Yesterday, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) introduced a new generation of printers it claims will "catapult its leadership in the printer market years ahead of its competition."

That's bold talk, especially for a company that recently has been losing market share to the likes of Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and printer manufacturers Canon (NYSE:CAJ) and Lexmark (NYSE:LXK).

So, is it time to buy HP? I say, "Yes!"

Five years ago, recently ousted CEO Carly Fiorina decided to invest heavily to help HP establish technological leadership. In that time, the company went from 16th place on the list of organizations receiving the most patents to fourth. An example of that investment is the discovery of technology that could replace the transistor.

Discoveries are great, but those looking for meat-and-potatoes products will love the new printers. Developed over five years (yes, those Fiorina years) at a cost of $1.4 billion, they offer record print speeds, while providing higher quality output and richer color.

Don't yawn! Here's the kicker: The new technology, which uses a photolithographic process to fit 3,900 perfectly aligned nozzles onto a single print head, is scalable. There will be no technology creep here. This print head can work on both high-end printers for the commercial market and lower-cost units for the consumer.

HP announced two home units that can print a four-by-six-inch color photo in 14 seconds for as little as $0.24 a print. That low cost is possible because the ink delivery system is extremely efficient.

Coming soon will be a printer aimed at small to midsize businesses that prints twice as fast but, get this, at a cost 30% lower than color laser printers. Then, in the not too distant future, HP will introduce commercial printers that use this advanced technology.

So, how important is printing to HP? Last quarter, imaging and printing contributed 29.6% of total sales but a disproportionate 56.6% of operating profits.

New printers were not the only good news for HP imaging yesterday. Recent HP acquisition Snapfish, which has been setting industry low prices for its online photo service, announced that Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) has snapped up its hosting services for its own online photo service.

The knock on HP has been its weak operating margins. Heck, even lumbering giant IBM (NYSE:IBM) has 12-month trailing operating margins that are twice HP's. But it is clear that imaging, HP's crown jewel, is off to the races with great product offerings at great prices.

Analysts were projecting HP's earnings growth at 10% a year for the next five years. With the cash cow ready to run again, those estimates may prove to be conservative. And of course, HP can certainly dig into that five-year technology investment to breathe life into its other operations as well. At 16.3 times current-year estimated earnings, the stock could catapult higher if HP has an upside earnings surprise.

Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned, but is the proud owner of two HP printers. Click here to see The Motley Fool's disclosure policy.