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HP releases all-in-one machine

The company launches new multifunction fax-printer-copier products targeting both the home and business markets.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP) launched a new family of multifunction fax-printer-copier products targeting both the home and business markets, the company said today.

HP is hoping to lure customers away from Xerox and Canon, which have also released integrated products in the last year. HP will release the newly integrated fax-printer-copier-scanners later this spring, according to the company.

In launching the line, HP will cite market research by showing that one in four technology products sold by the year 2001 will have multifunctional features.

In an unrelated study, International Data Corporation found that 1.1 million MFPs (multifunction products) were sold to small and home office users in 1996. That number is expected to grow by 29 percent to reach 3.9 million units in 2001, with 2.8 million of those units having at least one color function.

HP introduced the HP LaserJet 3100, an integrated fax, printer, copier, and scanner that prints at 6 pages per minute. Targeted at the corporate market, the LaserJet 3100 has an estimated retail price of $699, the company said.

The OfficeJet Pro 1170C Series is a high-end combination printer-fax-scanner targeted at small and home business buyers. The Office Jet Pro 1170C is expected to start at about $799 and will be available this May.

"With the Laser Jet 3100 and Office Jet 1170, HP targeted the business market perfectly," said Gary Peterson, an imaging analyst for ARS. "It focused on print speed and high resolution, and it improved the attributes that the business market is looking for."

But not all of HP's new products pass muster. HP also introduced the Series 300 today, its first home-use MFP. The 300 series offers color printing, scanning, and copying for about $399. Although it does include improved printing and scanning capabilities, the 300s do not offer fax capability, which may hurt HP in the consumer market, according to some industry observers.