Wednesday, December 18, 2013

HP Office Pro 8600

Okay, we were so mad at a couple of flaws in recent HP printers that we were ready to switch.  Now, that's quite a statement from our house since we met at HP, and my wife (who loved the place) still thinks I'm married more to HP than to anyone else.

But after an evening at Best Buy, and another at Staples, we came home with an HP Office Pro 8600.

And we love it.

The clerk said "You'd better buy new ink cartridges right now, since they only put enough 'starter ink' in the initial cartridges to turn the machine on and make sure it operates."  We did buy a full set, for a coll $97 (the printer, with original cartridges, was $199).   This is much like buying an iPhone from Verizon, damn near free as long as you buy the monthly service package.

Well, the pleasant surprise is that I printed more than 3 reams of paper before the black ink ran out, which comes out to about 2.6 cnens per page, quite a bit cheaper than Kinko's.   And the colored inks were mostly still full, even though many pages had color elements.

You're right, there were few pictures in this particular set.

But, I got to reflecting on this business.  Ink-jet printing for HP has a long Long LONG history, going back 25 years to the first ThinkJet that actually was a successful commercial product.  Prior to that, the ink ran, or spilled, or smeared, or evaporated over time, even though 11 technologies were tried in 23 separate products for the previous decade.  But the recipe finally baked good bread, and something like a half billion InkJet printers have been sold by HP in the intervening years, more than all other manufacturers combined, over a very long time.

And no one maintains a competitive edge that long, right?  Not in wide-body airplanes, not in luxury cars, not in candy bars or RAID disc drives or even jet engines.   Against the world's best companies, including Apple, Kodak in their heyday, IBM in its, Dell, Konica-Minolta, Savin, Ricoh, Canon and Samsung to name a few leading brands.  How'd they do it?

And what's next?

Stay tuned...


Donna said...

Yay, you're back! Where have you been?

As an HP employee, I still love buying HP equipment, and love my TouchPad (yep I got one of the last lot in the UK) and my OfficePro printer which I bought via the employee purchase scheme for less than $30 last year and has done me proud through the start up of my ladies chorus, and printing pages and pages of music!

Cupertino Rotary said...

Hmmmm!! And my experience with the OfficeJet Pro 8600 has been nothing short of dismal!! I am this close it sending it back. Everything was great after I spent 4 hours and a call to HP Support to set it up. Then ... when it is idle for more than 4 hours it is not detectable on my WiFi network (while my old wired LaserJet is ) and I cannot print to it. I have called HP support twice and Apple support (I now use a Mac) once and got nothing but the standard finger-pointing!! No one even understands my problem. I have browsed many blogs on the net and they all curse the HP printer about this problem. No one has a solution. I used to swear by HP Printers and as an alum am very disheartened! So now am investigating Epson and Brother ....


David DeBellis said...

It does my heart good to know the winner of HP's Medal of Defiance owns and appreciates his Officejet Pro 8600. We still relate that story as an example of both enlightened engineering and management.

I was part of the development team for that product, having worked in the inkjet printing division for over 17 years, and I can say unreservedly it is the best development effort I have been involved with, embodying many of the best practices and lessons learned in the decades we've been in this business.

You ask what's next? Well, the same division that developed the 8600 just released the Officejet Pro X last year - 42,000 nozzles of pagewide inkjet printing at over 40ppm - a quantum leap in performance and economy. Expect to see more devices using this new technology. Innovation of the kind that HP was known for in its heydey is still around.