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How do Pagewide Printers Compare to Laser Printers?

From the Printware Blog on Monday 18th July 2016 in Printing Technology

In the previous blog, we explored HP’s assertion that Pagewide Printers are a "reinvention at the intersection of speed, quality and cost” by lifting the hood to see how they operate, and allowing us to then explore how Pagewide printers compare to inkjets. Lets go further, to make the same comparison with laser printers – and finally decide if Pagewides match up to the hype.

Pagewide vs Laser Printers?

The difference between a Pagewide printer and a laser is pretty much the same as the difference between an inkjet and a laser printer. At the risk of sounding obvious, inkjets use ink; and this ink is applied directly to the page. In contrast, and in the simplest terms, lasers use toner and bond it to the paper using a fuser unit. To facilitate the process there are many moving or perishable parts such as drums, transfer belts, fuser units and so on. It also requires a lot of additional energy to deliver. For example the electronic charge needed to run the fuser unit.

HP Pagewide technology does not need any of this. As such, it has fewer moving parts and less consumables that need to be continuously replaced. These translate to multiple savings over laser printers: Fewer repairs, less maintenance, fewer replacements, less downtime, less energy required.

Fewer Repairs

Fewer moving parts means less in the machine that can break. Less that can break means less expense when things inevitably do break and a technician has to be called, or time spent as your IT department tackles the task. Either way, situations that cost time or money.

Less Maintenance

Even when things do run as they should, laser printers have a lot of parts with limited lifespans that need to be replaced. Even if there is someone with experience who can carry out these notoriously fiddly jobs quickly and efficiently, over the lifetime of the device the time spent on them mounts up to a surprising total. In a Pagewide machine the only regular replacements are ink cartridges designed to slot easily in and out in seconds, so the time taken to change these is tiny in comparison.

Fewer Replacements

While maintenance time adds up to a staggering amount, financial controllers will tell you that it is dwarfed by the actual cost of the consumables themselves. Drums, fuser units, transfer belts, just for starters – these can run to thousands of pounds per device per year. As above, the only Pagewide consumable is the cartridge, avoiding everything else required for a laser printer to function, and the outlay that goes with them.

Less Downtime

Any time anything on a printer needs to be replaced or repaired this incurs downtime – the nemesis of any IT department. Too much downtime means lost productivity. With less downtime and comparable print speeds, the Pagewide could actually have better productivity than many lasers.

Less Energy Consumption

Many of the internal systems in a laser printer need energy to operate and lots of it. The drums need an electrical charge to pass onto the paper. The fuser unit needs energy to bind the toner to the page; and the whole production cycle needs energy to spin the drums, move the belts and fire the laser and fuser unit. As with inkjets, the Pagewide needs a fraction of this to operate.

Pagewide: Best of both Worlds?

So clearly Pagewide presents many cost benefits and efficiencies when compared to traditional laser printer technology. Higher costs are usually tolerated by businesses because cheaper alternatives cannot deliver the standards and productivity demanded in professional settings. In fact, inkjet printer productivity is usually so low that lasers provide far better value over the long term.

What HP have managed to do is combine the productivity of a laser printer, with the print quality and cost efficiency of an inkjet. Using their fixed page-width printhead, quality is of a professional standard at a speed that can satisfy the needs of even the fastest paced workplace. And without the usual overheads.

So Are HP Reinventing Printing?

So can HP rightly claim that Pagewide printers are a “Reinvention at the intersection of speed, quality and cost”? Well, although none of these qualities are reinvented in their own right, it is the presence of all of them – high speed, top quality at a low total cost of ownership, without any trade-off – that may well be.

Any business wondering how to lower costs and energy consumption without compromising on quality or productivity have a genuine solution available. To learn more, have a look at ourt Pagewide Printers today.

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