New York - PC Expo: Xerox printers aim for HP

Xerox took dead aim at rival Hewlett-Packard today with the release of new network laser and colour ink-jet printers.

At a press conference here at PC Expo, Pierre Danon, president of Xerox's Channels Group, introduced the products and outlined Xerox's strategy for future releases.

"We intend to go aggressively after market share," said Danon, referring to HP's dominance in the market.

The DocuPrint N17 and DocuPrint N40 laser printers offer 17-ppm (pages per minute)and 40-ppm printing, respectively, along with built-in networking and Adobe PostScript 3.0.

Xerox's Workset technology, included with both machines, minimises network traffic by sending jobs over the network once rather than multiple times, officials said. Users can print multiple document sets without needing to wait for one job to be completed. Workset uses a printer controller with consistent network interfaces, print drivers and utilities, officials said.

The N40, which collates, sorts and offsets pages is priced at $3,500 (£2,150), which Xerox officials said is 10 percent less than HP's similarly configured office printer, the HP Mopier 240. The N17 is priced at $999 (£613).

Both printers support a range of paper stocks, offer edge-to-edge and proof printing, and allow users to place transparent divider sheets between jobs. They also ship with a suite of printer management services.

The four-colour ink-jet DocuPrint XJ8C and DocuPrint XJ6C, meanwhile, are intended for the small office, home office market, Xerox officials said.

The XJ8C, priced at $269, offers 1,200-by-1,200-dpi (dots per inch) resolution and prints up to 8 ppm in black and white and 4 ppm in colour. A cartridge for six-colour printing of photographs is optional.

The XJ6C, priced at $199, has four ink-jet cartridges, which allows users to replace just depleted cartridges rather than all of them at once. It prints at 5 ppm in black and white and 2.5 ppm in colour with 600-by-600-dpi resolution. The XJ6C features Xerox's ImageFix technology, which automatically adjusts image quality.

Xerox also announced that it is making replacement cartridges for some of HP's laser and ink-jet printers that will retail at 10 percent to 15 percent less than its rival's comparable products, company officials said.

Company officials said Xerox is expanding its reseller and dealer channels for network printers from 6,300 worldwide partners in 1997 to 8,100 in 1998.