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HP revamps business printers

The company announces several additions to its business printer lineup, including a new color laser printer priced under $1,000.

Hewlett-Packard on Monday announced several additions to its business printer lineup, including a new color laser printer that requires less green.

The company added five new models for businesses, including a new color laser printer for $999.

The new Color LaserJet 2500 will be HP's lowest-priced color laser printer as of yet and will ship next month. HP's current line of color laser printers starts at $1,999, according to the company's Web site, while its lowest price black-and-white laser printer sells for $249.

HP, which began a $1.2 billion remake of its consumer printer lineup in June, faces tough competition on all sides. Minolta introduced a new $799 color laser model, the Magicolor 2300 DL, last week.

Meanwhile, Dell Computer is widely expected to enter both the laser and inkjet printer markets. Speculation on Dell's plans is rampant, with some analysts betting Dell will enter the inkjet market first. Other analysts believe Dell will enter the laser or color laser market first with low-priced models.

Dell's imminent entry into the printer market prompted HP to sever its printer ties with the Dell in July. Dell executives have refused to comment specifically on its plans.

Ahead of any such encroachment, HP is pushing new models.

The company's new LaserJet 5500 is designed to print color documents at high speeds, up to 21 pages per minute. HP said the LaserJet 5500 will ship in November and sell for $3,250.

Meanwhile, the HP's new Designjet 5500 Printer is designed for larger format printing. It will accommodate paper or other materials up to 60 inches wide and can use dye-based inks and ultraviolet pigment-based inks, the company said. It is available now for $8,999.

For companies looking for laser-printer speed at a lower price, HP will ship in December the new Business Inkjet 3000 Printer. The new color inkjet model, priced at $799, will be able to print up to eight pages per minute, the company said.

HP also introduced a new portable color inkjet printer for businesses, the Deskjet 450. The new inkjet, which will ship next month and carry a price of $299, offers portability and support for Bluetooth short-range wireless networking for printing photos or other documents.

Also on Monday, HP announced four new digital imaging products: a new digital camera, a photo printer and two scanners. The Photosmart 850 camera offers a zoom lens and 4.1 megapixel resolution. It will ship next month for $499, the company said. The new Photosmart 230 Photo Printer produces 4-by-6-inch prints. The $249 printer lets consumers print photos directly from a camera using a memory card. It also allows photos to be previewed and edited, using its 1.8-inch color screen, before printing.