Lexmark Looks to Cut into HP’s Printer Biz

Lexmark International is making no mistake it is going all
out to challenge Hewlett-Packard for a bigger share of the
lucrative laser printer and multifunction device markets.

In an unusual move, Lexmark issued five press releases Monday disclosing
details about its new suite of what it is calling “distributed laser printer
and multifunction printer products.” Lexmark is referring to products which
combine copying, scanning and printing functions into an integrated business
machine.

The battle between Lexmark, Hewlett-Packard and other manufacturers like
Xerox is for stakes in the market for new digital
multifunction machines, which are rapidly replacing older analog, single
function copiers and printers.

Lexmark said it is rolling out no less than eleven new products, including
eight monochrome laser printers, one color laser printer and two
multifunction office machines. Lexmark is also marketing new attachment
devices, which enable scanning and copying functions, when connected to
certain printer models, accelerating print and copy speeds along with better
printing resolution.

While HP, Xerox and several other business machine makers are pursuing a
strategy of integrating technologies with multiple functions, Lexmark is
taking a different tack. Lexmark says its modular approach gives customers
additional flexibility, and a variety of pricing options. Lexmark says it is
giving customers the ability to simply upgrade, if and when they decide want
to add functionality over time.

But several of Lexmark’s laser printers are very similar to those products
on the market from HP. Lexmark says it wants to offer similar products, but
at more competitive prices.

Lexmark says its $749 T630 will offer the same 35 page-per-minute printing
as HP’s $999 LaserJet 4200, while for $999 Lexmark is offering the 40
page-per-minute T632.

And HP isn’t sitting back waiting for Lexmark to challenge it. Just last
week, HP introduced two new printers and announced price cuts on several of
its printer products.

Lexmark also said it is rolling out two lower-end printers, which compete
against the Lexmark-made models that Dell Computer introduced last month.
Lexmark’s new $299 E321 will compete against Dell’s $289 P1500.

Among the other products Lexmark is rolling out, include its new “E” line of
printers, including Lexmark E21 and E23 systems for “space-critical” and
business-class printing. The E21 will have a list price of $299, and is
built with a 100 MHz processor and 8 Mb of memory. The E23 is built with a
200 MHz processor, 16 Mb of memory and is priced at $399. The E23n also can
be integrated into an internal network and is priced at $599.

Lexmark’s more sophisticated printers also include its new “T” line of
printers, including the T630, T632 and T634. These products boast output
speeds of between 35 and 45 pages per minute, a time to print of 8.5 seconds
and a duty cycle of 225,000 pages per month. The T630 is priced at $729, the
T632 is priced at $999 and the T634 at $1,399

Lexmark is also advancing digital color copier strategy with the new Lexmark
C912 color printer, which can easily be connected to a general office
printer to provide for enhanced graphics. The systems have a print speed of
up to 28 pages per minute, with a street price estimated at either $3,499
for a base model or $4,499 for a networked model.

In a related development, or perhaps in a press release challenge from HP,
the company said it is expanding and service offerings for its Digital
Publishing Solutions division. HP said it is offering what it calls HP
Indigo Printer Paper for its digital presses. HP said it is also upgrading
its HP Production Flow system and rolling out a new HP Designjet
large-format printer.

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