One of the best things about getting to write a column as I do for USA TODAY is that I am privy to the latest technology trends for small business. As I am wont to say, this is an extraordinary time to own a business and one main reason is that technology has allowed small businesses to better compete and to look bigger and be far more effective than ever before.
Example: I was recently in Lisbon, Portugal attending the worldwide launch of HP’s new line of printers. Called Printing Reinvented, the launch exemplified just how powerful the tools available to small business these days really are.
According to David Ryan, HP General Manager, Print Business Group for Europe, Middle East & Africa, this product launch was “HP’s biggest launch in a decade.” And it is not hard to see why. From the smallest printers for the SOHO market to solutions for much bigger enterprises, the new line of HP printers was quite impressive.
Begin with the OfficeJet Pro. Personally, I have very fond feelings for the OfficeJet line of printers because, like many of you, it was the printer I used when I first started my business. Given that the OfficeJet series was always a printer that offered quality color copies and printing at reasonable prices, what is amazing and impressive is that HP took what was already a very fine product and reinvented it, making it even better.
For starters, the OfficeJet Pro paper path has been redone so that it can handle two pages at the same time, thereby significantly cutting down the time it takes to print. Another change for the better is that single-sided pages now exit face down, which is a nice security and privacy feature. Additional upgrades include:
- Faster scanning
- Being greener (using as little power as an LED light bulb)
- Pages that do not fall to the floor
- A larger screen featuring swipe and tap technology, making the user interface far more intuitive
Next, lets look at the OfficeJet’s big brother, the new LaserJet series. Now that my own business has grown, we use LaserJets, so I was especially anxious to see what changes were in store here. And again, the launch did not disappoint. LaserJets too have been similarly reinvented.
These new printers offer the same exceptionally high standards that we have all come to expect from HP’s LaserJets, only more so. Using HP’s JetIntelligence system, the new LaserJets offer laser printing that is crisper, smarter, smaller, more secure, faster, and more energy efficient. I didn’t think my laser printer could get better, but apparently it can.
Finally, and maybe the most interesting part of the event in Lisbon, was the introduction of the new HP PageWide series of printers. The PageWide technology stems from HP’s long history with commercial and industrial printing. You can imagine how big those printers are. The PageWide technology is amazing for many reasons, but the first is this: HP has taken this large format, industrial technology and figured out how to shrink it down to the size of a desktop printer.
Talk about printing reinvented.
Among other things that makes this technology so unique in the small and medium business market is that these PageWide printers have cartridges that span the entire width of the page (hence PageWide). These cartridges stay stationary as the paper moves through the printer, resulting in not only fewer moving parts, but also, color prints that are extra sharp. That the printers also have the lowest carbon footprint in their class, are incredibly secure, and are quite fast make them an even more attractive option for the small business looking to make a big impression.
So, yes, as I said and as you can see from this product launch, technology has really leveled the playing field for small businesses.
Bottom line: These new HP printers are really impressive and a great choice for any small business.