Wow…Is That Really an Inkjet?

By Marlene Orr, Senior Analyst, Printers/A4 MFP, March 20, 2013

Historically, inkjets have been slower than laser devices, and although high-capacity cartridges were available for business-class inkjets, the yields were generally lower than those available for business-class laser machines. Of course, the inkjets cost less and many offered a comparable cost per page, making them a good choice for low-volume environments. But those slower speeds and relatively low yield cartridges didn’t make them a good fit for higher-volume business environments. Until now, that is.

Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) has long been a fixture in the home and in the office with its inkjet technology, but the new Officejet Pro X series products turns the idea of inkjet printing on its head. With rated speeds topping out at 70 ppm (42 ppm in default mode), combined with a high duty cycle (75,000 pages per month) and ink cartridges that yield more than 5,000 pages each, the Officejet Pro X576 MFP and X551 printer look like true competitors for laser devices at these higher values. Here’s a peek at some of the first test results coming out of the lab on these models and how they compare with laser models.

At first glance, they look like laser models

The new Officejet Pro X series printers and MFPs borrow the robust body and paper drawers from the LaserJet family of products. For simplicity, our comparisons will revolve around all-in-ones, though print-only versions are also available and being tested in BLI’s lab. Below is a simple side-by-side comparison of some comparable laser products we’ve recently tested; we also included the Epson WorkForce WP-4533, a business inkjet model, to show the major differences between inkjet models and what the Officejet Pro X series has to offer business users. Looking at the basic specifications, a user can see that each device, on the surface, has its own advantages. While the Epson inkjet model has the lowest purchase price (and is the only model to include dual scan heads), the Dell laser model has the highest price, along with the highest duty cycle and highest standard paper capacity, as well as an optional hard drive. The HP model has the fastest rated speed and highest standard memory, while the Lexmark model offers the highest maximum paper and memory capacities. Looking at the group overall, it’s easy to see that the new HP has a robust feature set and speeds designed to match up to laser, rather than inkjet, devices.

  HP Officejet Pro X576dw MFP Lexmark CX410de Dell C3765dnf Multifunction Color Laser Printer Epson Workforce Pro WP-4533 Samsung CLX-6260FW
Street Price $799.99 $799 $1,099.99 $399.99 $699.99
Max Monthly Duty Cycle 75,000 impressions 75,000 impressions 80,000 impressions 25,000 impressions 60,000 impressions
 Technology Inkjet Laser Laser Inkjet Laser
 Rated Speed (color/black) 42 ppm/42 ppm  32 ppm/32 ppm  36 ppm/36 ppm  11 ppm/16 ppm  25 ppm/25 ppm
 Std Paper Capacity  500 sheets  250 sheets 550 sheets  250 sheets  250 sheets 
 Max Paper Capacity  1,050 sheets 1,450 sheets  1,250 sheets  580 sheets  820 sheets 
 System Memory (Std/Max)  768-MB RAM/768-MB RAM  512-MB/2.5-GB RAM 512-MB RAM/1-GB RAM, 160 GB HD   128-MB RAM/128-MB RAM  512-MB RAM/1-GB RAM
 Duplex  Auto Auto   Auto  Auto  Auto


Tested speeds and yields better than many laser models

BLI’s preliminary test results for the group of models selected are surprising and, in some cases, quite unexpected. Designed to compete with laser models, the HP Officejet Pro X576dw performed nothing like the traditional inkjet model we chose (the Epson WP-4533, which is also currently in our lab) and bested nearly every laser device in our sample group. For example, when copying sets, the HP proved fastest in most tests (bested only by the Dell model in black duplex and tied with the same Dell model in color duplex mode). When printing sets of the test document, the HP model was the fastest in simplex, while the Dell model was slightly faster than the HP model in duplex mode. Performance was similar in print and copy and in color and black modes, so partial data is depicted below; full productivity results are available on bliQ.

In terms of tested ink and toner yields, a laser model, the Dell C3765dnf, came out on top, which is not surprising, given its higher purchase price. However, the HP Officejet Pro X576dw provided tested yields for all four colors that were superior to all other models in this group. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more as BLI continues gathering more test data on these key models.

BLI's tested yields HP Officejet Pro X576dw MFP Lexmark CS410de Dell C3765dnf Multifunction Color Laser Printer Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4533 Samsung CLX-6260FW
Black 10,678 5,069 11,950 3,672 7,110
Cyan 6,717 5,376 9,832 4,135 4,917
Magenta 6,717 5,806 9,862 2,646 4,520
Yello 6,795 5,808 9,287 5,605 4,907


This article was originally posted on Buyer's Laboratory.