HP Reimagines the Modern Office
With a 30-year history of innovation, HP leads the charge in the print industry and its recent breakthrough announcement continues on that path. A new toner formulation; redesigned cartridge chip technology; smaller, lighter, faster and more energy-efficient printers/MFPs; and the availability of cloud-based private print functionality were key messages of the day.
In front of a small group of press, partners and analysts, Pradeep Jotwani, Senior Vice President, LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions, set the stage for the modern office: mobility, energy efficiency and security. The big news of the day: this announcement represents the biggest re-engineering of HP products since the original LaserJet printer back in 1984!
Faster, Smaller, Leaner LaserJet Printers
Designed for five to fifteen users, the Color LaserJet Enterprise offers rated speeds of 40 ppm in color and black and faster warm-up times than the leading competitor in this class. HP demonstrated how, from sleep, the Color LaserJet Enterprise M553 printed 8 pages before the competitor could print a single page. On the lower end of the scale, the Color LaserJet Pro M252dw printer and sister MFP, the Color LaserJet Pro M277 MFP, are designed for one to five users and offer speeds of 19 ppm in color and black. A key advantage, according to HP, is that all models are the first in class to provide resident direct printing of MS Office documents from USB Flash drives; competitive models support only PDF and image files (such as TIFF and JPG). All the models include standard wireless (WiFi Direct/NFC is also bundled with the M277 and M553), use JetIntelligence supplies and support JetAdvantage Private Print (see below). While the products have been officially announced, HP expects general availability of the products in early April.
Making Toner Smarter: JetIntelligence Technology
With this new generation of products, HP also introduced a reformulated toner. ColorSphere 4 is designed to deliver toner more efficiently than previous generation toner. Why does this matter? In his presentation, HP’s Jotwani highlighted the fact that about 70% of the printing technology in a LaserJet printer resides not in the printer, but in the print cartridge.
Now marketed under the JetIntelligence brand, the new cartridges include a number of quality, security and convenience upgrades versus previous-generation cartridges. Page maximize technology uses sensors within the cartridge to measure usage and detect wear, allowing the cartridge to make adjustments in charges to allow for the most efficient use of toner and best image quality throughout the life of the cartridge. According to HP, a redesigned chip offers better supplies usage tracking and new anti-fraud technology, which notifies users if a counterfeit cartridge has been installed. Anti-theft technology can also be activated to lock down a cartridge, so it can only be used in a specific printer or fleet (this is done when the cartridge is initially installed in the printer via communication between the printer and cartridge; it cannot be locked down prior to installation). As a convenience to users, new cartridges no longer have a pull-tab to remove packing strips; the seal is internal to the cartridge, attached to the stir rod. Upon installation, the cartridge initializes, the rod turns and the seal is automatically broken.
Under the umbrella of security, mobility and paper savings, HP touted JetAdvantage Private Print as a standard “feature” of the new devices. Supported by all HP devices that include a touchscreen interface, users can set up a free account to access a cloud-based secure print service. The advantages are, of course, privacy of documents, since the pages don’t print until users authenticate at the device; paper savings because documents aren’t left sitting in the output tray when users neglect to retrieve them; and mobility because users can print from their desktop, laptop or mobile device and retrieve the job at any compatible printer, regardless of location.
Stay tuned in the coming months for additional BLI coverage and testing of these products.