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Goodbye to grey

HP has announced a new range of flagship A3 MFPs designed to accommodate the new demands of a hybrid workforce and the growing requirement for endpoint security while also meeting HP’s sustainability commitments.

The introduction of the six-strong follows a tumultuous couple of years that have shaken up working practices, transformed office culture and ushered in a new era of hybrid working based upon cloud and digital transformation.

As impactful as these changes are, they haven’t entirely eradicated the need to print. In a March 2022 Morning Consult survey commissioned by HP, 57% of respondents cited having access to a printer as one of the things they miss most about working in an office; 56% missed having access to a scanner.

More powerful, more productive

HP’s new flagship A3 MFPs – its first since 2017 – meet the continued requirement for print, while also beefing up scanning and workflow capabilities to meet the needs of organisations in the throes of digital transformation and hybrid workers wanting to interact with the cloud even when they are in the office.

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The MFPs combine a much more powerful processor – a system on a chip – giving a 7 times improvement in the performance of the device with upgraded hardware components, e.g. a bigger touchscreen display (10.1in vs 8in) and a bigger ADF (330 sheets), and a new low-melt toner formulation to boost productivity.

What this means from a printing perspective is an increase in print speed to 70ppm (from 60ppm) and significant reductions in the all-important first copy out time (FCOT), from 20.5 seconds to 11.8 seconds, and boot from sleep time, from 150 seconds to 100 seconds.

Scanning and workflow productivity have been improved through:

  • faster scan speeds (300 images per minute, up from 240ipm);
  • faster OCR speeds;
  • time-saving features like ‘reverse and retry’, where the document feeder will reverse a jammed page and try to re-scan it on the fly, and blank page separation, where the MFP will automatically create a new file when it recognises a blank page separator in a stack of pages; and
  • more sophisticated workflow features including scanning to multi- destinations and the ability to preview and re-order pages and edit, redact and add signatures to scans via the bigger touchscreen display.

Fewer interventions

HP is boosting productivity further by minimising the need for interventions by users and/or service engineers. As well as increasing machine uptime, this has the benefit of reducing the need for on-site visits by engineers, saving managed services providers time and money and enabling them to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations.

One key enhancement in this regard, partly enabled by smaller toner particles, is a big increase in the toner drum yield, which reduces the number of replacements needed throughout the lifetime of a device.

As A3 Office Product Category Manager Andy Louch explains, this has allowed HP to reduce the need for on- site visits by synchronising maintenance cycles with the replacement of long- life consumables.

“With a 40ppm product, on a 5-year contract and average monthly volumes, we would previously have needed to send an engineer out seven times in the lifetime of the contract; on the new range we will have to do it just twice. And when engineers are with the machines, jobs can be done quicker as well. For example, firmware upgrade times have been reduced by 75%, from 20 minutes to 5 minutes.”

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MPS providers also benefit from enhancements to the Smart Device Services HP introduced on its previous machines, with AI-powered sensors feeding back telemetry data on a range of factors, from how many pages have been printed and when the next service is due to warnings about failures or wear and tear to the fuser unit, rollers or the drum so that engineers can take preventative action and arrive on-site with the necessary spares to improve first-time fix rates. Where applicable, an MPS provider can take control of the operator panel and correct problems remotely.

Another way in which these new devices can boost partner profitability is through their use of lockable toners which ensure that every speck of toner is used, maximising MPS providers’ investment in toner supplied at the start of a contract.

“The new devices will lock the toners in the machine until they are completely empty, rather than the user removing them as soon as they get a low toner alert, when there could still be 3%, 4%, 5% of toner left. There is no risk of toner running out and the user’s printing being interrupted thanks to a hopper at the back of the machine that allows users to continue printing while they wait for replacement toner,” explained Louch.

Flexibility and personalisation

Another characteristic of HP’s new machines is the degree to which they can be personalised.

One outward sign of this is their availability in a choice of six colours. This is not the first time a printer vendor has tried to move away from monotone black, grey, white or beige boxes, but the changing nature of the office in an era of hybrid work means that MFP buyers may be more receptive to specifying devices that can blend into more decorative spaces.

Device functionality can be changed in significant ways too. For example, an MFP’s print speed can be adjusted throughout its lifetime, from 40ppm, say, on day one of a contract to 50, 60 or 70ppm later on, if, for example, a department grows or two workgroups are combined.

Next year, HP is introducing yet more flexibility with the HP Flex Build programme. Today, HP MFPs are available in two choices – a standard version and a Flow MFP with a bigger screen and physical keyboard – albeit with some modularity and the ability to specify different paper trays and finishing options. From January, customers will be able to customise machines in more ways, specifying the size of screen they want, the size of document feeder, whether they need a pull-out keyboard, whether they need a hard drive in the device.

Security

With hackers targeting MFPs and hybrid working increasing organisations’ exposure to risk, the HP LaserJet Managed E800/E700 Series meet the growing requirement for endpoint security.

In a Morning Consult Survey for the HP Wolf Security Blurred Lines and Blindspots report, 91% of IT decision- makers (ITDMs) said they believe endpoint security has become as important as network security, with 45% claiming to have seen evidence of compromised printers in their organisation being used as an attack point.

HP claims that its new devices – the first to feature HP Wolf Enterprise Security branding – are its most secure to date, with industry-leading, multi- layer, self-healing security that protects, detects and adapts to new threats.

Their 200+ embedded security features include a new HP Memory Shield which protects against unknown zero-day attacks and prevents malware attacks from redirecting the execution flow of a program.

This is on top of HP Wolf security features that will be familiar to existing users of HP devices, including HP Sure Start BIOS protection and repair; Firmware whitelisting; Runtime intrusion detection, which monitors memory activity to detect and stop attacks in real-time; and Connection Inspector, which checks outgoing communications to stop suspicious requests.

Sustainability

In addition to hybrid working and security, the HP LaserJet Managed E800/ E700 Series embodies a third of HP’s corporate imperatives – sustainability.

HP UK & Ireland Channel Director Neil MacDonald said: “This is really foundational now in terms of how HP operates across the entire broad portfolio we bring to market and how we operate as a business. It is a clear goal for the company to become the most sustainable and just technology company globally.”

HP reached its Zero Deforestation goal in 2020 by sourcing paper and paper-based packaging from sustainable or recycled sources; all printing on its devices is now Forest Positive, with HP planting trees to compensate for every page that passes through one of its printers – it planted 1 million trees last year and will plant 1 million more this year, including 40,000 in the UK; and it has recycled 875 million ink and toner cartridges with 84% of recovered material being used in other products and 0% going to landfill.

This includes the toner cartridges used in the HP LaserJet Managed E800/ E700 Series, which are made from up to 68% recycled plastic. As mentioned above, higher yield toners combined with lower maintenance requirements and smart sensors reduce the number of engineer visits required, while the toner’s low melt temperature means the EPEAT Gold, Blue Angel and Energy Star-certified devices consume 10-21% less energy when printing and can come out of sleep more quickly.

For customers that want to go even further and neutralise any carbon emissions associated with their use of HP printers, HP offers a complete carbon offsetting service.

People still want to print, but there is no doubt that the world of work is changing. HP’s new flagship devices marry the need to print with the qualities that are prized most highly in the evolving workplace – efficiency, agility, security and sustainability.

www.hp.com

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