Thom Brown 2HP South Africa flew in an Inkologist from their San Diego offices to explain the science and innovation of HP’s inks and cartridges earlier today.

In a field that’s probably least exciting, they managed to get our interest with Thomas Brown explaining and demonstrating the value of using HP’s ink versus other brand fills.

The company was open about it and fully aware that customers sometimes look for cheaper solutions and buy refills using non-HP ink. Most of us in South Africa always look for a bargain, right?

Thomas showed us examples from a demo in Brazil where they used HP ink and another brand purchased from the street corner the demo took place and the results spoke for itself – the non-HP ink was erratic in performance, some pics came out great while others awful (with an orange/pink hue).

HP Thomas Brown

Of course, buying a refill from anywhere doesn’t guarantee you will get the same amount of prints, like you see on the HP cartridge you initially purchased. Makes sense logically – you get what you pay for.

HP also shared some very interesting information that you normally won’t hear from a printing company. Some of my favourites were:
– The letter “A” in 12 point Times New Roman uses 1400 drops of ink
– Thermal inkjet printing came about from observing a percolator making coffee
– Ink travels at a speed of 50km/h (you don’t think about that really)
– Ink is heated at 300 degrees (yes, water boils at 100 degrees)

HP Shine Studios

Reliability tests done between HP ink and refills showed that more than 40% of tested refilled ink failed during use. This was part of a study commissioned by HP through A Buyers Laboratory Inc.

To make the presentation more interactive, Thomas did a few demos to show what HP was getting at. Like taking his favourite drink mix, making it with the best ingredients, and then calling up someone from the audience to make the same drink using cheaper materials. You can imagine how that turned out.

I know it’s all marketing, but HP ended off with saying “fulfil your expectations, don’t refill them”. I guess in a way it comes down to what I mentioned earlier and always tell people who ask me for advice “you get what you pay for.”