July 11, 2005 8:14 AM PDT

HP revamps inkjet printheads

Hewlett-Packard is introducing new technology in inkjet printers that it hopes will help fend off rivals.

The company said Monday it is using a new photolithographic process to create inkjet printheads as a single unit, instead of welding different components together. This manufacturing shift is designed to better align the chamber, nozzles and heating element and, in turn, to improve accuracy of ink drop placement. The new printheads can also support at least 3,900 nozzles. The higher nozzle density and greater accuracy in dot placement yield faster and better quality prints, HP said.

With the new product, HP said, it can increase the area the printhead covers with each pass over a page and thus can reduce the amount of time needed to print a page. The increase in the number of nozzles also translates into more available colors, HP said.

"This technology is the next step in our business transformation--the master key that unlocks new market opportunities and further growth in our printer business," Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of imaging and printing at HP, said in a statement.

The company recently made changes in its printing division, restoring it as a separate unit.

On Monday, HP also announced new printers based on the new printheads. The Photosmart 8250 Photo Printer, priced at $199, and Photosmart 3000 All-in-One series, priced from $299 to $399, can print 4-by-6-inch photos in 14 seconds, HP said. These printers feature six individual HP Vivera ink cartridges. The Photosmart 8250 will be available this month; the All-in-One series will debut this fall.

Six portable photo printers were also introduced, including the Photosmart 475 GoGo, a compact photo printer. The $279 machine can print 5-by-7-inch photos, in addition to 4-by-6-inch and panorama prints. The Photosmart 420 series GoGo Photo Studio includes a digital camera and a printer with a dock. It starts at $299.

HP also has added new products to its digital camera line and extended its recently acquired Snapfish online photo service to customers of Walgreens. The new Walgreens service will be available by September.

18 comments

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Cartidge cost ...
I don't care much about the printer cost, If the ink is sold 1$ / photo, it's just a ripoff ...
Posted by My-Self (242 comments )
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HP is like Polaroid
They can almost give away any of their printers and make up the
money with the cartridges. An HP printer on the used market goes
for peanuts because any smart person knows you have an almost
immediate investment of $50 to $60 in new ink cartridges. That's
on a printer that maybe cost $100 to $150 in the first place, brand
new.

I buy my HP printers for from $5 to $10 on the used market. They
almost always work fine (with new cartridges).
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Went from HP to Canon (Go Canon!)
I had been a staunch HP printer guy for years. I'd owned three inkjet models starting with the 632C, the 935C and, most recently, the 5150. In addition to some design flaws, the things that annoyed me the most was that I got fewer pages per cartridge, and the multi-color cartridges were costly, going for northwards of $35.

No more - I switched to Canon's Pixma series of printers and haven't looked back. The iP3000, which I purchased for $40 after a $20 rebate, produces splendid photo prints. Black replacement cartridges are about $12, while color cartridges are about a buck cheaper at about $11. The great thing is that you don't have to spend on ink you don't (yet) need. And since the printer lets you use the cartridge for a color until it says "you're out of ink", that's less waste. With the old HP tri-colored cartridge, if you ran out of, say, blue ink and there was still some yellow or red ink, guess what - you had to throw the entire thing out (or, of course, print chromatically maladjusted images).

Do yourselves a favor and get a Canon Pixma printer. HP needs to learn some lessons before I buy them again.
Posted by truegenius (33 comments )
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Simply Amazing
I guess you didn't even read the article. Well here's a bit more info for you so that you can be informed in the future.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2005/050711a.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2005/050711a.html</a>
Posted by joshsc (195 comments )
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I'm done with anything HP
There was a time when I swore by HP.

I bought an 855C color desk jet several years ago. I don't do a lot of printing. After about 18 months and maybe one ream of paper the printer stopped working because a little black o-ring dropped out. I called up support, which charged me for the call because the printer was already out of warranty. The idiot support person made me go through the entire troubleshooting process even though I had the o-ring in my hand. There are NO local repair facilities so I wound up exchanging my broken printer for a refurbished 855c that cost two thirds the original new price. The paper feed on that printer failed after about a year and less than a ream of paper.

I also bought an HP 500X 3 port network print server. The documentation failed to include instructions on how to make it work with Unix systems(A real OS). Again, I called support, they made me pay for the support service, and none of the wing nuts that worked there could explain how to make it work. I would have been really hosed without Usenet News. Sadly, there were others out in net-land that knew my pain, but at least they left a solution.

Sorry! No more HP for me.
Posted by (63 comments )
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More research needed
First of all, the 855 is OLD..why would you think any company would give you free support on a product that's 5+ years old? Do you think Canon/Epson would? LOL THEY ALL have 1 year warranties. As for the print server, you could have done more research and found a product that would match your needs (UNIX) better. Just because the printserver didn't work the way you thought it would doesn't mean it's the manufacture's fault.
Take some responsibility yourself. Although the printserver may have worked in the end, you probably could have gotten one specifically or more adaptible to UNIX.
Posted by joshsc (195 comments )
Link Flag
Really Amazing.....
... to thnk that anyone would pay for basic assistance on an
obsolete printer or a non-standard OS. I wonder how much it cost
him to post his CNET reply?
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Couple of things I guess you missed..
"Each color of the HP 02 ink cartridges is sold separately for the HP Photosmart 8250 Photoprinter and the HP Photosmart 3100, 3200, and 3300 All-in-One printers. They will retail for $9.99 each."
(Cheaper than Canon and Epson)
And

"- 4 x 6-inch photos in as fast as 14 seconds for as little as 24 cents a print."
(Again, Cheaper and FASTER than Canon and Epson)

Maybe you should read on.. <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2005/050711a.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2005/050711a.html</a>
Posted by joshsc (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Cheaper as long as...
The price of $9.99 will be cheaper as long as the cartridges contain the same amount of ink. Currently, Canon's Pixma cartridges hold about 18 ml of ink for the color cartridges and (I believe) 27 ml of ink for the black cartridge. It won't surprise me if HP's cartridges carry, say, 12-15 ml of ink in the color cartridge and 20-22 ml of ink for the black cartridge. They may justify this by saying they have "finer print nozzles" that use less ink, but I'll wonder if that's really true. That's the same line they used on the 5150 cartridges vs. the 932C ones and I definitely went through more cartridges on the 5150. (And the 5150 ones were not refillable!)

I'll believe the $9.99 price when I see it.
Posted by truegenius (33 comments )
Link Flag
Who missed what???
Wow, you really did your research by finding the HP Press Release...

I work for a wide-format inkjet company and have been researching what exactly is new and different about HP's claimed "invention(s)".

Let's go through the list:
1. Separate ink-tanks: Canon/Epson have been doing it for several years. What took HP so long?
2. Photolithography: Canon has been producing heads using integrated photolithographic assembly processes for at least a couple years. They call it Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE). They released this technical document last June (2004):
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://consumer.usa.canon.com/pixma/press/FINE_TG_0909.pdf" target="_newWindow">http://consumer.usa.canon.com/pixma/press/FINE_TG_0909.pdf</a>
Their technology is covered in the US by this patent, ISSUED on December 26, 1995:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5478606.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5478606.html</a>
3. Speed: 14 seconds to produce a print at what quality? Canon has recently announced a new standard for quality when referencing printer speed, "photo lab-quality prints". Canon's best time is just under a minute. What is HP's? We'll probably never know unless we buy a printer and a stop-watch.

I think that about covers it. Unless you want to talk about why they are recovering purged ink (in a DESKTOP!!!) on products incorporating this brilliant new technology...can you say clogged nozzle issues?
Posted by (1 comment )
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