HP Designs Inkjets and All-In-Ones for SMBs

Whether you need to print a single hard copy to give a rough draft a closer read, collate 50 copies of a client proposal or create full-color marketing materials to pitch your services, the printer is the workhorse you rely on time and time again. And according to the results of our 2007 Small Business Computing Excellence in Technology Awards, HP is the printer company you turn to more than any other.

 The Officejet Pro L7600
The Officejet Pro L7600

The company recently announced its latest round of color inkjet and all-in-one (AIO) printers designed for small businesses. The new product portfolio includes seven models: three higher-end Officejet Pro All-in-One printers, three Officejet Pro single-function printers and one value-priced Officejet All-in-One. HP claims that its Officejet Pro L7000 All-in-One is the world’s fastest multi-function printer.

Having print, scan, copy and fax capability in one compact device makes AIOs very appealing, particularly to small businesses that tend to have both smaller floor plans and budgets than bigger companies. According to Karl Schwenkmeyer, HP’s vice president of inkjet systems marketing, these products were developed with small business issues in mind.

“We’ve added more functionality and higher-end features for small businesses while decreasing the amount of maintenance. And, because every business owner is concerned with controlling costs, we’ve also worked to keep the price of purchase and consumables low.”

 The Officejet J5700
The Officejet J5700

Schwenkmeyer compares the Officejet Pro All-in-Ones color printing quality to that of color laser printing — and says that these printers will cut the cost of color printing and make it affordable for small businesses to produce professional marketing brochures and other collateral in-house.

“We’ve improved the printing system and how it lays color down on the page. In addition, we’ve reduced the total cost-per-page by 25 percent compared to other all-in-one inkjets,” he says.

Customers commonly perceive inkjets as slow, expensive, unreliable, and that they suffer from poor text quality, says Schwenkmeyer. These new printers, he believes, address each of those issues. He cites the following examples:

 The Officejet Pro K5400
The Officejet Pro K5400

Slow — The Officejet Pro L7000 is designed to produce up to 35 pages per minute in black and white and up to 34 ppm in color. When using what HP calls Laser Quality Speed, the printer is designed to produce up to 12 ppm in black and up to 10 ppm in color. HP defines Laser Quality Speed as “a measurement method representing the print speed of typical office documents in default mode, compared to published speeds by laser manufacturers as of July 2006. Test methods may vary.”

• Expensive — Schwenkmeyer says HP developed high-yield ink cartridges that help to bring the total cost per page to 1.5 cents for black and six cents for color.

• Unreliable — The new printers come with higher rated duty cycles and larger paper trays designed to reduce paper jams.

• Poor Text Quality — Improvements in ink chemistry and ColorLok paper (which reduces smearing) result in crisper text, says Schwenkmeyer. (You can learn more about HP Vivera inks here ).

The Series
The HP Officejet Pro L All-in-One series consists of three models that provide color print, copy, scan and fax capabilities: the L7500 base model comes standard with built-in wired networking capability. The L7600 adds direct digital filing, a 2.4-inch color graphics display, a legal-size glass surface and a duplexer for two-sided printing.

Finally, the L7000 comes with all of the aforementioned features plus built-in wireless networking, ReadIris Pro Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software and a 350-sheet paper tray. HP expects the L series to be available March 1. The printers sell for $299, $399 and $499 respectively.

The HP Officejet J5700 All-in-One offers small businesses a lower-cost option for printing, scanning, copying and fax. Designed to produce print and copy speeds up to 30-ppm for black and 24-ppm for color, the J5700 will sell for $149 starting March 17.

The HP Officejet Pro K Color Printer series includes three stand-alone desktop printers: the base model K5400 comes with a 250-sheet paper tray; the K5400tn adds a 350-sheet tray (for 600 sheets total) plus wired networking so you can share the printer with up to five separate PCs. The K5400dtn includes all of the aforementioned features plus duplex printing.

The Pro K series is expected in stores on March 19 and sells for $149, $199 and $249 respectively.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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