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HP brings new inkjet and laser printers to the SMB market

Vendor making it easier for businesses to create, produce and deliver imaging content

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has announced a new branding strategy for its Officejet printer and supply product line and has launched several new Officejet and LaserJet printers designed for SMBs.

The printers, HP spokespeople say, help reinforce the company’s message that creating, managing and delivering content is much easier and less expensive than many people think. Jean-Paul Desmarais, business customer marketing manager at HP Canada, says the printers are part of HP’s Print 2.0 strategy , which aims to help small businesses better improve and enhance their marketing campaigns and overall business productivity.

“Our focus is to offer small businesses the choice of how to create and produce content,” Desmarais said. “With our online tools, templates and flash tools, you can now create your own business cards, letterheads and shipping labels. We want to make it easier for customers to print marketing materials and to offer them the choice of either doing it in-house or elsewhere.”

Desmarais says HP has also re-branded its Officejet printing portfolio to make it even easier for SMB customers to quickly find the products best suited for their needs. The products in this line will now be branded as the “HP Officejet Printing System” and will display a dark green bar across the box top to illustrate the portfolio is geared toward small businesses.

George Bulat, director of client hardware research at IDC Canada , says HP has been successful in the Canadian SMB market for the past three years with the most unit market share in the single-function and MFP printer space.

“They’re the dominant player in this segment with about 52 per cent unit share,” Bulat said. “Their closest rivals would be Brother with about 14 per cent and Lexmark after that with about 10 per cent unit share. They’ve been successful because they have the brand loyalty and brand cache,” he added.

The printers, Desmarais says, are made to be more affordable and easier to use and include both monochrome and colour printers in the line up.

New to HP’s Officejet printer portfolio are its J6400 All-in-One (AIO), J4580 AIO, J3600 AIO and Pro L7590 printers. New models of its LaserJet line include its CP1515n/CP1518ni series, CM1312 MFP (multi-function product) series, CP1215, M1319f MFP and M1522 MFP series.

As a whole, Desmarais says HP has noted a trend for MFPs over single-function printers in the market, and so many of its newly announced products feature print, copy, scan and fax capabilities.

HP’s Officejet J6400 AIO for instance, features all of these capabilities and also offers automatic two-sided printing. It can print at speeds up to 31 pages per minute (ppm) in monochrome and up to 25 ppm in colour. It is now available throughout HP’s entire commercial and retail channel and its MSRP is $229.

In its LaserJet line, HP boasts that its M1319f is its lowest-priced monochrome laser MFP. The printer also features print, copy, fax and scan capabilities and also comes with a built-in handset phone for a smaller footprint. Its print and copy speeds are up to 19 ppm and it will be available May 1 at $299.

Also new is HP’s Easy Printer Care 2.5i software, which helps users manage and monitor their print solutions on up to 15 HP printers. With the software, Desmarais said, users can analyze supply levels, can create custom alerts, as well as generate basic reports. The software is set to be available in May and will ship with HP’s new LaserJet and inkjet printers.

“We aren’t specifically targeting any vertical markets within the SMB space with these new products,” Desmarais said. “We see the printers doing well in all areas and regions and this is where partners will see the most opportunities and benefits,” he added.