices with this tube technology are to be sold
    in Germany