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HP boosts printer strategy

The company announces more than 20 new imaging products, part of a larger strategy to create a "digital workplace."

Hewlett-Packard today announced more than 20 new imaging products ranging from digital cameras to high-end color printers, part of a larger strategy to create a "digital workplace."

The total printed page market in the United States, including newspapers, magazines, and printer output, totals around 12 trillion pages per year, according to HP, which says its products represent only 3 percent of those pages. These new products are aimed at growing HP's share of the printed page market beyond its traditional office market.

HP is competing with companies such as Xerox in this segment of the market, which are increasingly adding networking features to copiers.

Highlights of HP's new printers
•  The Mopier 320 is a hybrid printer, copier, and scanner with a base price of $14,498. It can scan both sides of a piece of paper simultaneously, and HP plans to add faxing capability in early 1999.

•  The LaserJet 4500N is a network-ready color laser printer that costs $2,950 and can print four color pages a minute at 2,400-dpi resolution.

•  The HP 2500C is a color inkjet printer designed for businesses that need to print as many as 12,000 pages a month. With a base price of $1,249, it can print on 13-by-19-inch paper.

Source: HP

"This is all designed as part of HP's digital workplace strategy which is to introduce products for the evolving office," said an HP spokesman. "[HP is] going after more of that market like copiers and newspapers and magazines and new technologies like the Internet."

HP has expanded its mopier line--multiple original print copiers--as a way to grab market share from traditional copiers. Mopiers can create several copies of one document without tying up network resources, HP said.

HP today introduced the HP Mopier 320, a network copier that prints at 32 pages per minute, which will have an expected retail price of $14,498.

HP also debuted a new product line, the CapShare 910, a handheld device which can capture information electronically when scanned over documents and then printed later. "This is a mobile information appliance which is a whole new category of products," an HP spokesman said. The CapShare 910 can store up to 50 pages, and has an estimated retail price of $699.

The HP PhotoSmart digital camera line was refreshed today, with the introduction of the PhotoSmart Digital Camera C30, a megapixel camera with 2X digital zoom with an estimated retail price of $399.

Additionally, HP refreshed its personal and workgroup printer lines, including the new Color LaserJet 8500, a high-quality 6 page-per-minute color laser printer starting at $5,999.

"We just introduced over a dozen new color printers, what they're looking to do is go after the quick printing market, making it possible to print documents that were done by the outside [professionally] on the inside."