HP Discontinues PageWide Office Products
The future of line-head ink for office now resides with Epson
HP has decided to discontinue the sale of its PageWide office products (A3 and A4), which use a wide inkjet array instead of a laser engine. According to the company, this decision was made because HP plans to focus future investments on expanding its LaserJet offerings and on serving the needs of hybrid workplace environments (from SMBs to enterprises). HP will, however, continue investing in its PageWide technology in the large format, commercial, and industrial print areas. HP will also continue to support the installed base of PageWide A3 and A4 devices for a period of five years, including parts and supplies.
In the past, Keypoint Intelligence had been very optimistic about line-head ink technologies for the office space, including HP’s PageWide offerings. The models we tested generally delivered good performances and image quality for a low cost per page compared to competitive laser models. But over the past few years, we have seen a trend of vendors (such as Canon and Brother) no longer promoting or discussing future development of line-head ink products.
According to HP, the difference between office laser and inkjet technologies has been significantly decreasing when it comes to device footprint, acquisition cost, ongoing running costs, and energy consumption. HP’s investment in LaserJet technology innovations over the past decade have driven improvements in these areas. According to the company, these improvements specifically include:
- Up to a 20% reduction in hardware cost, weight, and size
- Nearly a 250% increase in cartridge capacity
- Up to a 30% reduction in service costs
- An 87% reduction in energy consumption
With the gap closing, HP determined it didn’t make sense to continue investing in its PageWide technology for the office. HP PageWide dealers that KPI has spoken with indicated that, while their experience with PageWide devices was positive overall, some customers had issues that may have soured them on the technology. For example, to get the best image quality possible, HP specified that PageWide devices should use a particular grade of paper. Yet, dealers found that some customers were reluctant to do so, leading to dissatisfaction with the devices.
With HP’s decision, Epson will be the only major print manufacturer left promoting office-based line-head inkjet technologies. Keypoint Intelligence is curious to see if Epson follows suit with other vendors, or if the company will continue to invest in this space.