Palo Alto (CA) - Hewlett-Packard added 11 Color Laserjets models ranging from $700 to $5000 to its printer product lineup. The new models use a new toner that promises to deliver brighter colors and higher gloss levels.
Color laser printers are nothing exotic anymore and have become affordable for small businesses and home users. HP's new printers aim at primarily at businesses, but may also be an option for some enthusiast users who are upgrading from their black and white laser or color inkjet printer.
The Color Laserjet 3600 is positioned on the lower end of the color laser printing segment, but cranks out 17 pages per minute in color or black and white. Standard memory capacity is 64 MByte, which is upgraded to 128 MByte in the network model 3600dn. Both models come with a 350-sheet paper tray and sell for $700 and $1000, respectively.
One step above, HP now offers four 3800 models, ranging from $800 to $1550. The printers include up to 288 MByte memory and print at speeds up to 22 pages per minute. On the high end, HP introduced four 4700 series models that print at up to 31 pages per minute and is priced between $2000 and $5000. Standard memory capacity reaches from 160 MByte to 544 MByte. The printer series comes with at least 2 paper trays, each carrying up to 300 sheets, standard.
The 4700 family also includes the new multi function printer 4730mfp that combines print, copy, scan-to-email, scan-to-folder, analog fax and document finishing in one chassis. According to HP, the device prints at speeds of up to 30 pages per minute and is offered at $5000.
Color laser printers, however, are know for occurring most of their cost through consumables, especially toners, drums and fuser units. Despite HP's claims that the new toners will deliver a 22 percent wider range of brilliant colors and up to 40 percent higher gloss levels if compared to previous HP toners, some customers may not be easy to convince to swallow the cost of the toners: . In case of the $700 3600 model, a four-color toner set carries a suggested retail price of $522 - 75 percent of the price of the new printer. HP expects that one toner set will yield about 4000 pages (black toner 6000 pages).
The 4700 typically will run in a higher print volume environment and, accordingly, the series will get a higher yield with an expected 10,000 pages per toner. The cost of a four-color toner set: $937. It gets even pricier with the 4730mfp: The 12,000-page toner set rings in at $1025 suggested retail.