Speedy, inexpensive printing is essential for any busy business. There are a number of different printer options on the market and printer manufacturers are constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to sell you their latest game-changing machine. HP’s PageWide Technology is just one of the many new print technologies vying for your attention and although its features deliver on speed and performance, it’s not nearly as cost effective as advertised. We will break it down for you by focusing on one of the more popular printers that’s equipped with this technology, the HP OfficeJet Enterprise Color MFP X585.
First, let’s explore how PageWide Technology works and what sets it apart from your average inkjet printer. The typical inkjet printer uses a printhead that scans across the page from left to right to produce a print. If you watch an inkjet printer in action it’s easy to recognize the printhead at work, the carriage helps move the printhead back and forth, releasing microscopic ink droplets onto the page with absolute precision. Most lower priced inkjet printers operate with a standard printhead and for years this has been the norm for printer manufacturers across the board. HP’s PageWide Technology is different in that it uses a stationary printhead that’s designed to print across the entire page in a single pass. This technology allows you to print faster and more reliably, and with print speeds of up to 70 pages per minute, owning a PageWide printer might seem like an enticing option. Speed however shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when choosing an inkjet. When it comes down to it, your company’s bottom line should be the top concern, and analyzing the overall cost for the life of the printer puts a different perspective on the PageWide series.
If you read up on any of HP’s promotional articles on their PageWide series it’s understandable why their main selling points are speed and reliability. A reliability test conducted by independent research company the Buyer’s Lab puts the HP OfficeJet Enterprise Color MFP X585 in a favorable light. Their findings concluded that the X585 series can print 200,000 pages without failure, a very impressive number from a dependability standpoint. Funnily enough overall cost, although mentioned, is glossed over and generalized, claiming PageWide Technology can lower printing costs by as much as 50% in comparison with color laser printers. Which color laser printers they compared the technology against is never mentioned and the footnote to support the claim leads to a generic information page about printer pageyield. Compare the figure against the cost of actual HP brand ink, and all of a sudden the price of that reliability is a concern. The printer alone goes for $1,436.79 in stores, a hefty price for any heavy duty inkjet machine. Included with the printer are a set of starter cartridges which yield significantly less than the standard cartridge, so out of the box you are already starting from behind. A black starter cartridge for example nets you 7,800 prints, compared to the standard cartridge’s 10,000.
|HP OfficeJet Enterprise Color MFP X585||Page Yield||OEM Cost||Compatible Ink Cost|
|HP 980 Black Starter Cartridge||7,800||_||_|
|HP 980 Cyan Starter Cartridge||3,400||_||_|
|HP 980 Magenta Starter Cartridge||3,400||_||_|
|HP 980 Yellow Starter Cartridge||3,400||_||_|
|HP 980 Black Standard Yield Cartridge (D8J10A)||10,000||$113.99||$34.99|
|HP 980 Cyan Standard Yield Cartridge (D8J07A)||6,600||$97.99||$34.99|
|HP 980 Magenta Standard Yield Cartridge (D8J08A)||6,600||$97.99||$34.99|
|HP 980 Yellow Standard Yield Cartridge (D8J09A)||6,600||$97.99||$34.99|
Let’s say you want to print 200,00 pages of just the black ink cartridge. With the standard OEM price going for $113.99 you would be spending $2,279.80 on ink alone, almost twice the initial cost of the printer. Go with a compatible cartridge and the price for the same amount of ink would only be $699.80. After analyzing the numbers it’s clear that compatible cartridges are a compelling alternative. Compatible cartridges have come a long way and if bought from a reliable source you can find a far cheaper alternative cartridge that’s equal in quality to the genuine HP brand.
HP isn’t the only printer manufacturer out there to profit off of overpriced ink, but taking the time to do the math really puts the high price tag into perspective. It’s important to pay attention to all of the factors that make a printer a worthwhile purchase. Innovative technology is great but it’s easy to get distracted by flashy new features and neglect equally important buying basics like the total cost of operation. The next time you are in the market for a new printer make sure you weigh all of your options so you can make best purchase for your business.