HP Rolls Out Faster Laser Printers for SMBs

The company released new printers aimed at small and midsize businesses at the TechXNY Expo in New York, including its fastest color laser printer.

NEW YORK—Hewlett-Packard Co. released a slew of new printers aimed at small and midsize businesses at the TechXNY Expo here this week.

The Color LaserJet 5550, HPs fastest color laser printer, prints 27 pages per minute in both color and monochrome and also enables 11-by-17 printing. It costs $3,549.

HP also ramped up the speed in its new monochrome machines, which include the LaserJet 4350, which prints 55 ppm. It sells for $1,649. The Palo Alto, Calif., company also rolled out new ink-jet models, including the low-end InkJet 1200, a $200 printer that includes duplexing as a standard feature.

HP officials say SMBs can save money by moving their printing jobs in-house.

"The main application we believe is really doing the in-house marketing collateral. We have a lot of customers ... who feel that now with ColorLaserJet at such a low price point, why should we spend $17,000 doing the marketing and collateral work that on average SMB customers do," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HPs imaging and printing group. "We believe they could cut their costs significantly by doing it in-house."

One SMB user agreed. "We saved 60 percent off our printing costs by moving our printing in-house and on supplies," said Scott Jeffrey, executive vice president of TractManager Inc., a midsize contract management services company for the health care and real estate industries, based in Saddle Brook, N.J.

TractManager provides services for some 1,500 hospitals in 43 states. The company produces tens of thousands of documents each month for its customers as well as for conferences and tradeshows, mass mailings and cold calls, Jeffrey said.

At the show this week, HP also released other devices, including a gigabit print server—which HP says will reduce network traffic to allow users to print larger documents such as graphic-intensive files—as well as new wireless capabilities in its printers. However, Cathy Lyons, senior vice president of Business Imaging and Printing at HP, acknowledged that so far there has been "more buzz than traction" for wireless printing. "Its really about changing users habits, and that always takes a while," she said.

"I dont really have a use for wireless printing because mostly I just print from my desktop to the printer," TractManagers Jeffrey said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifXerox introduced new multifunction printers at TechXNY. Click here to read about them.

SMB printer prices continue to plummet. A day after HP released its new printers, Dell Inc. reduced the costs of its rebranded monochrome printers. Dell cut its 35-ppm networked printer from $899 to $799 and its 45-ppm networked printer from $1,249 to $999.

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