First look: HP’s new shake-free business printers

HP has given PC Pro a hands-on demonstration of its new business inkjet range, including an innovation that promises to eliminate annoying printer vibration.

First look: HP's new shake-free business printers

The Officejet Pro K5400 colour printer forms the heart of the new line, coming in three flavours to suit home and small businesses. It prints at an impressive 36ppm mono and 35ppm colour in draft mode – hence HP’s claims that it is faster than lasers – although for true laser quality output that drops to 12ppm and 10ppm respectively.

The most intriguing and highly effective feature we saw in our demonstration was the implementation of a counterweight to the print mechanism. As the print head moves one way the weight moves the other, thus eliminating the rapid shifts in weight distribution which cause most fast printers to vibrate.

When asked whether the anti-vibration mechanism would be extending to consumer inkjets, category marketing manager Ganesh Swaminathan said it was ‘only a possibility’, citing cost as the main barrier. ‘It costs $5-$7 to implement such a small feature, so it is perhaps too expensive for consumer products at this point’.

The K5400dn model adds a duplex module to the base unit and an Ethernet port for wired connections. The K5400dtn also features a second 350-sheet paper tray for a total 600 sheets. All three models will be available from March at €149 for the K5400, €199 for the K5400dn and €249 for the K5400dtn.

The new Officejet Pro L7000 All-in-One series uses the print engine from the K5400, but adds scanning, copying and fax capabilities. With a 2.4in display, a 50-sheet automatic document feeder and an Ethenet port, all three models look fit for an office, but, rather than the base L7580, we’d recommend looking to the two dearer models.

The reason is Direct Digital Filing, a new feature for networks in which scanned documents can automatically be distributed to pre-programmed folders around the network with one push of the scan button. It scans directly to PDF, can be sent to USB keys, and can even be secured with a PIN. Configured remotely using a web browser, it is currently limited to 10 speed dial locations and only one folder per scan, but it’s easy to see the time savings it will offer.

The L7580 will cost €299, the L7680 will be €399 with an additional duplex unit, and the top-end L7780 will cost €499 with an extra 350-sheet input tray, wireless networking and ReadIRIS Pro software. All three will be available from March.

All of the above Officejet devices can also take advantage of HP’s new high-yield ‘XL’ Value ink cartridges, as reported last week.

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