Dell Printers Sport Their Own Refill System

When any of the PC maker's four new printers needs new ink or toner, the system alerts users and sends them to the Dell Web site.

PC maker Dell Computer Corp. hopes to spread its products further across the enterprise with its first line of printers.

The Round Rock, Texas, company, which is the U.S. leader in PC sales, on Tuesday unveiled four printers for large companies and consumers.

A key feature of the printers, which will be manufactured by Lexmark International Inc., is a new proprietary system that monitors ink and toner levels. When a printer needs a refill, the system sends an alert that appears on the users PC screen and, if clicked on, takes the user to Dells online store, where replacement ink and toner cartridges can be purchased. Ink cartridges start at $29.99, and toner cartridges start at $74.99.

The new Dell Workgroup Laser Printer S2500 and S2500n for larger companies print up to 22 pages per minutes at up to 600-dpi resolution. The non-networked version (S2500) sells for $499, and the networked version (S2500n) sells for $839. Both come with a service plan and technical support.

The Dell Personal Laser Printer P1500 for businesses or personal use prints up to 19 pages per minutes at up to 600 dpi. It is priced at $289. The Dell Personal All-in-One Printer A940 is equipped with printer, scanner, copier and faxing capabilities. Company officials said it prints photographic-quality prints. It prints up to 17 pages per minute and is priced at $139.

In an appeal to green-minded customers, Dell said it will provide customers with prepaid postage labels so they can send old printers from any manufacturer to a recycling center. Ink and toner cartridges also come with prepaid return packages so that users can send them back to Dell.

Even as Dell enters the printer market, IBM on Tuesday expanded its printer options with a new Wi-FI adapter for its printers. The IBM 802.11b Wireless Print Adapter lets users of computer notebooks, PCs or PDAs with 802.11b wireless capabilities print documents remotely without forcing their employer to set up a standard Ethernet network, said officials at IBM, of Armonk, N.Y.

The adapter, which operates at 11M bps, plugs into the Ethernet port in any IBM workgroup printer.

This story was updated after its original posting to correct the pricing of the Dell printers.

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