Lexmark Shakes Up Printer Scene With T656dne Launch

Lexmark Tuesday rolled out 10 new printers. Among the spate of new releases, the most intriguing is the T656dne, a product the company said is the industry's first single-function monochrome A4 laser printer with a full-color touch screen that uses Lexmark's Embedded Solutions Framework (eSF), a customizable platform.

The workhorse printer has a built-in duplex and is able to print at 55 pages per minute. The T656dne also has network security to user-access restrictions, including IPSec, SNMPv3 and 802.1x network security. Taking security a step further, the printer has an alphanumeric pad for PIN authentication, plus encryption and disk wiping to secure the hard disk.

The other printers released were named E462dtn; C546dtn; X546dtn; X860de 3; X860de 4; X862dte 3; X862dte 4; X864dhe 3; and X864dhe 4.

"To be clear, [printer] touch screens have been around for a while," said Dave Hagan, director of product marketing, in a Web cast, but he noted that this touch screen is different since it doesn't rely on PCs and servers. "You may never again have to hear those dreaded words, 'I'm sorry, the system is down.'"

The T656dne has a 7-inch color touch screen with five preloaded applications: Forms and Favorites, Eco Settings, Change Language, Showroom and Change Background.

"When you add a touch screen to a workgroup printer, you turn an ordinary peripheral into an extraordinary peripheral," Hagan said. "The peripheral becomes a secure portal to the Net. You can directly access favorite bookmarks, your most useful documents and forms, all without PCs and servers."

The T656dne has a street price of $1,999.

The new E462dtn has the largest standard input capacity and toner capacity in the E460 Series. The printer has two, 250-sheet paper inputs and a 50-sheet multipurpose feeder and also has the highest yield replacement cartridge -- 18,000 pages, according to Lexmark.

In addition to providing 1200-x-1200 dpi print quality and features like a rapid time-to-first-page (as fast as 6.5 seconds), the E462dtn has some bells and whistles normally found on more expensive printers, such as a numeric pad for confidential printing, early-warning alerts for low toner and customizable operator panel messaging.

The E462dtn has a price tag of $749.

Lexmark's new X546dtn color laser MFP duplex printer has a standard Duo Drawer, which boosts paper capacity to 900 sheets, prints 25 ppm in both color and black, and 256 MB of RAM standard.

The printer is part of Lexmark's Rewards program -- users can save up to 20 percent on supplies and free high-yield toner cartridges and imaging kits if they use Lexmark toner and return the empty cartridges to the company for recycling. The X546dtn goes for $999. Lexmark's C546dtn has similar features as the X546dtn but has a friendlier price of $699.