HP Looks to Color Your World

Wednesday May 11th 2005 by Dan Muse
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In a move to help SMBs produce color documents and marketing materials that once required the use of design agencies and commercial printers, HP rolled out a bevy of printers and services.

Although HP's Kevin Gilroy stopped short of calling it the company's biggest rollout of printing and imaging products for small and mid-sized businesses, he did say yesterday's blitz is "certainly one of the two or three biggest launches" aimed at the SMB market.

The sweeping product announcements were made at the HP 2005 Imaging and Printing Conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif., and covered everything from color laser printers to logo-design services to low-cost inkjets. The products and partner services are designed to offer SMBs and graphics professionals new capabilities for office printing, in-house marketing and color management.

Small business is a big part of HP's business, accounting for $25 billion in annual revenue, Gilroy said. He added that small businesses have told HP that they want "HP and its partners to provide expertise locally." SMBs want products and services "designed specifically for them," he said. "Even if it's leasing, they want it local and specialized. They don't want a 50-page agreement. They want to simplify the experience."

Gilroy said that research conducted for HP by International Communications Research highlights the importance of producing color documents. He said that of 500 SMBs surveyed, 67 percent said they use color marketing material and that 71 percent of those SMBs expressed an interest in producing those materials in house.

To help the deliver the color documents that HP said SMBs want to produce themselves, HP introduced the Color LaserJet 2600n printer. The color laser printer is designed to combine high-quality color output with a quiet, lightweight, network-ready and energy-efficient design. The 2600n prints at eight pages per minute (ppm) and prices start at $399."

For SMBs looking to reclaim what Gilroy called "desktop real estate," the HP Business Inkjet 2800 All-in-One prints up to 24 ppm in monochrome and 21 ppm in color in sizes up to 13 x 19-inches. The unit also will copy and scan and includes fax and photo memory card features.

On the low end, the $149 HP Business Inkjet 1000 prints color documents as fast as 18 ppm and monochrome files at up to 23 ppm.

Other products announced include the HP LaserJet 1020 and 1022 ($179 and $199, respectively), the HP Deskjet 9800 series ($299), HP Business Inkjet 2800 ($499), the HP Designjet 70 ($495), the HP mp3135 Digital Projector series (starting at $2,499), HP's vp6300 Digital Projector series (starting at $799)and HP Scanjet 7650 ($699).

HP also announced a partnership with Lindon, Utah-based, LogoWorks. Through the HP Web site, SMBs can contract Web-based logo design services starting at $265. The base price includes two revisions. For $535, customers can see unlimited logos until they find the one the that best conveys the company's message.

While not offering the local expertise HP cited as important for SMBs, LogoWorks says is consults with business via the Web or by phone to come up with the appropriate logo for a business.

HP also announced that it is expanding its relationship with StockLayouts, a company that provides graphic design templates in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher format for in-office printing. HP will offer customers a special edition CD of StockLayouts.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking & Communications Channel and ServerWatch.

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