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Color printer breaks $150 mark

Hewlett-Packard offers a color ink jet printer targeted at home buyers on a tight budget for under $150.

Hewlett-Packard today announced a new ink jet printer targeted at home buyers on a tight budget for under $150.

The $149 DeskJet 400L printer, which is capable of producing color printouts, is HP's latest entry in the consumer ink jet market, where it is competing with Canon and Epson.

As the cost of laser printers has continued to drop, ink jets have primarily become items for home users and students needing basic printing for a low price, without the higher resolution or throughput laser printers provide.

The 400L is a modified version of HP's DeskJet 400 printer, which was already one of the company's more economically priced offerings. The printer provides 600-by-300-dot-per-inch resolution black printing at a speed of three pages per minute.

A black ink cartridge is included with the printer, and a color cartridge can be purchased for $30. A built-in paper tray holds up to 50 sheets, and the printer can also handle labels, postcards, envelopes, and other special stock.