The Brother "Cobra": Ultra Fast Prints + Ultra Low Power

Businesses which depend on printed documents and tight schedules have long relied on getting the fastest print times possible to keep their offices running. But these high ppm ratings come at an extreme energy cost, because fast printers have generally meant laser printers, and all the heat losses that go along with them. For example, even Samsung, who has a vocal environmental commitment recently produced a medium duty printer capable of 21ppm black / 5ppm color which clocks in at 45 watts while idling, and an electric bill smoldering 450 watts during a print! We're actually kind of speechless reading that number... Just a second... OK. Luckily, the folks at Brother Industries want us to have our cake, and eat it too...
Their new flagship printing technology, called Piezo Inkjet Line Head allows all ink on the page to be laid down in one pass, with no moving printhead. Since there is no head to slow the process, the prototype printer, codenamed "Cobra" can print 170 pages per minute. And, since the print heads are scalable, any size page can be printed at the same speed, simply by adding more heads.


Even better though, is the fact that Brother's innovative piezo technology requires 1/14 the power of conventional inkjets, and much much less than laser printers. The prototype machine consumes only 3 watts of power when printing on A6 format sheets (postcard or photograph size).

Of course, all great prototypes come with caveats, and this is no exception. The biggest downer is that no date has been set for production, which generally means you better wait a couple years before you expect your printer to become a lightweight.

In the meantime, you can save quite a bit of power with a few simple rules:

-Only print what you need. Reading on a screen or PDA, while not as nice as paper, uses much much less power.

-Turn off your printer. If you're a small business, shut down the printer if no one's using it in the next 30 minutes. That will cut out the idling power drain.

:: Brother Cobra at Red Ferret