HP Bolsters SMB Lineup With New InkJet Printers

HP rolled out three new OfficeJet Pro all-in-one devices, three new OfficeJet Pro single-function printers and a low-cost multifunction printer (MFP).

The new products highlight HP's effort to continue growing the InkJet side of its printer business, which provides significant revenue in hardware and consumables. While most tier-one vendors in the document hardware space have been working to move their business from lower-end, lower-margin inkjet technology to higher-end, higher-margin laser technology, HP executives say the Palo Alto, Calif., company's latest products aim to straddle both segments.

The new OfficeJet Pro L7000 MFP series, for example, is billed as offering "laser-quality speeds" of up to 12 ppm in black and white and 10 ppm in color. HP said the new products, which will start at street prices of $299 and ship next month, will drop the cost-per-page by 25 percent.

HP competitors Lexmark and Dell have said they would look to exit the low-end document hardware business as margins diminish and supply sales stop growing at high rates. But HP, which has long maintained the No. 1 market share position, still sees room for revenue growth and profitability.

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"We're expecting the opportunity we have with small-business customers to grow," said Karl Schwenkmeyer, vice president of marketing for InkJet systems at HP. The company is integrating elements of its Scalable Printing Technology, which provides a higher-performance printing head and ink solution, into the lower-end business-class products.

Channel partners will find it easier to deliver the solutions to small businesses if they provide higher quality "but low running cost and low operating cost," Schwenkmeyer said.

In addition, HP next month plans to ship the OfficeJet Pro K5400 InkJet printers, which also print at laser-quality speeds, as well as the OfficeJet J5700 MFP. Both will carry a street price of $149.