HP Ignites Printer Industry with Market-changing Technology
HP today announced a breakthrough ink-based printing platform, the result of a five-year, $1.4 billion strategic investment that the company believes will catapult its leadership in the printer market years ahead of its competitors.
At a press conference here, HP unveiled its first products built on the new scalable printing technology, which is designed specifically to deliver high-performance printing for high-volume users. These include the world's fastest home photo printing devices - 4 x 6-inch photos in as fast as 14 seconds(1) - as well as the world's fastest desktop color business printer, which enables small and medium-size businesses to print up to twice the speed(2) and 30 percent lower cost-per-page than color laser printers.(3)
"Today marks a milestone in HP's 21-year printing history," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "This technology is the next step in our business transformation - the master key that unlocks new market opportunities and further growth in our printer business. Today's announcement will create a new perspective and experience around printing in the home, in the office and for the entire industry needing digital prints."
Bringing new levels of choice to customers while meeting their diverse printing needs and budgets, HP additionally announced a range of digital photography products, including the industry's first compact photo printer capable of printing 5 x 7-inch photos and storing up to a year's worth of photos (more than 1,000 images).(4)
Innovation drives growth
HP's new technology is a breakthrough in the architecture and manufacturing of the inkjet printhead. The sophisticated assembly of the new printhead enables a faster development cycle at an estimated 50 percent lower cost, giving HP an efficiency of scale for its substantial research and development investment.
The printhead components are fabricated as one unit via a photolithographic process, rather than welded together in post-production. This results in the precise alignment of the chamber, nozzles and heating element, which then improves the accuracy of ink drop placement. This unique design also supports an increased density of nozzles, with 3,900 nozzles or more on a single printhead. More nozzles and increased dot placement accuracy translates into faster, high-quality prints. Additionally, the new printing system ensures that users will never run out of ink mid-page - eliminating a source of wasted ink and paper.
Because the new platform is scalable, HP is able to address the diverse needs of the printing market, from high-volume consumer users and small to medium-size businesses all the way up to the commercial market. This is made possible in three technical ways.
First, HP can increase the size of the swath - the area the printhead covers with each pass over a page. With larger swathes, the printhead needs to make fewer passes over a page, thus leading to increased speeds. Second, HP can increase the number of nozzles on the printhead to allow for higher quality, larger prints. And third, HP can increase the number of inks per printhead, providing a richer color gamut.
High-volume printers based on the new platform
- The HP Photosmart 8250 Photo Printer, priced at $199,(5) and HP Photosmart 3000 All-in-One series, priced from $299 to $399:(5) These are designed for consumers who want to quickly print batches of photos, unattended, in the convenience of their homes. These world's fastest photo printers feature six individual HP Vivera ink cartridges and produce beautiful photos and crisp text at blazing speeds - 4 x 6-inch photos in as fast as 14 seconds for as little as 24 cents a print.(6) The HP Photosmart 8250 Photo Printer is available this month via hpshopping.com and major retailers. The HP Photosmart 3000 All-in-One series is expected to be available this fall.
- The HP Officejet Pro K550 Color Printer series: These single-function printers are designed to deliver superior color, laser-like quality text and water-resistant prints(7) - all at up to twice the print speed and half the purchase cost of competitive color lasers printers.(2) Expected to be available in the fall, this printer series will also set new standards in total cost of ownership, with substantially lower cost-per-page than laser printers.(3)
New ink and media supports printing system
HP's new printing technology has been designed to work as a system with new HP Vivera inks and media:
- New ink formulations work with HP Advanced Papers: The ink formulas used with two new porous papers are designed to deliver instantly dry, water-resistant photos for the home and smear-resistant pages for the office using HP's patented color lock technology.
- "Auto Sense" technology provides another way to eliminate wasted ink or paper: Paper sensing via barcode-like technology identifies the size, orientation and type of photo paper for accurate, best-quality prints.(8)
More capture and printing choices for consumers
HP introduced six new portable photo printers - creating the industry's broadest line of portable printers - including two industry first capabilities: The HP Photosmart 475 GoGo Photo Printer, priced at $279,(5) is the first compact photo printer capable of printing 5 x 7-inch photos, in addition to 4 x 6-inch and panorama prints. The HP Photosmart 475 is also the first compact photo printer to have PC-like power with the ability to store a year's worth of photos (more than 1,000 images).(4)
Another highlight is the HP Photosmart 420 series GoGo Photo Studio, which includes a camera and a printer with a dock. This gives consumers a complete portable photo system and the ability to print photos in three steps - snap, dock, print. Pricing begins at $299.(5)
HP has also extended its portfolio of printing systems to offer its most affordable supplies and printer combination ever. Designed for lower usage applications and optimized for ease-of-use and budget-conscious customers, these systems provide a new entry point of $14.99 and $17.99 for HP 21 (black) and 22 (color) cartridges,(9) respectively, matched with printers starting at $49.99.(5)
Adding to its award-winning line of digital cameras, HP introduced the HP Photosmart R818, R817 and M517 digital cameras, which range in price from $149 to $399.(5) The HP Photosmart R818 and R817 digital cameras feature new HP Real Life Technologies so consumers can not only preview panorama photos, but can now stitch them together inside the camera, allowing for easy printing of panorama photos without a computer.
HP also announced an alliance with Walgreens, extending HP's recently acquired Snapfish online photo services into the retail arena. Millions of Walgreens customers can now enjoy Snapfish's easy-to-use tools for online photo ordering, sharing and storage via http://www.walgreens.com/photo.
Walgreens also is rolling out on a market-by-market basis the ability for customers to upload photos to the site and pick up prints at the Walgreens store of their choice in as little as one hour. The service will be available by September in all markets where Walgreens operates. Customers can also opt for mail delivery of prints made from their uploaded photos.
Today's press conference will be webcast live at 10 a.m. EDT at http://www.hp.com/go/bigbang2005. Detailed product, pricing and availability information also will be available at that time in an online press kit at http://www.hp.com/go/bigbang/2005.
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2005, HP revenue totaled $83.3 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.
(1) Speed comparisons in default and fastest modes, when printing from a computer, based upon HP internal testing of comparable consumer photo printing products available as of April 2005.
(2) Compared to color laser printers under $500. Laser-quality speed is an HP measurement method representing the print speed of typical office documents in default mode; compared to published color speeds by laser manufacturers as of May 2005.
(3) Cost per page (cpp) laser supplies comparisons based on published manufacturer specifications of the highest capacity cartridges available for color laser printers under $500 and mono lasers under $250 as reported by Current Analysis, Inc. as of May 2005. Officejet Pro K550 series cpp based on HP 88 Large Ink Cartridges (not included, sold separately) estimated street price and published yield. Results may vary.
(4) Total number depends on many factors including, but not limited to total file size.
(5) Estimated street prices, actual prices may vary.
(6) Special offer with purchase of optional HP Photo Value Pack, Custom 02 Series, 4 x 6-inch, 150 sheets based on estimated street price. Results may vary.
(7) When used in conjunction with HP Advanced Multipurpose Paper.
(8) HP Advanced Photo Paper Auto Sense benefits with Auto Sense enabled HP printers including HP Photosmart 8250 Photo Printer and HP Photosmart 3200, 3300 series All-in-One.
(9) Cartridge selectability numbers vary by region.
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