Which HP printer is right for your business?
9 May 2016
5 min read
With a wide range of devices in three different product lines, HP has printers to cover every size and every type of business. In the past, the problem could be working out which one was right for yours, with a considerable degree of overlap between HP’s inkjet-based OfficeJet printers and the ever-popular LaserJet line. This year, however, things are different, with three different lines – OfficeJet Pro, PageWide and LaserJet - targeting different markets and scenarios. The key thing is to look at the strengths of each line and how to make them work for you. One might be perfect for your business, or you may find that you need different technologies for specific teams, individuals or requirements.
Small Businesses or Small Teams? Go OfficeJet Pro
HP’s OfficeJet line is based on HP’s latest thermal inkjet technology, with the emphasis on low costs per page, space-saving designs and professional-looking black-and-white or colour documents. Typically, they’re designed to support one to five users and produce 200 to 1,500 pages per month.
The latest OfficeJet Pro printers use an innovative ‘Print Forward’ design, where the pages move through the paper feed mechanism face down before falling into an integrated output tray, which stops them spilling onto the floor. They produce crisp black text, bright, smooth charts and business graphics, and can even print lifelike-looking photos when required.
These are compact, small business printers, but that doesn’t mean they’re short on features.
Advanced multi-function capabilities enable them to scan on both sides of the paper or scan multi-page documents in a single pass, and with a 50-sheet auto-document feeder, doing so won’t chain you to the printer while the job is being done. A 4.2in touchscreen makes it easier to manage prints right from the printer, while mobile printing features make it easier to print from laptops, smartphones and tablets.
As these are primarily small-team printers, you don’t get all the management tools and features you’ll find in the PageWide and LaserJet lines – just the essentials. Speeds, meanwhile, max out at 24ppm black and white or 20ppm colour, though fast duplex printing is supported.
Some businesses still have the impression that inkjet printing is expensive, and that laser works out better when it comes to ongoing costs. HP has spent years with the OfficeJet Pro line to show that’s not true, with efficient engines, advanced ink formulations and high-yield cartridges that actually make inkjet printing cheaper. Companies can make further savings by using HP’s Instant Ink service, where the printer reports on its own supplies and cartridges are shipped out automatically to reach you before you run out. Instant Ink cartridges are even larger than the standard XL cartridges, so need replacing less often, and you can budget for predictable monthly costs. For example, The Frequent Printing plan covers you for 300 colour pages per month at £7.99, with £1 for each additional 25 pages.
In short, if you’re looking for a small business printer that delivers great results but won’t cost the Earth, OfficeJet Pro is the line for you.
Fast Office Printing for Medium to Large Enterprise? Go PageWide
HP’s PageWide printers get their name from HP’s PageWide print technology, which differs from conventional inkjet by replacing the moving print-head, which travels horizontally across the page, with an array of printheads stretching across the whole width. As ink jets out from millions of tiny nozzles, the only thing that moves is the paper underneath. As a result, PageWide printers can print faster and handle heavier workloads over longer periods. Generally speaking, PageWide printers can support five to sixteen users while printing 800 to 7,500 pages per month. That puts them firmly in what used to be office laser territory.
PageWide printers match conventional inkjets for sharp black text and vibrant business graphics, with water-resistant, smear-free, fade-resistant inks. However, they can do so at amazing speeds, dishing out the first page within a second and subsequent pages at rates of up to 70 per minute.
These are serious enterprise printers, and come with the kind of advanced security and management features you’d expect, allowing you to enforce good document security policies, manage and control settings and track assets and print costs with ease.
And if that’s helping drive down total cost of ownership, then the energy-efficiency of the technology and the low print costs only reduces it even further.
Costs per page can work out at 20% of what you might expect per page from your average office laser printer. Reliability is top-notch too. A 2015 report from Buyer’s Laboratory Inc. in the US showed that PageWide technology could handle the equivalent of seven years of heavy use with ease, misfeeding roughly once every 13.89 months. In other words, if you’re looking for a printer to cope with heavy office workloads, reliably and cost-effectively, PageWide is the HP printer line for you.
Print-shop quality and advanced management features? Go LaserJet
HP’s LaserJet line can address a wide range of scenarios, covering everything from personal or small-team printers to departments of 25+ users. Monthly workloads can stretch all the way from 250 pages to 25,000, depending on the model. What they all have in common, though, is the ability to deliver not just professional, but print-shop quality printouts at high-speeds, making them the perfect choice when you’re printing materials where optimum quality is vital. If you’re looking to print full-colour marketing materials or documents for customers or clients, LaserJet is your best option.
Laser technology still has the edge when it comes to sharp, smear-free text and high-quality business graphics, and with HP’s latest enhancements it’s only getting better. HP’s JetIntelligence technology is enabling LaserJet printers to be up to 40% faster and smaller, while consuming 53% less energy. That comes partly down to its ColorSphere toner, where smaller, more robust toner particles melt faster at lower temperatures, cutting down the time and energy used in the printing process while improving the number of pages each cartridge can print by up to 33%. HP’s latest LaserJet printers are up to 40% faster to print the first page than previous generation models and sustain speeds of up to 55 pages per minute.
The other key reasons to opt for LaserJet are management and security. HP’s SureStart technology protects your networked printers from hacking, while anti-fraud technology and an intelligent print gauge make it easier to keep track of your toner usage and ensure that any new cartridges are legitimate HP cartridges – the only way to guarantee top performance.
JetAdvantage technology not only provides advanced security features, but can ensure that these are being used, with mandatory compliance policies you can define team-by-team or user-by-user.
Many of these features are shared across the PageWide line, but LaserJet gives you the ideal combination of print quality, management capability and performance.
It’s now easier to buy the right HP printer, based on the size of your business and its needs. Whatever the size and whatever those needs are, HP has the perfect printer for you.