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HP revamps line of inkjet printers

After ceding market share to rivals during the first quarter, Hewlett-Packard is retooling its inkjet line with a new crop of cheaper photo-quality printers.

After ceding market share to rivals during the first quarter, Hewlett-Packard is revamping its inkjet line with a new crop of cheaper photo-quality printers.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company is introducing four new Deskjet models, which range from the $39 HP Deskjet 3520 to the $149 HP Deskjet 5650 color inkjet printer, with speeds of up to 21 pages per minute in monochrome and 15 pages per minute for color. Two other models, the 3650 and the 5150, come in at $79 and $99, respectively.

HP is the dominant No. 1 in the printer market; however, the company lost 5 percentage points of inkjet market share in the first quarter. HP's 53 percent share was down from the 58 percent of the inkjet market it held during the fourth quarter of last year, according to research firm IDC. Still, that's up from 42 percent in the first quarter of 2002.

The introduction of cheaper printers that can print digital photos is part of an overall trend toward packing more features into even the least expensive printers. Prices have been dropping for traditional printers, photo printers and all-in-one devices that act as printer, copier and scanner. HP officially introduced the new models on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Canon unveiled two new budget inkjets, including a $50 color model. Last week, Dell Computer introduced three new printers, including an all-in-one device.

HP has also introduced new all-in-ones, including the entry-level PSC 1210 in March. In addition, it recently added to its lineup the PSC 2175, a new midrange model that can print directly from the types of memory cards used in digital cameras.