Lexmark, Canon, IBM, Epson, Xerox and printer industry leader Hewlett-Packard have each launched new printer products in the last few weeks.
Lexmark on 29 October rolled out three new monochrome laser printers and two colour systems.
The Lexmark E320, E322, and E322n (networked), are low-cost monochrome printers offering features formerly found in only higher-end Lexmark printers. Priced to compete with low-priced inkjet printers, the E320 with its $299 (£205) price tag typifies the new E-Series printers from Lexmark.
All three E-series printers run at 16 pages per minute (ppm). Advanced toner settings and toner-level sensing technology can save companies as much as 50% on costs by allowing the user to reduce the amount of toner used.
The E320 with 4Mbytes of memory starts at $299; the E322 with 8Mbytes of memory starts at $399, and the E322n with 16Mbytes of memory and built-in networking card retails for $599.
Lexmark is also looking to save customers money on colour printing with new C750 and C910 colour printers. Running at 20ppm, the C750 delivers up to 1200dpi print quality, and single colour black print jobs cost no more to print than a similar job on a monochrome printer. The C750 ranges in price from $2,999 to $4,899.
At 28ppm, the 2400dpi-capable C910 can deliver a 100,000-page monthly duty cycle. The C910 starts at $3,999.
The current leader of the printer market, Hewlett-Packard, has also introduced a range of new printers for small and medium-sized businesses.
The HP Colour Inkjet Printer cp1160 offers two-sided printing, infrared connectivity for synchronisation with handheld devices and support for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Pricing for the cp1160 starts at $399.
The HP cp1700 also offers two-sided printing and large format sheet printing. Another version of the cp1700 offers support for Adobe postscript files. The line starts at $499.
HP's Business Inkjet Printer 2600 ships with an embedded Internet Web server to enable printer management from any Web browser, and starts at $999.
The company also recently rolled out three inexpensive inkjet printers for printing digital photography, the HP Photosmart 100, 1115 and 1315.
Canon has also joined the printer roll-out, introducing a new inkjet printer designed for printing photographs from digital cameras. The Canon S820D printer connects directly to two new Canon PowerShot digital cameras and retails for $399.
The lowest-priced of the new breed of digital photography printers, Epson's new Stylus Photo 820 offers six-color printing of 4x6in photos at 720dpi and costs under $100.
Xerox, meanwhile, has launched its Phaser 5400 monochrome laser printer for cost-conscious businesses. The 5400 can produce 40ppm and is network-ready. It sells for $2,149.
IBM introduced the first high-speed laser printer, the IBM 3800 printing system, 25 years ago this month. In commemoration of the 3800, IBM has introduced its Infoprint 4100 printers.
Infoprint 4100s, which start at $420,000, are designed for high-volume commercial printing environments that produce marketing catalogues, brochures, on-demand books with photographs and high-volume billing statements.
This wide range of printer offerings is indicative of a mature market, said Jennifer Thorwart, a printer analyst with IDC.
"The printer market has become so competitive and mature that companies have to compete in new ways," she said.