Dell Launches New Printers to Challenge HP
Dell launched an effort this week to woo customers away from rival Hewlett-Packard, releasing five new laser printers and open-standards monitoring software.
The new hardware includes two color-printer models--the 3010cn and 5110cn--and three back-and-white printers, the 5310n, 5210n, and 1815dn.
Dell plans to compete against HP based on cost, offering additional features without increasing its prices, said Tim Peters, Dell's vice president of imaging and printing.
Dell offers color printing for the price of some black-and-white models, comparing its new 5110cn to HP's LaserJet 4240n, and comparing its new 3010cn compared to HP's 2420, the company said.
The new family of printers are also fast. Dell said its model 5310n produces black and white copies at a rate of 50 pages per minute, while its 5110cn cranks out 40 pages per minute black and white or 35 in color.
There is more at stake here than printer cartridges and reams of copy paper. Dell is also making a bid to manage entire fleets of office machines, whether in small businesses or enterprise companies.
Dell's OpenManage software can track ink levels and maintenance schedules in any printer using the MIB (management information base) network management protocol.
That covers all the best-selling models in the marketplace, including the most popular printers found in enterprise environments, said Dell spokeswoman Rachael Lyon. The company also plans to release templates to cover the remainder of the market.
By offering a product to manage a diverse collection of machines, Dell is trying to expand its market from simple printers to a wider section of business.
That can add up to big dollars.
On May 16, Xerox announced a $36 million document management contract with the University of Calgary in Canada, building a network to track copying, scanning, faxing, and document storage anywhere on campus.
"Previous platforms were all fragmented; they were standalone, not networked," said Jim Firestone, president of Xerox North America. "But printers can be like rabbits in an office. IT can set the standard, but then they just start showing up."
By managing the entire network, Xerox is moving up the value chain, no longer peddling only copying devices, he said.
Another player trying to capture a piece of the document management market is Microsoft, which plans to offer image scanning and print workflow control in its pending Vista OS, Firestone said.
Dell's 3010cn ($379) and 5310n ($999) are available immediately. Model 5210n will reach stores on May 25, priced at $899. Printer models 5110cn ($999) and 1815dn ($429) will go on sale in June.