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HP Releases 54 A3 Multifunction Printers with Embedded Security

The new devices are part of the hardware maker’s ongoing effort to grab a hunk of the $55 billion market for A3 copiers.

By Rich Freeman

In an extension of its ongoing effort to take on the $55 billion global copier market, HP Inc. has shipped an extensive new family of A3 multifunction printers with built-in security functionality.

Available immediately, the 54 new SKUs include 3 models equipped with the Palo Alto, Calif.-based hardware vendor’s PageWide technology, which utilizes a stationary margin-to-margin printing head to accelerate print speeds, plus 13 LaserJet platforms.

“We set out to offer our partners a robust portfolio of A3 MFPs with disruptive technologies and a range of finishing options to meet current and future printing needs,” said Tuan Tran, HP’s general manager and global head for office printing solutions, in a press statement. “Today, we’re delivering on that promise, along with our mission to continue reinventing the market. Using the vast knowledge we’ve gained through our large-scale commercial printers, we streamlined our designs, improved print speeds and enabled higher-quality printing for a lower cost.”

All of the new offerings feature onboard security functionality designed to identify and address threats automatically. HP Sure Start technology, for example, confirms the authenticity of a printer’s BIOS during the boot process, and switches to a known “golden copy” if it detects compromised code. Whitelisting technology similarly reboots devices to a secure, offline state if it discovers firmware during the startup process that doesn’t bear a verifiable HP digital signature, and alerts technicians to install a valid replacement.

Run-time intrusion detection functionality, meanwhile, continually looks for anomalies in firmware and memory operations and automatically restarts printers that are under attack.

After any security-related reboot, HP’s JetAdvantage Security Manager can automatically look for underlying vulnerabilities and reset a device’s security settings appropriately based on preset company policies, without IT intervention.

HP’s newest printers all come with its Smart Device Services (SDS) feature as well. Introduced last year, SDS collects diagnostic information from printers via embedded sensors and distributes it to third-party RMM and managed print solutions, enabling partners to reduce administrative overhead by investigating and potentially resolving technical problems without a truck roll.

HP signaled the scale of its ambitions in the A3 market last September when it announced a deal with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to purchase the latter’s printer business for a little over $1 billion. Since then, the company says, it has recruited over 500 resellers to sell its emerging A3 MFP product line.

“We worked side-by-side with our partners, discussing their needs, assessing their preferred tools and gaining a better understanding of their business models,” said Aurelio Maruggi, general manager for A3 solutions at HP, in prepared remarks. “This co-innovation not only strengthened our relationships, but had a direct, positive impact on the final portfolio.”

The latest batch of HP printers reaches market a week to the day after Norwalk, Conn.-based competitor Xerox Corp. launched 29 new A3 and A4 printers of its own, and just over 2 weeks since Epson America Inc. pulled the wraps off 2 new high-speed color inkjet MFPs with motionless print head technology similar to PageWide.