by John McIntyre | 3/25/16
In Part 1 of this series we looked at HP’s rationale for rebranding its page-wide devices, and in Part 2 we took a deep dive into those new releases. But while the floodlights and the red carpet were being rolled out for the PageWide coming out party, HP also released a number of new Officejet and LaserJet models, brands that have been essential “meat and potatoes” products in HP’s line for decades. Before we take a look at the new models, here is an update to HP’s positioning and messaging for these two major business printer lines:
HP OfficeJet Pro
- Advanced security and management features
- “Affordable, professional color – big performance in a compact package for small business.”
- Designed for one to five users
- ‘”Low” cost-per-page
- Monthly page volume band of 200 to 1,500 pages
- “Professional document quality”
- ‘Business-Class” speed
- “Essential” security and management features
- “Leading laser performance, print-shop quality color documents, and best value for black-only printing.”
- Designed for one to 25+ users (varies by model)
- Monthly page volume band of 200 to 25,000+ pages (varies by model)
- “Professional plus” print-shop document quality
- “Affordable” printing costs
- Advanced security and management features
- “Fast” speeds from business-class to enterprise
In a “HP Business Printing Solutions line” slide in the overall printer announcement, HP positions the PageWide family between the lower-priced OfficeJets, aimed at small business, and the LaserJets, broadly aimed at medium and large business and workgroups, depending on the model. Take note: every single word in these brand descriptions is chosen very carefully by the maker, such as “affordable,” “professional,” and “print-shop quality,” to distinguish that offering in the overall brand hierarchy – defining what that brand is, and is not.
The HP spring announcement included eight new OfficeJet/Pro models covering the very small business/SOHO sectors up to more fully-featured and faster devices for a range of small business offices. Besides an assortment of features (and price of course), HP segments two of these Officejet families by expected print volumes.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 8210 Printer and HP OfficeJet Pro 8710/20/30/40 All-in-One Printer series. Targeted for a typical monthly print volume up to 2,000 pages, the 8210/87XX family look like replacements for the existing Officejet 86XX series. The 8700 family are the multifunction variants while the 8200 family are single-function printers only. HP asserts that these OfficeJet Pro models provide “professional quality” printing at up to 50 percent lower cost per page than lasers, continuing the lower-per-page-cost theme touted by the more expensive PageWide series. The 8210/87XX introduction is not simply another model refresh – these machines have new engines and a redesigned and reconfigured engine and paper-handling layout, which gives the Office Jet Pro 8000 class face-down, correct-order output on the top of the printer as opposed to coming out the front of the machine toward the customer in a face-up format. HP comments that this functionality has been something that users have requested for some time, in part because all of HP’s LaserJet printers operate that way. The company suggests that in a business environment, face-down, correct-order output on the top of the printer been the de facto method of delivering the finished paper document for quite some time.
- These new models incorporate an S-shaped paper path that enables enhanced functionality:
- correct order, face down output
- very high speed duplex capability; in earlier Officejets, when printing in duplex mode today, only one sheet of paper is in motion while LaserJets have been interleaving (or using two sheets of paper at the same time) which means they’re able to drive effective duplex speeds much higher. HP claims these new machines offer the fastest automatic duplex printing of any product in their class, running at almost 100% of their rated engine speed in duplex mode, and that’s up to roughly 24ppm.
- 1-pass 2-sided scanning ADF capabilities on the 8730/8740
- A 4.3” operator display panel with user customizable shortcuts (8720/8730/8740)
- Built-in USB printing – Print PDF and MS Docs directly from a USB drive (8730/8740)
- Legal-Size Document Glass and Legal-Size duplex print ready (8720/8730/8740)
- Improved network security, manageability & OXP solutions with rear USB host (8730/8740)
HP claims that these models have a cost per page up to 50 percent lower than color pages produced on some laser printers, and that these printers also are supported by the Instant Ink program. The OfficeJet Pro 8700 series is expected to be available in April starting at $199.99. The OfficeJet Pro 8210 is expected to be available in September for $129.99.
HP OfficeJet Pro 6960/70 All-in-One Printers are targeted for a typical monthly print volume up to 2,000 pages in micro-businesses and SOHO/home usage. HP suggests these devices bring some of the features that have traditionally been found in more expensive models down to a more affordable price level. Like the other new inkjet introductions, HP asserts that these models provide “professional quality” printing at up to 50 percent lower cost per page than lasers. This family features automatic two-sided ADF scanning, scan-to-USB-drive convenience, a 2.5-inch operator display panel with user customizable shortcuts, and a “Quiet” operating mode for use in home environments. The company notes that this class of machines are very popular products with the Instant Ink program, and that these machines are commonly used in smaller businesses with print needs in the 200–300 pages per month range. The OfficeJet Pro 6900 series is expected to be available in June starting at $149.99.
HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile Printer/OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One: These were actually introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and are battery-powered (or AC of course) for true mobile printing capability. HP says these products are used by a variety of mobile professionals including construction workers, real estate professionals, and health-care workers. The two new models feature:
- Connectivity through Wi-Fi /Wi-Fi Direct
- The ability to charge the printer from an available USB charging port and charge other smart devices (such as your phone) from the printer’s USB port.
- The model 250 includes 10 sheet scan input tray with ADF
- Improved print and scan speeds over previous models
- a “Quiet” operating mode
- improved drop capabilities/characteristics
- designed to used for 100-150 pages per month
HP stated that these units are expected to be available this fall and exact pricing will be announced later.
Finally, two new LaserJets; the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M377 and the Enterprise M501. These models offer the new toner formulation, Jet Intelligence, a capability with very low temperature melt fusers that wake up quickly and use very low power. HP claims they have the lowest power consumption in their class and have very fast first page out time.
The LaserJet Enterprise M501 is a 45ppm single function mono laser, and HP describes it as a “baby brother” to the LaserJet Enterprise M506 printer, so it offers a more limited feature set, but says it is a very robust monochrome printer for small offices, and small/medium businesses or workgroups of five to 15 users printing up to 6,000 pages a month. Notable specs on this model are:
- 7.3 sec sFPOT
- PIN printing
- 2-line LCD control panel with 10-key pad
- 550-sheet std. input tray, 100-sheet bypass, 1×550 accessory tray
- Large toner capacity – 9K and18K HP JetIntelligence Precision Black cartridges
- HP ePrint / AirPrint enabled
- A second paper tray is an option, bringing paper input capacity to 1,200 sheets. The company explains that this is a new product and does not replace an existing model, but notes it is a “logical follow-on” to the P3015 base & option bundles. The HP LaserJet Pro M501 series is expected to be available in April starting at $549.
HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M377 series is a 25 ppm multifunction color machine for small and medium sized businesses or work groups of 3 to 10 users printing 750-4,000 pages per month. HP describes it as a “baby brother” to the Color LaserJet Pro 477dw, noting the removal of the fax capability from the M377 making it a three-in-one device. HP explains the M377 offers the fastest first page out from sleep, the fastest duplex printing, and lowest total energy consumption in its class. Again, the company explains that this is a new product and does not replace an existing model. Notable specs on this model are:
- HP Jet Advantage Private Print
- Direct Power Point and Word printing from USB
- Auto two-sided printing
- 4.3” touch screen with gesturing
- Scan-to email, folder, USB, and cloud
- Job Storage/PIN printing, LDAP authentication and directory, secure boot
- A 6.5K page capacity black and 5K page capacity CYM high-capacity cartridges
- AirPrint, WiFi Direct, Mopria, GCP 2.0
The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M377 series is expected to be available in April for $489.00.
Moving the stake forward
HP has great print and MFP franchises among a broad range of business buyers with its Officejet/Pro models and the popularity of its LaserJets needs no embellishment from us. Beyond improving printed output convenience (face down, etc.), the operation and visual appearance of the 8210/87XX family inch HP’s OfficeJet Pro towards a stronger resemblance to its LaserJet cousins, an evolution that I doubt is by accident. When you are the market leader, you get to keep that crown if you aggressively lead the market with new features and capabilities while offering better performance and cost-effectiveness than the preceding generations of very successful models. These new machines do nothing to change the market status quo – with HP the clear leader in business inkjet and laser printing, a company apparently intensely focused on strengthening its already considerable grip with B2B printer buyers regardless of business size, application, budget, or printing needs.
John McIntyre serves as a senior analyst for BPO Media. With more than 40 years of experience in the printing industry as an analyst, product developer, strategist, marketer, and researcher, he has covered the printing and supplies sectors for prominent market research firms such as Lyra Research, InfoTrends, and BIS Strategic Decisions, and served with major OEMs such as Samsung, NEC, and Diablo Systems/Xerox. McIntyre is the former managing editor of Lyra’s Hard Copy Supplies Journal and has conducted research and consulting engagements examining issues such as market and business strategies, product positioning, distribution channels, supplies marketing, and the impact of emerging technologies. Follow John on Twitter @John2001S