Lexmark Pumps Up Offerings With Latest Series Of Printers And MFPs

The Lexington, Ky.-based company unveiled the X642e MFP, a $1,499 workgroup monochrome device with a touch screen. The X642e produces documents at 45 ppm and has printing, copying, scanning and faxing capabilities.

“Beginning [with this announcement], Lexmark will have refreshed its entire MFP lineup,” said Stephanie Morris, Lexmark’s product marketing manager for high-end MFPs.

The company said it integrated a 5.7-inch touch-screen user interface into the X642e; past products featured hard-button input.

“We have now moved to a touch screen, so that makes it a lot easier to navigate and makes it more intuitive to get to the functions that all MFP users need to be able to get to,” Morris said.

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Solution providers will be able to provide some customization of user icons on the touch screen, she added.

Lexmark’s announcements conveyed the company’s plan to replace or add to several existing products in its lineup with lower-cost products with similar functionality.

One Lexmark channel partner said the company’s strategy will give him a boost in head-to-head battles with competitors.

“Lexmark has given us and our customers more bang for the buck [than] Hewlett-Packard,” said Tom Carswell, president of Carswell Data Products, a Rochester Hills, Mich.-based Lexmark Certified Solution Provider. “What we found is comparable models of Lexmark will usually do a few more pages per minute, and cost a little bit less, because they’re chasing HP.”

Carswell also lauded Lexmark’s decision to give solution providers the capability to customize software solutions with many of its printers and MFPs. The vendor has extended that capability to its latest devices.

“Because of the software, I show customers a solution—not a printer, but a software solution using their tools—and the customer throws away their HPs and buys the Lexmarks,” Carswell said.

The X642e follows the shipment earlier this year of the Lexmark X644e MFP. The new model has less functionality in some areas than the X644e—such as one-side-at-a-time document scanning vs. two-sides-at-a-time scanning with the X644e—but its street price is $1,000 less, Lexmark said.

In addition, the company said it will begin shipping a new scanner option with some MFPs, including the 4600. The scanner also will be available as a modular option with the higher-end X646ef, which has a street price of $4,499 for a bundled solution that includes the scanner and a T644dtn laser printer.

The 4600 scanner, which replaces the 4500 scanner, scans at a higher speed (up to 35 ppm in black and white and 17 ppm in color) and offers new “scan preview” and “job build” functions that were not previously available in earlier models.

The 4600 scanner is designed largely as a modular upgrade feature to Lexmark’s T640 line of printers. The scanner comes bundled with memory and peripheral devices to allow for an upgrade from a printer to an MFP, Morris said. The company also is consolidating this part of its product lineup around the 4600.

“In the past, we’ve had several different scanners we have offered to upgrade our printers to MFPs,” Morris said. “Beginning [Tuesday], that will go to just one, the 4600.”

Along with the new MFPs and the modular scanner device, Lexmark announced two low-end monochrome MFPs: The X340n is supported by a 2,500-document toner cartridge and is street-priced at $349, and the X342n has a 6,000-document toner cartridge and a price tag of $399.

Lexmark also unveiled the new C500n color laser printer, a device that prints at 31 ppm in black and white or 8 ppm in color and is priced at $399. Lexmark is targeting the small and midsize business space for the C500n.