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Lexmark Offers High-Res, Low-Cost Inkjet

Lexmark beefed up its entry-level offering last week with the introduction of the Z11 Color Jetprinter.

The Z11 brings the high resolution and fast print speeds traditionally associated with Lexmark’s step-up printers into the entry-level category. The 1,200 x 1,200 dpi unit will ship at the end of May and carry an $89 street price, after a $30 mail-in rebate.

According to Intelect ASW, Port Washington, N.Y., Lexmark leads the entry-level segment of the market with a 41% share, placing it ahead of Canon, which has a 34% share. For overall retail sales Lexmark still trails industry leader Hewlett-Packard, according to Lexmark’s U.S. sales and marketing VP Paul Johns, citing data from Intelect.

Johns acknowledged that Lexmark has traditionally “duked it out” with Canon in the entry-level segment, but said he is unconcerned over Hewlett-Packard’s recent entry into the low end with the launch of the Apollo P-1250 printer. The Z11 “will redefine entry-level performance” and clearly outperform HP’s Apollo offering in all key categories, said Johns.

Compared to the model it will replace, the Z11 Color Jetprinter offers four times the resolution, a more robust design, one-click printing, and Lexmark’s Accu-Feed paper-handling system – marking the anti-jamming technology’s first migration into a sub-$100 product. The unit also offers print speeds up to 4 ppm in black and 2.5 ppm in color.

Rather than bundling software, Lexmark is offering Z-11 customers the option of picking any two titles – one from Corel, one from Live Pix – for free. The company said it would back the new printer with a twofold increase in marketing support.

The introduction of the Z-11 comes several weeks after the launch of the first “Z” model, the Z-51. The Z line is part of Lexmark’s transition from numeric to alphanumeric designations in its inkjet line. The shift should be completed with the arrival of two new Z models in September.