Strange observation regarding HP Printer part number assignments


Jun 27, 2000
According to my research, HPs current entry level printers are the 642C, 842C, and 932C.

However when doing a search on (or shopping at for example, the printers are 640C, 840C, and 930C. The part numbers are different as well.

Are the printers different, or is one just OEM assignment or something?

Enlighten me.


Senior member
Mar 31, 2000
I know that the letter designations usually indicate major reseller accounts. So stuff they sell to Best Buy for resale will be a 642Cse and the Sams version will be 642Cxi (just making up the extensions, but hope you get the idea). I was led to believe this was to stop people from doing price matching or buying at one store and returning to another... Would seem reasonable that the OEM market would get a whole new part number. No buying it online for $150 and then returning to a store for $200.


Dec 22, 2000
Usually, there is little to no difference if there's a two digit change. Hell, I know one of the old 600 series' only difference between a two number increase was a program that came with it . . . 101 dalmations art, or something ridiculous like that. So chances are, it's pretty much the same thing. You might get updated drivers on the newer ones, but you could just download those anyway. If you can get the higher numbered one for the same price, by all means do it, but as far as I know, there's really not much of a difference.

As to the letter designations afterwards, I don't think that thing about major reseller accounts is right. They use those to denote (if memory serves) inproved versions of the same model . . . ya know, faster print, higher dpi, stuff like that.