Mar 10, 2015
Today, HP announced the global launch of a “re-engineered, sleek” new series of A4 color LaserJet printers intended to make businesses more efficient. The devices—which consist of one MFP and three single function printers—are a significant departure from previous LaserJet products. Comprising new “JetIntelligence” technology, they take up 40% less space; use up to 53% less energy; and wake up, print, and duplex “in a fraction of the time.”
The “enterprise” M552 and M553 single function printers, for instance, offer 100% duplex productivity—meaning that in addition to printing 40 one-sided pages per minute they can achieve 40 images per minute spread across two sides of the page. HP says the announcement represents its most significant laser printing re-engineering since the launch of the first LaserJet in 1984.
Footprint of New HP LaserJet Devices
The devices are built around original HP toner cartridges with JetIntelligence, delivering up to 33% percent more pages compared to previous toner technology. This is achieved through a reduction in toner waste as well as more space available for toner in the cartridge. The cartridges also feature a lower fusing temperature as a result of polymerized toner particles, “innovative” anti-fraud technology to protect against counterfeits, and “print gauge technology” for better predicting cartridge life.
From a mobility standpoint, the products offer a version of Wi-Fi Direct Print that enables access to the Internet and printer at the same time, while the M552 and M553 single function printers also offer Google Cloud Print 2.0 supporting Google’s new local printing standard for Chromebooks and Chrome OS applications. The devices range in price from $299.99 to $1,199.99, which is comparable to predecessor models, while HP says their high-capacity toner cartridges have an 8 to 10% lower cost per page.
When unveiling these products to analysts, HP highlighted several trends driving today’s changing office—including a focus on 1) energy reduction and the environment, 2) collaboration and space design, 3) your office being “where you are”, 4) security, and 5) automation of paper-based processes.
HP LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions Senior Vice President Pradeep Jotwani emphasized that office spaces have become more compact, yet employees still need completely functional devices.
At the same time, they need to be able to work from wherever they are (in office, at home, on the go, etc.)—which includes being able to print “intuitively” from mobile devices. Jotwani also stressed that business process automation has become increasingly important given its benefits around cost, accuracy, productivity, and big data.
It appears that HP has taken several of these trends into account with the introduction of its new LaserJet series.
The new models from HP are impressive; it is clear the company has checked off the box of required features and functionality to stay competitive. While HP is the definite leader in the laser printer market, it is evident the company does not want to take this leadership position for granted and is continuing to refine the technology to fortify its core business. Furthermore, recent quarterly earnings announcements have reinforced the importance of innovating within this segment.
While these models seem to be closing the gap between laser and business inkjet technology in a number of ways (e.g., from a footprint and “green” standpoint), it appears that HP continues to view each technology as excelling in certain areas. For example, in the area of color printing, inkjet technology continues to be positioned for general office settings while LaserJet technology is promoted for more specialized environments.
It will be interesting to see how much success these products are able to achieve in the market, particularly when considering the extent to which traditional copier vendors as well as business inkjet vendors (including HP) have infiltrated the A4 office space. Nevertheless, given some of the particularities of these devices as well as the apparent breadth of marketing planned for the launch, we would not be surprised to see HP capture market share in this segment as well as move further upstream with the new technology.
InfoTrends will soon be publishing a more detailed discussion of these LaserJet devices for clients of its Digital Peripherals Solutions and Digital Peripherals Solutions Europe consulting services. For more information on this analysis piece, please contact Scott Phinney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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