Dell Eyes Enterprise Printing

Filling a gap in its printer lineup, Dell is expected to roll out its first multifunction laser printer this week.

Filling a gap in its printer lineup, Dell Inc. is expected to roll out this week its first multifunction laser printer.

According to sources familiar with the rollout, the monochrome Dell Laser MFP 1600n, priced at $399, can copy and print at 22 ppm (pages per minute), as well as scan and fax. It includes a USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 interface and a 10/100BaseTX Ethernet card.

Although Dell officials would not comment on future product releases, they have previously discussed new printer announcements set for sometime this month.

Since Dell entered the printer market in 2002, the Round Rock, Texas, company has made inroads in the market, mostly in the consumer and SOHO (small office/home office) space with its inkjet printers.

But to compete with market leader Hewlett-Packard Co. in the corporate arena—especially in the highly coveted SMB (small and midsize business) space—Dell needs to round out its product line with laser MFPs and color lasers, said Jake Wang, an analyst with Current Analysis Inc.

"Dells inkjets are really targeted toward SOHO users, not corporate, enterprise users," said Wang in La Jolla, Calif. A low-end MFP would be a steppingstone for Dell to fill out its product lineup, he said.

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Wang predicted the company soon will also offer color laser printers. Dell has said it will release color laser printers by years end.

Although Dell will try to undercut competitors MFP products in price, the company could make up that cost, said Wang, in sales of ink cartridges and toner.

Sources said Dell will also unveil two low-end monochrome laser printers, the 1700 and 1700n, both of which can print at 25 ppm.

The 1700 is a personal desktop laser, priced at $199, aimed at SOHO users, sources said. The 1700n, designed for network printing, is priced at $299 and targeted at SMBs and small workgroups, they said.

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