HP Rolls Out Printers, Services for SMBs

Small and mid-sized businesses make up about a third of the $8 billion to $9 billion printing space.

Hewlett-Packard Co.s Imaging and Printing Group on Wednesday introduced new products and services targeted at small and mid-sized businesses.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company rolled out two new printers as well as an interactive online resource center designed to help businesses create and maintain their printing systems.

Small and mid-sized businesses—which HP defines as having up to 499 employees—make up about a third of the $8 billion to $9 billion printing space, according to Rob Wait, U.S. commercial marketing manager for the Imaging and Printing Group.

"They print a lot, and they print a lot of high-value pages," Wait said.

HPs digital printing business generates $20 billion a year in revenues, but last week Dell Computer Corp. finally unveiled its long-awaited printers that will be built by Lexmark International Inc. Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, unveiled four printers for large companies and consumers.

HPs two new printers are the LaserJet 2300, specifically designed for work groups, the LaserJet 1300, for smaller groups or personal use, Wait said. The 2300 is priced at the same level as the system its replacing—the 2200—but is faster at 25 pages per minute rather than 19 and prints 6,000 pages per toner cartridge. Its 266MHz processor also is twice as fast as its predecessors, and the first-page-out time is reduced from 15 seconds to less than 10 seconds.

The LaserJet 1300, priced at $399, prints 20 pages per minute—five more than its predecessor, the 1200—and offers more memory and a faster processor.

HPs Imaging and Printing Expertise Center is a Web-based resource area that offers SMB customers everything from live chat functions and support-related information to free learning classes, ways to select tools and SMB solutions, Wait said. Customers also can get customized updates and alerts, he said.

HP also is cutting prices, dropping the Business Inkjet 2230 printer from $299 to $199, the LaserJet 1000 from $249 to $199 and all printers in the 4200 series by $100.

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