HP re-engineers the toner cartridge for faster, more efficient printers

NEW YORK CITY – 1984, according to Pradeep Jetwani senior vice-president of Hewlett-Packard’s laser jet and enterprise solutions division, was the year when business printers got one of their most significant re-engineering with the introduction of laser jet technology.

And that is why HP’s roll out of its newest line of multi-function laser jet printers is being conducted in a room with a wall-to-wall mural of a 1980’s office space complemented by piped in 80’s pop hits blaring in the background.

The company said the three new machines are the smallest, fastest and most economical MFP’s in their categories cranking out as many as 33 per cent more pages without a toner break, using up 53 per cent less power and taking up 40 per cent less space than competing models. The printers will be available starting in April this year.

new HP laser jet printers

The new products introduced here are the:

HP Colour LaserJet Pro MFP 277 – the smallest of the bunch aimed at small and medium sized businesses. It is one of the two machines for small and medium sized businesses with one to five users

HP Colour LaserJet Pro M252 – the other compact MFP designed for SMBs and equipped with mobile printing features

HP Colour LaserJet Enterprise M552 and M553 – designed for larger workgroup of five to 15 people printing up to 6,000 pages per month. This series comes with Google’s Cloud Print 2.0 supporting Google’s new local printing standards for Chromebooks, and Chrome operating system applications

Economy and smaller foot-print are big selling points for the markets HP is targeting, said Jotwani.

“In the last five year office space has shrunk by as much as 25 per cent that is why there is a premium in space saving in most SMBs,” he said. “Enterprise companies have a larger volume of print jobs and savings is a big thing. But, because of the heightened concern over data breaches, security has become a major issue as well, even when it comes to printers.”

Re-engineering the toner cartridge

HP had to change as much as 70 per cent of the technology sitting in the toner cartridge to come up with the other technological advances found in the new line, according to Annie Mosler, one of the HP presenters.

new HP toner cartridge

In fact HP had to go down to the toner particle level to achieve faster printing speeds while keeping down energy consumption. Current toner particles are not very durable and they tend to get crushed when heated by the printer in order to get spread out over paper to form an image. With this method, the printer requires more heat and takes up more time to spread the toner over the paper evenly.

“Our new ColorSphere 3 toner is more durable, it lasts longer and requires a lower temperatures to get it on the page,” said Mosler. “The printer doesn’t need to heat up more, so it is able to save power and is able to get started printing resulting in 33 per cent more pages.”

This also means the printers consume about 53 per cent less energy and can designed to be 40 per cent smaller than previous models.

The toner cartridges also come with a chip that allows the machine to identify if the cartridge being loaded is genuine, counterfeit or a refilled one. Users have the option of “locking-in” cartridges so that they work only with a certain machine to prevent cartridge theft.

Security features

The new machines come HP’s JetAdvantage Private Print technology. With private Print, users are provided with their own passwords to prevent unauthorized access of print outs. The technology allows users to queue print jobs. It requires the user to go to the printer and physically release the print job by keying in a personal password.

The feature also supports HP Common Card Reader for authentication and mobile printing from iOS and Android powered devices.

Speed and the security features found in the new enterprise model can be a good selling points according to Barbara Richards, senior consultant for digital peripherals at InfoTrends.

“Because these machines are able to wake up from sleep mode faster than other printers, users are able to start their print job quicker. I think that will be a big selling point for most businesses,” she said. “With greater awareness about data breaches, I believe the authentication and security features will be attractive to enterprise organizations.”

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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