They say that small is beautiful, and if today’s businesses are anything to go by, they must be the most attractive ever.
This is, without doubt, the age of the small business, and new startups are joining the party every day.
A small business needs small business supplies, a fact which HP seems to have taken to extremes with the release of its new HP LaserJet Pro M15 and M28 series. Heralded as a micro printer for micro businesses, the new printer is aimed squarely at the short term contract and freelance sectors – or the gig economy as it is becoming increasingly known.
Print’s not dead
It seems that people have been talking about paper-free homes and offices forever, but the truth is that there is still a need for printed media in the modern age. Nevertheless, printer technology has changed little over the past few years, save for the fact that printers have become steadily cheaper, and even genuine HP ink cartridges can be bought for a reasonable price if you just shop around a little.
It is refreshing, then, to see HP acknowledging that printers are not some vestige of a bygone age, like the VCR or the floppy disk, by coming up with something truly innovative and appropriate for 2018.
Having split from parent company Hewlett-Packard back in November of 2015, HP has clearly been looking at ways to revitalise the printing sector. It started by acquiring Samsung Electronics’ printer business, and using the business’s intellectual property to expand its reach by adding more than 6,500 new printing patents.
As well as the new micro printer, HP has been investing heavily in its 3D printing capabilities, focussing predominantly on the industrial markets.
So how small is the new printer? We will have to wait a few weeks before it officially appears on the shelves, but according to HP, the new generation printers are about as tall as the average smartphone. However, despite their diminutive size, they can print at a rate of around 18 pages per minute, putting many of the most popular inkjets to shame.
The world has managed to do away with cables far more effectively than it has paper, and as you would expect, the M15 and M20 have full wireless capability, and users can send print jobs directly from their smartphones, laptops or tablets using the HP Smart App. Those who cannot face installing yet another app need not despair – the printers can also be operated using Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint and other similar apps.
The future of printing?
The much talked-about paperless world has not transpired in quite the way that some people expected, but what has become clear is that while we will always need to print things from time to time, those printing needs are different to those of 15 or 20 years ago.
Today’s small businesses still need to print, but they can manage without the huge and expensive laser printers of yesteryear. HP’s innovative new design could be exactly what is needed.