DeskJet 550C

Inkjet Selection:

Name: DeskJet 550C
Product Number: C2121A
Introduced: 1992
Division: Vancouver
Ad: Click to see
Original Price: $1099
Catalog Reference: 1994, page 34


The DeskJet 550C was HP's second full-colour 300dpi inkjet printer, coming a few months after the PaintJet XL300. Well, in reality, it was full-colour except for its inability to print the colour red. It could get close, but it could never print a true red. That limitation proved only a minor drawback. Whereas the DeskJet 500C could only print a grayish-greenish looking "process black" (by mixing the three colours in the colour cartridge), the DeskJet 550C came with a separate true black cartridge. The 550C was an outstanding product. It was fast, reliable, low cost and produced good quality. It dominated colour printer sales across all categories during its product life.

The DeskWriter 550C (C2124A) was also introduced in October of 1992, for connection to Apple Macintosh computers. The DeskWriter 550C had the same specifications and price as the DeskJet 550C.

Collector's Notes:

The early DeskJet printers are still very reliable as of 2014. These printers have external power supplies, built in to the power cord. The museum has more than two dozen of these power supplies, and they all work fine. In the last ten years, we have seen over fifteen of these printers. All except one was fully functional. The biggest challenge with the old DeskJets is in the print cartridge. If you use the printer every week, you probably won't have any problems. But, if the printer is idle for a month or more, you will likely get clogged print nozzles. Sometimes, this can be fixed by swiping the nozzles with a lint-free isopropyl alcohol cloth. If the print cartridge hasn't been used for many months, you can often get it working again by wrapping it in a flame-proof cloth and heating it in an oven. We don't recommend this process unless you really know what you are doing.


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