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Dell to Challenge HP, IBM in Printer Market

Dell Computer is jumping into the printer market, launching several new models this week, which will challenge its entrenched hardware rivals IBM and Hewlett-Packard .

Dell is rolling out two laser jet printers and an inkjet printer, which is able to print, fax and copy documents. The multi-function device will be marketed to both consumers and small businesses.

Dell's strategy is to both sell printers separately, and as part of competitively priced complete personal computer sales packages. Dell is also trying to trim into rival Hewlett-Packard's longstanding lead in the printer market. Previously, Dell was one of the leading resellers of HP printers, and the company in the past year, has taken a number of steps to enter new markets, while turning some previous partners into new competitors.

Dell, known for its aggressive pricing and direct marketing strategies is likely to undercut HP and other leading printer prices. Published reports say Dell is expected to sell its multifunction printer for around $150, HP's PSC 2110, a similar product currently sells for $199.

Dell is also expected to rollout two monochrome laser printers this week, with the least expensive model to be offered for around $300, according to published reports. A more sophisticated laser printer for businesses is likely to sell for close to $500.

Dell said Lexmark will manufacturer printers for it, as part of a partnership deal signed last September.

Dell is expected to begin offering several business printer models this week. One group is expected to be known as its S2500n workgroup laser printer, which will be taking on IBM's Infoprint 1222dn. Both printers are based on Lexmark's T420d technology, software, control panel and produce 600-dpi resolution. Dell is expected to severely undercut IBM's base workgroup printer which starts at $712, while HP could offer its product for less than $500.