Hewlett-Packard to roll out multifunction printers

Hewlett-Packard is set to unveil introduce three new printers that integrate printing, scanning, copying, emailing, and faxing,...

Hewlett-Packard is set to unveil introduce three new printers that integrate printing, scanning, copying, emailing, and faxing, into a single unit.

HP announced that it would also step up the promotion of its portfolio of purchase, lease, outsourcing, or pay-as-you options for financing and deploying the new HP printers.

With the introduction of the HP LaserJet 3300 mfp, the HP LaserJet 4100 mfp, and the HP LaserJet 9000 mfp, HP has delivered multifunctionality on par with the performance of separate single-function print, scan, copy, fax, and e-mail devices, said Keith Kmetz, programme director for printer research at IDC.

"This time around HP has a truly integrated device. A printer with the look and feel of a copier," Kmetz said. "What we've seen from printer vendors before was a half-hearted attempt at copying, but if companies are getting only convenience-oriented functionality, they are not going to accept that in their portfolio of devices."

The HP LaserJet 3300 mfp is targeted at small and medium-sized business environments and prints 15ppm with a copy speed of 14ppm. The 4100 mfp is designed for larger workgroups and can churn out 25ppm as a printer, copier or scanner. The 9000 mfp is for large, networked business environments and runs at 50ppm as a printer, copier, or scanner.

Each new HP printer comes equipped with a send-to-email function that can quickly scan and e-mail a document, which arrives as a jpg, tiff, or pdf format attachment, said Troy Browne, HP's worldwide shared printing products manager.

Advanced "Digital Sending" technology will be available as an upgrade to each of the new printers. With Digital Sending, users will not only have access to advanced document and e-mail management features, but security will be introduced through a system that sends encrypted attachments in e-mails that direct the recipient to go to a special Web for a password to open the attachment.

"Printing is becoming a convergence space," Browne said. "The lines between printing, faxing, and scanning are all blurring. It's more about what customers want to do with their printed pages and less about the individual products."

"What I see is a much stronger push into the multifunction market from the small to medium[-size] business printer perspective," said IDC's Kmetz. "The printer companies have been really slow in providing solutions in the workgroup and departmental segments of the printer market."

Read more on IT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)