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TCPglobal Special: Hewlett-Packard enhances functionality on new Officejet All-in-One range, including A3, while retaining proven cost-effectiveness of HP920 inkjet engine. Part 4 of 4.

Issue #1015 – Note: This series of articles has been sponsored by Hewlett-Packard Company prior to being published in TCPglobal. But, as with all TCPglobal articles, it is nonetheless an independent assessment of the hardware and solutions concerned and expresses only the views and opinions of the author and not those of Hewlett-Packard. VIEW ARTICLE FREE OF CHARGE. – Hewlett-Packard’s Officejet All-in-One launch this autumn comprised three models – Officejet 6500A (mid-range A4 business inkjet); Officejet 6500A Plus (high-end A4 business inkjet); Officejet 7500A (A3 business inkjet). We finish the series with a look at the Officejet 7500A, Hewlett-Packard’s first A3 inkjet AiO and only the second brand to bring a model in this class to market.

Hewlett-Packard Officejet 7500AHewlett-Packard Officejet 7500A

A3 Business Inkjet AiO
Seeking to take a significant portion of the now-proven A3 inkjet AiO market from Brother, Hewlett-Packard’s first entrant focuses on business users with A3 output requirements, rather than A3 input requirements, and presents them with a device containing all the flexibility and standalone internet interactivity that the internet enabled connectivity affords the two A4 Officejet 6500A models.

What the hardware brings to the table is based on the printing functionality of the Officejet 7000 single function printer.

  • Draft print speed is almost the same as the A4 models but benefits from a one page per minute improvement in both draft mode (33/32ppm – mono/colour) and ISO rating (11/8ppm)
  • Wired and Wireless networking as standard
  • 150-sheet input paper capacity
  • 35-sheet ADF
  • HP920XL ink cartridges
Brother MFC-5890CNBrother MFC-5890CN

This brings us to a comparison with the competition from Brother where we find three models straddling the Officejet 7500A with hardware purchase prices to match.

At the entry level is the MFC-5890CN with its A4 scan platen, 150-sheet input paper capacity, 50-sheet ADF, wired-only networking and 3.3” colour LCD display. In the middle, sits the MFC-6490CW which adds wireless networking, A3 scan platen (A4 ADF) and a 250-sheet second paper feed, taking total capacity to 400 sheets and allows both A4 and A3 paper to be held ready for use at all times. Taking its position at the top of the range is the MFC-6890CDW, which further adds A4 duplex printing capability and a 4.2” touchscreen display.

Brother
MFC-5890CN
11×17” print area
Print speed
Copy speed
Network
Interfaces
Paper input
ADF
Display
Scan to
 
Supplies
 
 
 
Other
 
35ppm black / 28ppm colour
23cpm black / 20cpm colour
Wired
USB 2.0 / PictBridge / Memory Card Slots
150 sheets
50 sheets
3.3” wide-screen colour LCD
PDF / Image / File / Email / OCR / USB /
Memory Card / FTP
LC-1100 series (K = 450 pages,
C / M / Y = 325 pages)
LC-1100HY series (K = 900 pages,
C / M / Y = 750 pages)
External TAD interface / Auto Fax recognition /
ships with Scansoft PaperPort 11SE
Brother
MFC-6490CW
11×17” print area
Print speed
Copy speed
Network
Interfaces
Paper input
ADF
Auto-duplex
Display
Scan to
Supplies
 
 
 
 
Other
 
35ppm black / 28ppm colour
23cpm black / 20cpm colour
Wired & Wireless
USB 2.0 / PictBridge / Memory Card Slots
150 sheets / 250-sheet second feed
50 sheets
n/a
3.3” wide-screen colour LCD
Email / OCR / Image / File / Memory Card / USB / FTP
LC-1100 series (K = 450 pages,
C / M / Y = 325 pages)
LC-1100HY series (K = 900 pages,
C / M / Y = 750 pages)
Ships with High Yield cartridges
ScanSoft PaperPort software / A4 Scan Platen only /
N-up Copying / Auto Fax recognition / Ifax
Brother
MFC-6890CDW
11×17” print area
Print speed
Copy speed
Network
Interfaces
Paper input
ADF
Auto-duplex
Display
Scan to
Supplies
 
 
 
 
Other
 
35ppm black / 28ppm colour
23cpm black / 20cpm colour
Wired & Wireless
USB 2.0 / PictBridge / Memory Card Slots
150 sheets / 250-sheet second feed
50 sheets
A4 print only (A4 duplex copy using manual feed scan)
4.2” wide-screen touch-screen colour LCD
Email / OCR / Image / File / Memory Card / USB / FTP
LC-1100 series (K = 450 pages,
C / M / Y = 325 pages)
LC-1100HY series (K = 900 pages,
C / M / Y = 750 pages)
Ships with High Yield cartridges
ScanSoft PaperPort software / A3 Scan Platen /
N-up Copying / Auto Fax recognition / Ifax
Hewlett-Packard
Officejet 7500
Wide Format eAiO
13×19” print area
Print speed
Copy speed
Network
Interfaces
Paper input
ADF
Auto-duplex
Display
Scan to
 
Supplies
 
 
Other
 
 
33ppm black / 32ppm colour (11/8ppm ISO)
33cpm black / 32cpm colour (6/5cpm ISO)
Wired & Wireless 802.11n
USB 2.0 / Memory Card Slots
150 sheets
35 sheets
n/a
2.4” Touchscreen colour LCD
Internet / PC / Network folder / Email /
Memory devices
HP920 series (K = 420, C / M / Y = 300)
HP920XL series (K = 1200, C / M / Y = 700)
Starter – C / M / Y = 250
ePrint / Web Apps / MarketSplash / ID Copy /
Smart Web Printing / Legal Scan Platen / Fax to PC /
ships with ArcSoft Scan-n-Stitch Delux software

Hardware purchase prices fall in line with these specifications, with the MFC-5890CN being the only competitor available at a price lower than the Officejet 7500A.

What this means is that businesses can acquire an AiO with A3 format printing at an entry-level price (35% lower than the Officejet 7500A) but without: the print speed of the Officejet 7500A; or wireless network capability; and with A4-only scan platen compared to the Officejet’s legal scan platen.

Median Hardware Purchase Price

A3 Business Inkjet AiO


Where the Officejet 7500A does score, though, is that it does offer A3 copying from the legal platen using very clever, and effective, stitching technology.

Brother MFC-6490CWBrother MFC-6490CW

History shows that the scale of hardware price advantage found here in the Officejet 7500A is a high priority to buyers but, it is the cost advantage at the end of the day that is far more significant and important – read on!

It may seem strange to highlight print speed as being an issue when Brother claims a mono draft print speed of 35ppm compared to the Officejet’s 33ppm. However, testing by CharisCo Printer Labs indicates that correspondence quality print speed from the Brother devices is no higher than 4.4ppm in mono and 3ppm in colour. This is less than half the speed of the ISO rating for the Officejet 7500A.

Brother MFC-6890CDWBrother MFC-6890CDW

For those with a larger hardware budget, moving up to the MFC-6490CW provides users with an A3 scan capability and second paper tray – neither of which are offered by the Officejet 7500A – at a price that is almost 40% higher than the Officejet. Then, at the top of the range, at a hardware cost 78% higher than the Officejet, MFC-6890CDW owners will also benefit from the duplex printing (A4 only) capability, again not offered by Hewlett-Packard’s Officejet.

In none of these devices, of course, can Brother offer the richness of the internet-enabled feature set and capabilities brought to the table by Hewlett-Packard.

So, to look at the ‘end of the day’ scenario – first of all we have to consider the cost of inks. Here, Brother is unable to match the cost of Hewlett-Packard ink despite the fact that the cartridges used by the A3 range are high capacity, offering 900 pages from the black and 750 pages from each of the colours. Here, we see no specific targeting towards low-cost mono or colour printing in the ink pricing – relative price positioning between Brother and Hewlett-Packard black and colour inks is consistent.

One factor in Brother’s favour here though, is that Brother ships its A3 MFCs with high capacity cartridges whereas Hewlett-Packard ships with colour cartridges providing a very minimal 250 pages, although the black is a standard capacity cartridge providing a yield of 420 pages.

Brother LC1100HYBrother LC1100HY

What this means at the end of the day is that every page on the Brother A3 MFCs will cost more in terms of ink usage than pages on the Officejet 7500A. And, when hardware purchase price is factored in, as part of the long-term Total Cost of Printing in addition to the basic cost of ink, the cost advantage to be gained from running the Officejet 7500A completely overturns the cost benefits of buying even the entry-level MFC-5890CN.

While at purchase we were talking about a saving of 35% by buying the MFC-5890CN instead of the Officejet 7500A, by the time a user has pushed an average of only 48 pages a day (1,000 pages per month based on a 21-day working month) through the machine, the situation reverses into an overall saving of 11% from the Officejet – representing an out-of-pocket saving of €170, or 60% of the cost of buying the Officejet 7500A hardware in the first place.

Total Cost of Printing

A3 Business Inkjet AiO

Note that for this level of machine, the mixed mono/colour CPP over three years shown in the accompanying table and charts is calculated on the basis of 1,000 pages per month; 70% pages in mono and 30% pages in colour; is based on the use of maximum capacity supplies; takes into account any standard, or starter, supplies shipped with the device; and also includes the cost of purchase. All prices are median street price sourced in Germany and include tax.

Needless to say, buying one of the Brother MFCs equipped with A3 scan platen widens the gap further into a 21% overall saving over the MFC-6490CW and a 26% saving over the MFC-6890CDW. If A3 scan capability or duplex printing capability are important factors in making the choice of hardware, then Total Cost of Printing has to take second place and 26% is the necessary additional cost that has to be paid for that functionality.

But, if A4 (Legal) scan capability is adequate and duplex printing is not a priority, then the useful saving of 10% can be achieved. And, within the 10% saving, comes all the functionality of the stand-alone internet printing now available from Hewlett-Packard.

To round off the Cost of Printing analysis, a look at the long-term Total Cost of Printing at a range of monthly print volumes shows that even the low purchase price of the Brother MFC-5890CN cannot outweigh the low cost of Hewlett-Packard inks at any monthly volume over 450 pages (21 pages per day).

Total Cost of Printing

A3 Business Inkjet AiO


Note also from the chart above that the higher the print volume, the more cost-effective the Officejet 7500A becomes relative to Brother’s MFCs.

Total Cost of Printing

A3 Business Inkjet AiO


If we then reverse the balance of mono to colour pages, as we have already done for the A4 devices, the savings from the Officejet are no less significant and Brother’s MFC-5890CN would not cost less to run unless fewer than 390 pages were printed every month (an average of about 18.6 pages per day).

One final article to follow will round up this series with a summary.

~ END OF PART 4 of 4 ~