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2/13/2006
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Lexmark Rolls Out Multifunction Devices

The new lineup ranges from a very low-end printer at $149 to an extremely high-end multifunction device priced higher than $11,000.

Looking to jump-start its fortunes in the market, Lexmark is rolling out a series of new multifunction products and printers that company executives say offer greater performance, ease of use and security.

On Monday, Lexmark unveiled a lineup of products ranging from the very low end--$149--to the high end--a device priced higher than $11,000--as the Lexington, Ky.-based company works to boost its brand. Lexmark is coming off two straight quarters in which it disappointed Wall Street expectations, and the printer vendor recently announced a restructuring and eliminated several hundred jobs. The company has been seeking ways to step up its branded business vs. sales of devices to partners such as Dell, which put their own brand on the Lexmark-made products.

The new products include the X644e monochrome multifunction device for workgroups with print, copy, scan and fax features (50-ppm print speed, $2,499); the X646e monochrome multifunction device for workgroups with a 40-Gbyte hard drive (50-ppm printing, $2,999); and the X646dte, which has the same features and hard drive as the X646e but with duplex-out printing and copying capabilities and 1,000-sheet capacity ($3,499). There’s also a new low-end printer, the E120, which prints at 20 ppm and is priced at $149.

On the high end, Lexmark introduced three multifunction products: the X850e (35-ppm output, $8,889), the X852e (45-ppm output, $9,899) and the X854e (55-ppm output, $11,099). The devices replace other high-end multifunction units and include an integrated design, color scanning, a direct USB interface for scanning and printing, and additional security features.

Lexmark executives are particularly touting an enhanced touch screen in the multifunction devices--which they said boosts ease of use--as well as the customization features built into the hardware.

"We're continuing to build on the services/solutions aspects to this," said Paul Rooke, executive vice president at Lexmark and president of the company's printing services and solutions group. "Multifunction to us is more than just copy/fax."

Lexmark’s new multifunction products are intended to spotlight the Lexmark brand and help increase partner sales. Rooke pointed to non-hardware-specific features in the products, including plug-in document-account capabilities that allow customers to track documents from the touch screen, as well as moves by Lexmark last year to provide more customization in its hardware for solution providers and additional consulting opportunities.

"We've really strengthened our support to the channel from technical, [with] more engineers, more application consultants, more industry expertise," Rooke said. "So I think you're seeing, certainly, a move not only from the products side but the people and process side helping channel partners create value and, by the way, make some money at it."

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