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 user 2004-04-05 at 10:26:00 am Views: 52
  • #7123
    Lexmark woos SMBs with colour

    Lexmark hopes its experience at the enterprise level will translate into the SMB space, and has announced three new printers targeting that market.

    The C752L models are designed to offer the functionality of high-speed, corporate network colour printers to small- and medium-size businesses. They’re based on the C752 enterprise model.

    “What we’re doing is taking advantage of the benefits in the enterprise product, and making them attainable in the SMB market,” said Howard Nason, channel marketing specialist for Lexmark Canada.

    “In this case, the C752L is a way for SMB customers to get high-performance colour into the office.”

    The C752L product line essentially carries the same printing functionality as its enterprise parent, but doesn’t offer the output options, MFP upgradeability, and higher-yield supplies of the higher-level product.

    The C752Ln is the base model, aimed at replacing existing monochrome printers. The C752Ldn includes an automatic duplexer, while the C752Ldtn includes an automatic duplexer and an additional 500-sheet drawer.

    The C752L line features true 1200×1200 dots per inch resolution. With the Color Balance feature, users can customize their colour palettes. The printers also offer intuitive keypads, and front-loading toner cartridges. All models are network-ready, and print at up to 20 pages per minute in both monochrome and colour.

    Nason said the new printers offer substantial reasons for companies to switch from using legacy systems.

    “You look at any SMB office, they’ve usually got fairly old monochrome printers in there,” he said.

    However, he said, since the new printers can offer greater output and functionality for the better prices, it’s not more expensive for businesses to upgrade.

    “That’s a concept we’re trying really hard to dispel,” Nason said.

    “New technology is typically less expensive to run. There’s really no penalty in this.”

    Nason said injecting colour into an SMB environment has significant benefits, as well. For example, companies can improve the appearance of internal and external documents without outsourcing jobs to print shops.

    “It really frees up the company to do more of their own marketing,” he said.

    “There’s definitely a level of professionalism that colour offers.”

    The C752Ln will be priced at $2,199, with the C752Ldn at $2,699 and the C752Ldtn going for $3,049.


    Brother aims new HL5100 series of lasers towards SMBs

    Brother Canada believes the time is now for SMBs to move away from inkjet printers to fulfill their daily business printing needs, and towards its new HL5100 series of faster laser printers.

    The new line replaces the previous HL5000 series with three new machines that crank out 21 pages per minute (ppm), which is 4 ppm faster than the previous models. The first-page out speed has also been decreased to less than 10 seconds, compared to less than 12 seconds.

    “We can truly go after the SMB user compared to some of our competitors. We are in there with the speed, everyone has a 20 or 21 ppm printer in this price range but the difference is the addition of duplexing built-in and our duty cycles that are higher than anyone else in this class,” said Brian Caldwell, product manager at Brother Canada.

    The duty cycle on these printers are 20,000 pages per month compared to competitor products that range anywhere from 10,000 up to 15,000 pages per month.

    “Any SMB customer that really looks at an inkjet machine and what it costs them based on the usage can keep them around for their low-end colour printing but for your day in and day out printing, a laser printer is definitely the way to go just because of the long term benefits,” Caldwell noted. “Anyone who looked at a TCO calculation between the two machines will find that in less than a year it will pay for itself just in the cost savings over the consumables.”

    The HL5140 is the entry level model ideal for SOHO users and small businesses by housing double the standard memory of its predecessor with 16MB of memory. The HL5150D offers 16MB, while the network-ready HL5170DN ships with 32MB of memory. The memory is expandable up to 144MB for the HL5140 and HL5150D, and up to 160MB for the HL5170DN.

    “We have a very competitive cost per page on these models,” Caldwell said. “There is a new consumable set for this line-up and we have kept the price point the same as the last set but increased yields, so SMBs will be getting an even better cost per page on these models.” The company expects the cost per page will be about 2.8 cents, which is a slight improvement over 2.95 cents for the previous models.

    The entire line also features a new larger paper capacity standard that offers a capacity of up to 3,500 pages and high-yield toner cartridges, which offers a page capacity of up to 6,700 pages, representing a 200 page increase for each of the cartridges.

    The HL5150D is a personal graphics laser printer that has a 300-sheet paper capacity via its 250-sheet lower paper tray and 50-sheet multipurpose tray. An optional external 10/100 BaseT Ethernet print server is available for the HL5140 and HL5150D, while the network-ready HL5170DN comes standard with an internal 10/100 BaseT Ethernet print server.

    For the first time the company will offer the NC-2200w, an 802.11b wireless print server that is expected to be available as an accessory option in April.

    “Wireless networking is really going to take off,” he said. “It has been born out of what we are seeing in the trends right now between home networking really beginning to take off, as well as small businesses choosing to go wireless instead of running wires.”

    The HL5140, HL5150D and HL5170DN are priced at $349, $499 and $699, respectively.


    Samsung shoots for SMBs with laser accuracy

    Samsung hasn’t been known as a big player in the printer market, but it has steadily been gaining share, and with the Wednesday launch of its new laser printer line-up, the company is signaling its desire to take advantage of the continuing rise of lasers and ultimately challenge market leader HP.

    Samsung’s strategy is based on its view that inkjet printers are a dying breed. In the not-too-distant future, laser monochrome printers will do for inkjets what liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors are doing to cathode ray monitors: Rendering the units extinct.

    Samsung is thus now focused on monochrome laser and colour printers, as that’s what industry trends and customer demand has been dictating. In addition to introducing its new colour laser printer (the CLP-500), Samsung bolstered its laser printer line with a number of mono laser and multi-function printers.

    “Inkjet (sales) will shrink and we think laser is taking its place,” said Greg Milkovich, executive director, IT sales and marketing, at Mississauga, Ont.-based Samsung Electronics Canada. “We’re offering a better value proposition for our customers with our entry level mono lasers . . . the toner save feature on our lasers alone will save paper and thereby reduce the cost of printing per page.”

    Within the Canadian monochrome laser market, Milkovich said Samsung (with 12 per cent share in 2003) is locked into second place with Lexmark, behind market leader Hewlett Packard, and the company expects to see its market share grow. Samsung is aiming to lay claim to one-third of the global printer market share by 2007, and it wants to be among the upper echelon of printer vendors worldwide by 2010.

    “People don’t always think of Samsung when it comes to printers, but we expect that to change,” he said. “Brand equity is important for the future of our company and we’re focused on our brand and raising brand equity. That [consumer] awareness grew in Canada by two per cent (last year), and we’re now the 25th most recognized brand name in the world.”

    Milkovich cited the flagship product of its 2004 printer line-up (the CLP-500 laser colour printer) as an ideal solution that will bring efficiency and reliability to the small to mid-sized business (SMB) or small office-home office (SOHO) environment. Equipped with automatic duplexing, networking capabilities, innovative drum technology, and at less than $1,000, Milkovich said the CLP-500 would be a very attractive option for SMBs and SOHOs. Meanwhile, the CLP-500N (networked model) has an MRSP of $1,199.

    Bill Fournier, a senior market analyst for Toronto-based Evans Research Corp. (ERC), said small businesses and SOHOs struggle with issues such as price, support costs, and limited features when it comes to printers. He added the colour laser market in Canada is growing slowly but surely.

    “Based on the increased functionality [of laser colour printers], the reduced price, the packaging of all the features that come with it, including one year of on-site support . . . these address key business demands at a price point that’s attractive to SMBs and SOHOs,” Fournier said. “We’re now seeing companies like Samsung putting out colour lasers that are affordable to SMBs.

    “That will kick-start this market this year or next.”

    Samsung also highlighted its ML-1740 ($329) and the new ML-1750 ($399) mono laser printers targeted at budget conscious SOHOs, as well as the ML-2151N ($950) and ML-2152W ($2,000) printers for SMBs. For enterprise customers, Samsung pointed to its ML-2550W ($999), the ML-2551N ($1,219), and the ML-2552W ($1,499). These printers feature 266 MHz processors, expandable memory from 32 to 160 MB. Moreover, the ML-2552W offers wireless connectivity.

    Bob Park, channel marketing manager for Samsung Canada, said the company is trying to send a message that Samsung is a serious player in the laser printer space, the same way it did with LCD monitors a few years ago. He said Samsung has also improved its product line significantly from a couple of years ago when it wasn’t taken as seriously in the printer domain.

    “Our printers have become a much more prominent product within Samsung Electronics, in fact, printers are one of our top seven focus products for [the company] worldwide,” Park said. “We’ve never been in that position before until this year . . . we’re aiming towards being number one [in Canada] in printers.”