HP Officejet Pro X: The serious inkjet for business

OfficjetProX

Inkjet printers are the predominant type of printers used in homes because of their low price, the low price of their ink and the versatility – handling color print jobs, photos and business prints with ease.  And while inkjet became king of the home, laser printers became king of the enterprise.  In the office, laser became the ideal choice because it offered better durability, color quality, speed and they could handle the larger workloads that the enterprise demand.

HP is attempting to break that stigma against inkjet in the office with the Officejet Pro X, a new business class inkjet printer that can print up to 70 pages per minute with a cost of about 1.3 cents per page.  The Officejet Pro X features several differences that set it apart from traditional inkjet printers and make it better suited for an office environment.

OfficejetProX_Printhead

Page-wide printhead

The first difference is a new innovation from HP.  It is known as PageWide technology and it involves a new printhead that is the same width as the paper featuring jets all the way across, which help the new line of printer achieve its up to 70 pages per minute in general office mode and up to 42 pages per minute in professional mode, which is higher quality.  And keep in mind, these are page per minute counts in full color – beating out many laser printers in terms of pages per minute.   The page-wide printhead features 42,240 nozzles each dropping ink on a precise section of the page.  The array provides a 1,200 nozzles-per-inch native resolution.

I can’t call the second point an innovation, the second thing that also sets Officejet Pro X apart from other ink printers is pigmented ink.  Traditional inkjet inks use dyes for colorant, where Laserjet toner uses pigment for coloring.  The pigment allows for richer color and better durability. Pigment inks from the Officejet Pro X offer the same benefits.  The final prints for these printers offer smear resistant prints whose ink doesn’t smear under a highlighter or run if water is spilled onto the page.

OfficejetProX_Cartridges

Larger ink cartridges


The third change is much larger ink wells, which are better suited for the volume of an office.  Each set of XL color ink cartridge is rated for approximately 6,600 pages of life and the XL black cartridge is rated for 9,200 pages.  Clearly, these aren’t the print wells you’ve seen before.  They are massively larger and retailing for around $150 each.

The last major difference is the thermal system found in the Officejet Pro X – a feature usually reserved for laser printers.  This compared with the pigmented ink allow for crisp and dry prints the instant that they emerge from the printer.  Inkjets typically pause between pages of heavy color to allow drying time, but this is not necessary with the Officejet Pro X.  It cuts through printing quickly and efficiently.  

But you don’t just have to take my word for it.  When I attended HP Discover in June, I was able to get a demo of the Officejet Pro X from Jamie Houser, HP Future Product Manager and Managed Solutions within HP’s Printers and Personal Systems group.   I took a video of the demonstration:

Houser says the printer is targeted to business workgroups.  So how does it compare to the Laserjet Pro 400 – a comparably priced laser printer for workgroups?  The Officejet Pro X bests the Laserjet in terms of pages per minute, doubling the Laserjet Pro 400’s 21 ppm in professional mode.  In general mode, it more than triples the pages per minute.  In terms of print quality, these two were side by side on the HP show floor and the prints were identical.  I could not discern which print came from which.  In terms of monthly print volume, the Laserjet Pro 400 is rated for up to 40,000 pages per month versus Officejet Pro X’s 50,000 pages per month.  In terms of consumables, the ink prices are slightly higher for the Officejet Pro X, but each XL cartridge is rated for 50% more pages than the Laserjet Pro 400’s toner cartridge.

For more information, visit www.hp.com/go/officejetprox.

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Philip is a IT solutions engineer working for AmWINS Group, Inc., an insurance brokerage firm in Charlotte, NC. With a focus on data center technologies, he has built a career helping his customers and his employers deploy better IT solutions to solve their problems. Philip holds certifications in VMware and Microsoft technologies and he is a technical jack of all trades that is passionate about IT infrastructure and all things Apple. He's a part-time blogger and author here at Techazine.com.

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