In the area of printing, people typically fall into two camps: those that prefer laser and those that prefer inkjet. Personally, I’ve always been a laser person. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that our first personal printer was a laser one. While bulky, the speed and quality of prints was outstanding compared to that of inkjet ones at the time. This was more than 20 years ago. The technology of laser and especially inkjet has significantly improved since then and we continue to see more inkjet technology devices making inroads into businesses.
A couple of years ago HP announced its OfficeJet Pro X and Enterprise X series with PageWide technology and the company’s move into the enterprise space with inkjet printers, claiming that the devices ‘looks and runs like a laser, but costs half as much per page’. People in the industry were wondering how this would affect HP’s laser printer sales. There was also a question around HP’s value proposition for its laser printers should be against a backdrop of less printing, due to mobile working and ‘think before you print’ themes in corporate environments.
I was excited to see HP announce a new series of LaserJet printers last month, built on the new toner formulation – the original HP toner cartridges with JetIntelligence technology. The new HP LaserJet printers, according to HP, use up to 53% less energy, take up to 40% less space and wake up, print and duplex in a fraction of the time.
The main improvements are ColorSphere 3 toner, which soft core melts at a lower temperature, and a new ‘page maximizer’ cartridge design, which is all about higher page yields, smaller and faster printer, and greater energy efficiency. Due to a new anti-fraud technology, the new HP toner cartridges make it more difficult for third-parties to re-manufacture the supplies, which typically take away a large chunk of HP’s supplies revenues. Other improvements include print gauge technology for more certainty when predicting cartridge life and an auto seal removal technology. The new JetIntelligence technology is set to fundamentally re-design HP’s LaserJet printers and future plans are in place to introduce JetIntelligence technology across all of HP’s LaserJet printer line-ups.
In contrast, Epson introduced 18 inkjet printers for the business environment, with its exclusive PrecisionCore printhead technology in March last year, announcing that Inkjets are the future and that any laser printer users would eventually switch to inkjet. On the other hand, HP is determined to keep its leadership position in both laser and inkjet markets and to continue to innovate to stay competitive.