HP arms printers for the war on copiers

With the ability to send documents as emails, HP reckons it has something that does away with the need for a traditional photocopier

As part of its drive to get HP ink and toner on more of the world's paper, Hewlett-Packard will show a range of multifunction office printers, intended to oust photocopiers from their place in the office, at CeBIT this week. A combined large format colour copier, scanner and printer is promising to do the same thing in engineering drawing offices. The strategy is not all about consumables, however. Some documents that go into the machines will not require any more ink, since the printers include the ability to email documents, or save them and route them to applications on the network. "The number of pages photocopied is going down," said Peter Urey, UK business manager of HP's printing systems business, at the launch in London. "But we are still behind." The overlap between the roles of photocopiers and multifunction printers is increasing, and users will eventually choose between the two, he said. With printers winning out, of course. Despite using the same technology, printers and photocopiers are different beasts. To compete better, photocopiers are becoming digital and being networked, said Urey, but they are traditionally leased to facilities managers, who have little appreciation of these benefits. The networked hard copy device will ultimately be under the control of the IT manager who will stick with the familiar technology of printers, he said. The LJ4100mfp is a 24 page/min workgroup printer with a flatbed scanner and document handler on the top, costing £2,700. The system can accept an email address list, and users send documents as email through a simple keypad. The LJ9000mfp does a similar job for higher volume machines used for document production. It works at 50page/min and has collation and other features as options -- it costs £8,800. The Designjet cc800ps is a 106cm-wide combined scanner printer and copier, which has a built-in PC with a table. It costs 26,700 euros, or £16,500 -- some £8,000 cheaper than buying separate units, said Urrey.


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