HP's ink-based MFP threatens laser supremacy
Big new CM8060 Color MFP with Edgeline technology proves that six print heads are better than oneFollow @infoworld
Give up my laser printer for an inkjet? Are you kidding? But that's exactly what HP hopes you will do, and the company may be on to something. HP's new CM8060 Color MFP with Edgeline Technology prints quickly, and it prints well. If it is truly as affordable as HP's estimated pricing indicates, we may have a new heavyweight contender. We certainly have a heavyweight.
The CM8060 takes HP's existing inkjet technology and kicks it up about 10 notches. As does an inkjet, the CM8060 sprays ink, but from six print heads (instead of one), spread in three rows across the full width of the page. The broad coverage provided by all these jets, compared with the ordinary inkjet's single jet inching across the page, provides a dramatic speed boost.
The ink tanks are huge: For instance, the black tank lasts 25,800 pages (based on ISO standards), the magenta 68,900 pages. A large vacuum drum holds as many as three pages at a time while it's printing. HP equips the CM8060 with a 1.6GHz Intel Pentium M-730 processor and 1GB of non-upgradable DDR RAM. You need a 20-amp electrical connection to power it. And you'll never mistake this 725-pound hulk for that cute, little inkjet on your desk at home.
What does all this beefy equipment promise? For the CM8060, an average printing speed of 60 ppm (pages per minute) for black-only images, and 50 ppm for color images. Along with fast, HP promises cheap: An estimated list price (for the base unit) of $23,530, which seems competitive with laser-based offerings in the same speed band (given the murky, service-contract-based pricing of this category). Its near-twin, the CM8050, is a little slower and less expensive.
You should note that this product will be sold with a lease and a service contract, so the base price above is somewhat meaningless (as it always has been for the MFPs we've reviewed). Further, the ink pricing is not published, but negotiated as part of the contract.
But will it play in Boise?
Because the CM8060 is so huge, HP wouldn't send one to InfoWorld's Test Center; instead, I had to travel to HP's facility in Boise, Idaho. Due to the completely different testing environment, I can't compare the CM8060 directly to any color MFPs we've tested in the past; nevertheless, I hewed as closely as I could to what we normally do.
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