Lexmark launches load of new workgroup printers

Lexmark International announced a series of new printer products, ranging from workgroup to personal printers, in a flurry of news from the AIIM Exposition and Conference in New York on Monday.

The company announced a variety of new products that are faster and more powerful than its existing printers. Its goals for the new printers include helping customers "print smarter" and turning up the heat on rival printer maker Hewlett-Packard.

The workgroup printers are aimed at a move among enterprises toward distributed printing, with printers set up for small numbers of computer workstations, instead of large departments sharing one printer, said Matt Dollus, senior manager of solutions marketing for Lexmark.

"The closer you can get capabilities to the user, the more you can leverage the knowledge worker," Dollus said. "A printer is really a central point of any paper-based process that occurs within a business. If you talk about improving efficiencies, probably the most ripe area is just to speed the (printing) process up."

HP didn't have an immediate response to the Lexmark announcements.

Among Lexmark's new products announced Monday are the following:

-- A new family of black-and-white workgroup laser printers, the Lexmark T630, T632 and T634, which customers can upgrade to multi-function printers. Priced between US$749 and $1,399, the T series printers are aimed a business workgroups with four to 15 computers sharing the printer. The high-end T634 can print 45 pages per minute and 225,000 pages per month.

-- Three new black-and-white workgroup multi-function printers, the Lexmark X630, X632 and X632e, which combine printing, copying, faxing and network scanning functions. The X series devices range from $2,749 to $6,569, with the high-end X632e printing and copying up to 40 pages per minute and scanning up to 23 pages per minute.

-- The Lexmark C912 business-class color printer, costing $3,499 or $1,000 more for a networkable model. A $8,999 model is also available. The base model prints 28 pages per minute in color or black and white.

-- Two new personal black-and-white laser printers, the Lexmark E321 and E323. Aimed at users ranging from enterprises to high-volume home users, the E321 and E323 replace older Lexmark printers and have faster output speeds, faster processors and more memory. The E321 costs $299 and prints up to 20 pages per minute, while the more powerful E323 is $399.

-- A new print utility for Unix and Linux that includes a graphical user interface for managing print queues.

"With the growth of the Linux operating system, one of the things that's been ignored until now is ease of use of printing in that environment," Dollus said.

All of the new products are available immediately, except the T634, which will be released in June.

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