Lexmark ups printer resolution and ante

Offering what it says is the highest resolution available in any printer, Lexmark Canada Inc. is hoping to attract the attention of small- to medium-sized enterprises with its new Z Series of inkjet printers.

Also featuring lower prices, the line includes five new printers in total. But it is the Z65n that is being targeted at network managers in the small- to medium-sized business environment. Running 21 pages per minute (ppm) mono and 15 ppm colour draft speeds with 4,800×1,200 dpi resolution, the printer is both Windows and Mac compatible. It also offers USB connectivity, according to the company.

In addition, the Z65n supports Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX networks over Category 5 UTP cabling, and operates on TCP/IP networks. It automatically configures on Internet connection sharing (ICS) and universal plug-and-play (UpnP) networks, but does not support dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) for enterprise networks. It operates on Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, NT 4.0 and Mac OS 8.6/9/X.

Hugh Dyke, the national marketing manager at Lexmark Canada in Richmond Hill, Ont., admitted that part of the company’s strategy was to release very affordable products. The form essentially targeted the small- to medium-sized outfits which have a simplified networking environment on the whole, but also still require quality colour documents.

“The key to the Z65n is its simplicity. We think it is one of the easiest networked products around. It’s almost plug and play, and that is what networking has become when you compare it to years ago,” he said.

But as one industry analyst pointed out, the colour inkjet market has seen prices tumble across North America for well over the past year. In fact, he said 2001 saw price wars between some of the more recognized vendors.

“The prices in the inkjet market on the whole are constantly dropping. The major trend is that more and more shipments [are] under the US$100 price range,” said Raymond Quan, research analyst at IDC Canada Ltd. in Toronto. He added that it is therefore of small consequence that Lexmark is using the low starting price point of its printers to attract buyers.

The Z65n has a listed starting price of $299. For more information about it and other new printers in the Z Series, visit the company online at http://www.lexmark.com.