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HP's head swells as inkjet speed increases

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HP is to launch a super-fast inkjet colour printer for the business market in the Spring. The company has also extended and upgraded its current product lines with six new printers.

The planned super-fast printers use a technology HP calls Edgeline to push full-colour printouts through at the rate of 70 or more per minute, twice as fast as current business inkjets. This high throughput is made possible by widening the inkjet print head to match the maximum width of the paper.

Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP's printing and imaging group, said that printing across the page in one blast speeds things up considerably.

In traditional inkjets, the printer has to scan from side to side. Using Edgeline, time is saved by eliminating this lateral movement as the paper is fed through. Joshi added that the printer will also be a little quieter because of the reduction in mechanical movements.

HP is already using the technology in its commercial digital photo printing kiosks, launched at the end of September, but claims it will be the first to introduce page-width inkjet printing to the business market. Other printer manufacturers are known to be working on similar technologies and Brother has been demonstrating a prototype for over a year.

The indications are that Edgeline will cost more than the current business inkjet printer ranges. Joshi says he is unable to disclose pricing so far ahead of launch, but gave an indication by saying he does not foresee Edgeline being introduced to the company's consumer range of printers because the print heads are too expensive.

Back in the present, the company is expanding its laser multifunction printer (MFP) ranges with the LaserJet M3035 and M4345. These upgrade its most popular models for departmental monochrome printing and copying. These will be complemented by the M5053, the desktop laser MFP capable of handling A3 paper. A lower priced, workgroup P3005 LaserJet completes the monochrome range.

In the colour laser MFP camp, HP has the departmental LaserJet CP4005 and a small desktop colour model, the CM1015. ®

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