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Newsletter 06-32-05

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HP Photosmart 8250 - The first photo printer with the new, modular ink system and tube supply for faster printing

HP Photosmart 8250 - The first photo printer with the new, modular ink system and tube supply for faster printing

Hewlett-Packard wants to compensate the print speed disadvantages of photo printouts with an ink tube systemand a new printhead technology. The Photosmart 8250 is the flagship of a new series of printers and multifunction devices, which will be sold at around 200 Euros by HP frommid of August. The printer is said to print a 4 x 6" photo in 14 seconds (in draft mode). The printing time for the same photo in the presentation mode is approx. 49 seconds according to the OEM. The Canon Pixma iP8500 keeps the existing record to print within 70 seconds with the highest resolution by a c´t comparative test (cp. c´t 24/04, P. 144). How fast the new HPs really are in practice has to be demonstrated in a test.

HP invested 1.4 billion US-Dollars to follow up the speed competition. A new manufacturing method shall enable the production of printheads with up to 3900 nozzles. The comparatively limited number of 600 nozzles within the conventional HP printheads should not be a problem of the manufacturing technology, but the existing concept of the producer to place the printhead in the ink tank and therefore make it to a disposable product. For a long time the experts saw an impasse in this concept concerning higher print rate at constant print quality. Due to this technology, the former leader of the market noticeably felt behind and lost market-shares in the past years.

With this new series HP abdicates the disposable concept for regular format photo printers for the first time. Now the printers work with an integrated printhead, which is provided with ink by a tube systemwith six separated ink tanks. HP renounces to use additional colours like red or blue as common in the printers of the competitors. A kind of ink recirculation shall take care that the ink needed for cleaning and rinsing of the printhead will be traced back into the storage tank and won’t be lost like now. Altogether the new devices shall decrease the printing costs by about 30 percent compared with the existing disposable cartridge system.

HP announced two further mul-tifunction devices with the new technology for autumn. Already in the next weeks further new information will be expected by insiders for the next Christmas trade, perhaps from the rival Canon.

Source: c´t 2005 issue 16

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