Lexmark Launches Product Blitz With New MFPs, Printers

Lexmark last week unveiled a lineup of products ranging from the very low end—$149—to the high end—a device priced at more than $11,000—as the Lexington, Ky.-based company works to boost its brand. Lexmark is coming off two straight quarters in which it disappointed Wall Street expectations, and the printer vendor recently announced a restructuring and eliminated several hundred jobs. The company has been seeking ways to step up its branded business vs. sales of devices to partners such as Dell, which puts its own brand on the Lexmark-made products.

The new products include the X644e monochrome multifunction device for workgroups with print, copy, scan and fax features (50-ppm print speed, $2,499); the X646e monochrome multifunction device for workgroups with a 40-Gbyte hard drive (50-ppm print speed, $2,999); and the X646dte, which has the same features and hard drive as the X646e but with duplex-out printing and copying capabilities and 1,000-sheet capacity ($3,499). There&'s also a new low-end printer, the E120, which prints at 20 ppm and is priced at $149.

On the high end, Lexmark introduced three multifunction products: the X850e (35-ppm output, $8,889), the X852e (45-ppm output, $9,899) and the X854e (55-ppm output, $11,099). The devices replace other high-end multifunction units and include an integrated design, color scanning, a direct USB interface for scanning and printing, and additional security features.

Lexmark executives are particularly touting an enhanced touch screen in the multifunction devices—which they said boosts ease of use—as well as the customization features built into the hardware. “We&'re continuing to build on the services/solutions aspects to this,” said Paul Rooke, executive vice president at Lexmark and president of the printing services and solutions group. “Multifunction to us is more than just copy/fax.”

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Lexmark&'s new multifunction products are intended to spotlight the Lexmark brand and help increase partner sales. But some solution providers say the company is struggling to compete with a key rival.

“We used to sell quite a bit of [Lexmark] products,” said Bennett Tavar, president of Logical Business Systems, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based solution provider. But while Lexmark has struggled, rival Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, Calif., has strengthened its position, he said. “It looks like HP has picked up a lot of mind share.”