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Monday, April 02, 2012

HP Uses New Supplies in Refreshed Officejet Inkjets

Hewlett Packard / HP Printer Cartridges Hewlett Packard / HP is releasing four new inkjets aimed at small offices/home offices (SOHO) and small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers. The lineup includes one single-function printer, the Officejet 6100 ePrinter, which replaces the Officejet 6000. The three new multifunction inkjets, the Officejet 4620, Officejet 6600, and Officejet 6700 Premium e-All-in-Ones, replace the Officejet 4500, Officejet 6500A, and Officejet 6500A Plus, respectively. The Officejet 6600 and 6700 are currently shipping worldwide, and the Officejet 4620 and 6100 will be available in April.

Mix of New and Old Consumables
The Officejet 4620 is based on a previously released engine design and consumables, but the Officejet 6100, 6600, and 6700 are based on a new imaging system that uses new ink tanks.

Looking at the most interesting models first, the Officejet 6100, 6600, and 6700 appear to leverage some technology from HP’s recently refreshed Officejet Pro lineup. Specifically, the new four-color pigmented ink set that offers "improved water-, fade-, and highlighter pen resistance" sounds similar to that used in the Officejet Pro models.

The Officejet 6100, 6600, and 6700 use a new thermal print head, but HP was mum on specifications and details. We suspect that the print heads in the new machines are leveraged from the heads deployed in the latest Officejet Pro units released last fall. We cannot confirm this, however, because HP has been uncharacteristically silent about its most recent generation of desktop print heads. Like the heads in the higher-end machines, the print heads for the Officejet 6100, 6600, and 6700 are permanent and designed to last the life of the machines.

HP is introducing a new series of individual ink tanks with the Officejet 6100, 6600, and 6700: the HP 932/932XL black tanks and the HP 933/933XL cyan, magenta, and yellow ink tanks. The three new machines all ship with the standard-yield tanks.

As for the Officejet 4620, this machine uses a permanent print head and the HP 564/564XL individual ink tanks, which HP first began using in 2008. The machine it replaces, the Officejet 4500, did not feature individual tanks and instead employed the HP 901 integrated cartridge series. The four-color print head typically used with the HP 564/564XL tanks has 720 nozzles for black and 672 per color for a total nozzle count of 2,736. (Some models that use the HP 564/564XL tanks also use a photo black tank and have more nozzles.) The heads eject drops as small as 13.8 picoliters for the pigmented black ink and 1.3 picoliters for the dye-based color inks. Unfortunately, HP was unable to confirm that it uses this exact same print-head configuration in the Officejet 4620, but more likely than not the print head is the same one we have seen previously, most recently in the Photosmart 5510 and 6510. In 2010, HP replaced the original HP 564XL black tank, which had a yield of 800 pages and a price of $34.99, with a version that had a lower yield of 550 pages and a lower price tag of $22.99. The Officejet 4620 ships with the standard-yield HP 564 tanks.

Hardware Specs
The Officejet 4620 is a low-priced ($99) four-in-one inkjet with wireless networking and a 2.0-inch monochrome LCD, which are nice features at this price point. Its main improvement over the model it replaces is its faster print speeds. The Officejet 4620 prints black-and-white documents at an ISO-rated speed of 8 ppm and color jobs at 7.5 ppm versus the Officejet 4500’s print speeds of 6 ppm in black and 4 ppm in color. Other enhancements include a faster 240 MHz processor (up from 192 MHz) and a 35-sheet ADF (versus the 20-sheet ADF on the Officejet 4500). The price/performance ratio of the Officejet 4620 is significantly improved over the Officejet 4500 because the machines feature identical price tags.

The Officejet 6100 is a $99 single-function inkjet with USB, Ethernet, and wireless connectivity. The $149 Officejet 6600 and $169 Officejet 6700 Premium are four-function devices that are differentiated by print speed, connectivity, and automatic duplexing. The Officejet 6600 prints at 14 ppm in black and 8 ppm in color based on the ISO standard, while the Officejet 6700 Premium prints at 16 ppm in black and 9 ppm in color. The Officejet 6600 lacks automatic duplexing and has USB and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity. (The Officejet 4620 and Officejet 6100 do not offer support for the latest 802.11n standard.) Meanwhile, the Officejet 6700 Premium includes automatic duplexing and adds a front USB port and Ethernet connectivity.

All four models support HP ePrint and Apple AirPrint.

Competitive CPP
Both the Officejet 4620, which uses old supplies, and the Officejet 6100, 6600, and 6700, which use new supplies, offer cost-per-page (CPP) figures that are fairly competitive for their class.

For example, the HP 564XL tanks result in per-page costs of 4.18 cents in black and 11.38 cents in color. The Officejet 4620 offers the lowest color CPP of all the $99 inkjet all-in-ones we could drum up that were similarly featured. The Officejet 4620’s monochrome CPP is not class-leading but neither is it on the high side for a $99 inkjet all-in-one.

The Officejet 6100, 6600, and 6700’s new HP 932XL and HP 933XL tanks result in per-page costs of 3.20 cents in black and 9.01 cents in color. While these figures may seem high compared with those of some recently introduced business-class inkjets such as HP’s own Officejet Pro line, Brother’s Professional Series all-in-ones, Epson’s WorkForce Pro models, and Lexmark’s OfficeEdge series, the CPP figures of the new HP machines are actually pretty good compared with those of other inkjet devices at similar price points.

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Original post: HP Uses New Supplies in Refreshed Officejet Inkjets

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