Lexmark Canada is hoping to cash in on the digital photography boom with the release of four new colour printers for the consumer market along with its own brand of photo paper, marking the vendor’s first entry into the photo media market.

“We know that digital cameras have really permeated

society,” said Maurice Benetar, marketing manager for the company’s consumer printer division.

“Everyone has a digital camera – there’s an explosion,” he continued. “People want the convenience of printing their pictures at home. We introduced photo products at the end of last year and now we’ve offered a broader selection and at broad price points with very sweet spots for consumers who can now take advantage of these products,” he added.

Lexmark unveiled the products at an ice cream parlour near Toronto’s harbour on a warm June day. The beautiful weather was purely chance, but the timing and location of the launch was a calculated move. According to Benetar, Lexmark wanted the printers to hit the market just as families are planning summer vacations.

He said Lexmark is especially excited about the P4350, an all in-one inkjet printer with a colour LCD screen priced at $149.99. The company claims it’s the industry’s first all-in-one printer with a colour LCD screen for under $150.

“Customers will have a better experience with an LCD,” said Benetar. “It’s integrated and it’s conducive to them seeing their images right away. It also helps them save (paper) because they can view their images before they print it to make sure the paper set is the right size.”

Jeffrey Hart, president of online reseller CompuSmart, said the L4350 will appeal to digital photography customers looking for a printer with advanced capabilities.

“Here’s a printer you can use for photography by plugging the camera directly into the printer so you can see what the shot looks,” he said. “It also has some editing capabilities it prints a great quality colour photo,” he added.

Lexmark is also bringing to market the X3350, which prints at 22 pages per minute (ppm) in black and white and 15 ppm in colour, as well as the X2350 all-in-one and the Z730 – both of which use a specially designed cartridge for printing graphics and text, eliminating the need to switch cartridges. The cartridges are replaceable at a cost of approximately $25 for black and white and $35 for colour.

As for the photo paper, Benetar said Lexmark has jumped into the marketplace in order to complete its printing solution. The paper can be archived for 65 years in display setting and 200 years in album setting, which he said has been verified by Wilhelm Imaging Research.

In Hart’s opinion, the entrance into the photo market will help the Lexmark brand.

“Sometimes customers perceive there’s a better link between the paper connected with the printer, so I think it might help them to a degree because Epson has their (own) paper and HP has their (own) paper. It will likely help them in the customers’ eyes,” he said. “They will think that this paper is potentially designed to work well with Lexmark printers.”

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