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Hewlett-Packard has launched a new range of Officejet Pro printers Down Under aimed at home office and small- to medium-sized businesses that use laser printers.

At a demonstration in Sydney yesterday, HP South Pacific senior executive, Christoph Schell, tried to bust a number of "myths" surrounding low cost inkjet printers. Independent tests, presented by US-based Spencerlab's CEO, David Spencer, showed Officejets outperforming comparable Epson and Brother printers in speed, cost and quality of printing.

The update to the Officejet Pro range -- first launched 16 months ago -- includes five models ranging from AU$199 to AU$499 and aimed towards small businesses from one to 99 employees.

The AU$199 entry-level K5300, shown above, offers quality similar to that of laser printers at speeds of up to 12 ppm (pages per minute) in mono and 10 ppm in colour.

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The K5400dn (AU$399) can print up to 2,450 pages in black and up to 1,700 pages in colour with HP's higher capacity Vivera 88XL (mono) and 88XL Cm (colour) cartridges, which retail for AU$57.75 each.

HP claims a reduction of up to 30 percent cost per page (cpp) for colour, and up to 25 percent cpp for mono printing. According to a statement from HP, the figures are based on "published manufacturer specifications of the highest capacity cartidges available for colour laser all-in-ones under AU$1,000 and mono laser all-in-ones under AU$500", reported by Current Analysis as of July 2006.

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The K5400dtn, with a price of AU$399, includes all the features of the K5400dn in addition to a 350-sheet paper tray which boosts the capacity to 600 sheets.

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The L7000 All-in-One series are multi-function printers (MFP). The cheaper of the two, the L7380, is priced at AU$399. Both models feature duplex printing, scanning, faxing and copying.

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The L7580 (AU$499) also includes a 2,400 dpi scanner, fax and copier. A memory card slot supports printing from SD, MMC, Compact Flash, Memory Stick/Memory Stick Duo and xD cards. Documents can also be printed directly from USB flash drives.

The printers are available now through Officeworks, Harvey Norman and computer resellers.

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