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New Pagewide Printers Reverse a Trend

Category: Hardware Published on Friday, 08 July 2016

Once upon a time, printer manufacturers sold you an inkjet printer at a loss and made money when you replaced its ink cartridges on an average of once a month.

Although that trend still exists among many of these companies, there's one that is trying to reverse that trend.

The folks at Hewlett Packard (HP) have hit the market with ink jet printers that will initially take a big bite out of your budget, but result in huge savings in the long run.

The HP Pagewide Pro 577dw multifunction printer ($899) will print up to 13,000 color pages and 17,000 black and white pages using high-yield cartridges before they have to be replaced. For some reason the printer comes with so-called "starter" cartridges with a yield of 3,500 black and white and 2,000 color pages.

On average, the so-called "cheap" multifuntion printers will produce 171 color or 220 color pages before the ink cartridges have to be replaced (at a cost of about $50 per set). Simple math shows that you would have to replace the cartridges 76 times to equal one set of HP high yield pagewide cartridges. This means that "cheap" printer is now costing you about $3,800.

Don't get me wrong, replacing the pagewide cartridges isn't cheap. The average cost per high-yield cartridge is $135, resulting in about $540 for a complete set. But, even with a cost of $1,439 (including $899 for the printer) the result for the same output is less than half the cost of that $99 printer you bought at Staples.

Of course there are other advantages to pagewide printing.

It's fast! The cartridges are the full width of a sheet of paper (8.5 inches), which enables the printer to produce black and white pages at speeds up to 50 pages per minute or 70 pages per minute in draft mode. The fastest inkjet printer we've played with up to this point was able to reach about 24 pages per minute using more conventional cartridges.

Of course this printer is geared toward the moderate-to-heavy user that possibly goes through 10 or 12 sets of ink cartridges per year. Even at that rate it would be seven years before the cartridges would have to be replaced.

Other key features include:

  • Like all multifunction printers, it also scans, copies and faxes
  • It's heavy, weighing almost 50 pounds
  • 768 megabytes of memory
  • 500-sheet input tray and a 50-sheet multipurpose tray
  • 300-sheet output bin
  • ADF for multiple page copying, scanning or faxing
  • Up to three paper trays
  • 4.3-inch touchscreen display
  • 1,000 to 6,000 recommended page volume
  • Three USB ports
  • One Ethernet port
  • Built-in WIFI
  • Phone cable port
  • Supports Apple and Windows operating systems
  • PIN numbers can be assigned to users for additional security





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