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The colors of printing

Lexmark says it will introduce by the end of the year a six-color inkjet printer for less than $250.

Lexmark (LXK) will introduce by the end of the year a six-color inkjet printer for less than $250, the company announced today.

Lexmark says it will employ Pantone's Hexachrome color process, which is used mostly in high-end desktop publishing. While most current inkjets use a four-color process, the Hexachrome process uses specially formulated orange and green inks in addition to black, enhanced cyan, magenta, and yellow inks to improve color range in continuous tone images. The end result for the home market is reduced graininess and better color depth in items such as digitized photos and scanned material.

According to Lexmark, the printer will use dual cartridges simultaneously, so users won't have to swap cartridges to print in color mode. The new model will be based on the current 2050 Inkjet printer, which prints at resolutions up to 600-by-600 dots per inch and speeds up to five pages per minute in black-only draft mode, and two pages per minute in color draft mode.