Whether it likes it or not, the name of HP is still pretty much synonymous with printers. That’s unlikely to change either since the company just released information about some heavily hyped new ink technology.
Aimed at high volume users, this “scaleable printing technology” claims to double print speeds and produce colour pages at a 30 per cent lower cost per page than colour lasers (which will no doubt help sell loads of the firm’s colour lasers…?!).
Anyway, it appears that the part we need to thank for these improvements is the print head (and maybe the R&D team who spent $1.4bn and five years researching it). For now on the head will be manufactured as a single complete unit instead of by stuffing lots of individual bits together (that is the technical term, I believe). The result of this new building process is a more precisely aligned chamber, nozzles and heating element which should benefit ink drop placement. A second bonus is that more nozzles can be fitted onto a single print head, with 3900 the new maximum. More nozzles, more colours, more quality, more speed.
So – to coin a bloody annoying marketing term – “that’s the science”, but what are the consequences? Well, two 4 x 6in mini photo printers that can churn out piccies in under 14 seconds is apparently. The Photosmart 8250 photo printer and Photosmart 3000 All-in-One are their uncatchy names, but we’ll not care about that if the reported costs live up to the 24 cents (roughly 12p) per page that HP is quoting. Expected RRPs will be $299and $399.
On the other side of the scale we’ll see the Officejet Pro K550 (price unknown), a dedicated colour printer, which will churn out text of “laser comparable” quality and water resistant photo prints at twice the speed and half the cost of current models on the market.
The K550 isn’t out until Q4, but we’ll only have to wait until the beginning of next month to see if the Photosmarts deliver on what they promise. I sincerely hope they can.