The fruit of a five-year, $1.4 billion investment, HP's new printhead is fabricated as single unit using a photolithographic process, not welded together in post production, resulting in a more accurate placement of ink, said HP executives in a press conference Monday. The design also supports a greater density of inkjet nozzles than previous printheads, said HP -- 3,900 nozzles on a single printhead -- that produces faster printing.
HP lauded the new design as scalable through the printing market -- from consumer to high-end commercial -- by virtue of its flexibility. By increasing the "swath," the area the printhead covers with each pass; by boosting the number of nozzles on the printhead; and by increasing the number of inks per printhead, HP can finesse the design for faster speeds, larger print sizes, richer colors, or all of the above.
To strut the new printhead design, HP also rolled out a pair of consumer photo printers and a business printer that use the technology.
The PhotoSmart 8250 and PhotoSmart 3000 All-in-One series will hit store shelves this month and this fall, respectively, at prices of $199 and $299 to $399. Featuring six ink cartridges, the printers can print 4 x 6-inch photos in 14 seconds, said HP, at a per-print price point of 24 cents.
Also scheduled for a fall delivery, the Officejet Pro K550 Color Printer series is aimed at the business market. This printer line, said HP, is designed to compete with color laser printers, with a cost-per-page and initial purchase price substantially lower than lasers. Prices for the new Officejets haven't been set.