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 user 2005-06-15 at 11:04:00 am Views: 50
  • #11522

    More capable printers now

    It seems that Hewlett-Packard is back on track. As a company that was once
    associated particularly with laser and inkjet printers, the company seems to
    have begun regaining its stature as a technology innovator.

    This does not mean to say that the printers are the bread and butter of its
    business. HP’s services business has also been gaining ground among large
    enterprises as well as small and medium companies. Its computer lines feature

    several great desktop PCs, notebooks and servers.

    About three weeks ago, HP Indonesia invited several IT reporters to their
    office in Jakarta. They wanted to show off nine of their latest imaging and
    printing products targeted to what they call the commercial sector. These
    included color laser printers, photo printers, inkjet printers and one color
    laser printer that can scan and fax, too.

    These printers would allow small and large businesses to produce marketing
    materials in house. The good thing about this approach is that we can print a
    small volume of marketing collaterals such as brochures, product briefs,
    leaflets and catalogs, check their accuracy and then make the necessary
    corrections until we are completely happy with what we have.

    With this in mind, printing cost must be kept to the minimum. HP promises
    that many of these printers have low running costs. However, if you want to
    print your materials in large volumes, I still believe that it will be cheaper
    to send the job to a printing press. These printers, however, will help a lot in
    the development process.

    The Inkjets

    As I knew it, HP had only one name for its inkjet printers, namely,
    “DeskJet”. It turned out that for a couple of years the company has had another
    category of inkjet printers that they call “InkJet”.

    The latter are aimed at the Small Office Home Office, micro businesses and
    the rest of the commercial segment. Chief requirements, as you would have
    guessed, include high reliability — as indicated by the duty cycle, a high and
    consistent printing quality with printing costs that will not send the users
    into bankruptcy.

    At the lowest end there was the HP Business Inkjet 1000 Series. The US$169
    starting price is quite attractive, and HP does not skimp on features. Unlike
    other low-end inkjet printers that usually use only two ink cartridges, this one
    has four color ink cartridges. HP claims that this printer’s cost per page (cpp)
    is 21 percent lower than the cpp of an entry-level monochrome laser printer. If
    this is true, then HP will have debunked the myth that a laser printer has a
    lower cpp than any inkjet printer.

    Besides, there is another benefit to gain from buying a color inkjet printer
    as opposed to a monochrome printer: We can print in color if we need or want to.

    The HP Business Inkjet 1000 can print up to 18 pages per minute (ppm) in
    color and around 23 ppm in black and white. Not bad for a low-end business

    Those who print large posters now can choose HP DeskJet 1280, which can print
    up to the A3+ size. The sign + means that the printer can print all the way to
    the edges of the printing paper.

    If you need a desktop printer with large format capability, there is the HP
    DeskJet 9800. What is interesting about this printer is its flexibility in using
    inks. It comes with standard four color ink cartridges, but if you prefer you
    can make the color print more photo-like by adding two more color ink

    Its more expensive sister, the HP DeskJet 9860, comes standard with all the
    six cartridges. Because of its rich color printing capability, the 9860 can also
    print photos. It makes our posters even more eye-catching than ever. This
    printer uses HP Vivera ink, which is fade-resistant (the colors will not fade
    over time).

    By the way, what about the monochrome laser printers? Well, there are plenty
    of alternatives available on the market today-not only from HP but also from
    Brothers, Canon, Epson as well as the other printer makers.

    The newest from HP are the LaserJet 1020 and 1022. These two printers feature
    instant-on technology, which means that we can switch them on, dump the print
    job from our PC and they will start printing right away. In other words, no
    warming up is necessary. The LaserJet 1022 is a bit faster, it can print up to
    19 ppm. Both of these low-priced laser printers will meet the need of an
    ordinary small home office.

    Normally, office workers do not print non-stop all day long. Therefore, the
    best way to maximize the utilization of the printer asset is to share it among
    the users by attaching it to a network. HP Color LaserJet 2600n has been
    designed with this in mind.

    So, although HP has its proprietary JetDirect network printing interface,
    this model is already network-capable.

    The biggest highlight of the group is perhaps HP Color LaserJet 2800
    All-in-One Series. Three models are available, and they differ only in the
    number of input trays that are standard.

    I have requested an opportunity to test drive this color laser printer, which
    can also scan pages as well as send and receive faxes. In fact, a demo unit is
    already sitting in my living room as I am writing this article. It is still
    inside its huge box, which is still sealed. I have not had the time to really
    try it out yet, so the most that I can tell you now is that the box is about the
    same size as our washing machine.

    Next week, I will let you know what I think of this multifunction color laser
    printer, which is the first from HP. Keep in mind that, while we already have
    several monochrome multifunction laser printers from different vendors on the
    market, the color multifunction laser printers are actually a new breed.

    In fact, there are only two or three other printer makers in the world that
    offer a similar product today.

    One thing is clear. The prices of color laser printers in general have come
    down a lot since the last time we took a look at them. However, for most office
    tasks, the monochrome laser printers cannot be beaten, especially now that you
    can get a decent monochrome laser printer for about $169.