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HP courts small business users

HP announces new printers and software bundles aimed at a fast growing audience of small business users.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP) today announced new printers and software bundles for under $400 that are aimed at a fast growing audience of small business users.

New offerings from HP include the 6Lse and 6Lxi printers, the new LaserJet Companion printer accessory, as well as the bundling of Internet productivity and access software with some of its LaserJet printers.

The 6L series printers feature "professional quality" 600-by-600 dot-per-inch output at six pages per minute, according to HP. The printer employs HP's Resolution Enhancement technology to increase the apparent quality of printouts and needs less warm-up time prior to printing the first page than previous models.

Also targeted at small business users, HP's LaserJet Companion printer accessory will attach to any HP LaserJet series 4 or 5 printer, as well as the 6L and 6P. It contains a grayscale document scanner, allowing the printers to be used for copying, filing, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and sending faxes (with a fax modem attached to the computer).

Package deals with the 6L printer line will be available. When the LaserJet companion is bundled with the 6Lse, it will include Caere's Omnipage Lite edition, while the 6Lxi package will include the Omnipage Limited Edition OCR Software.

HP also said it will bundle an Internet Software Solutions package with its LaserJet printers. The package includes Microsoft's Internet Explorer, a two month free trial of the Microsoft Network, a 60-day trial version of Microsoft Publisher 97, and Microsoft Internet Assistants, a package of tools for converting documents into HTML. The 6Lxi and 6Pxi will also come with the HP LaserJet Custom News Kit, which includes a one-month trial of AT&T WorldNet Services for a variety of browsers.

Pricing of the 6L series is expected to start at $399. The 6Lse will be available in the U.S. retail channels, while the 6Lxi will be available through commercial resellers. The LaserJet Companion will be available in October for $249.