Lexmark has launched a massive product refresh, revamping its portfolio with smarter printers that boast speed, durability, and incorporate apps designed to better integrate the products into today’s workplace.
"This is the largest product launch in our history, all consolidated at one point in time," Lexmark Director of Global Business Development Chris White told CRN during a sneak peek of the new lineup at the company's offices in New York. "It is a massive undertaking, but it brings a lot of excitement and good news for us."
The new products will populate the entire range of Lexmark printers and multi-function devices, in color and monochrome models designed for small business up to large workgroups, the company said. In describing the new offerings, Lexmark executives frequently used the phrases “future-proof” and “overbuilt” to describe the features on these machines, which, depending on the model can print up to 70 pages-per-minute, and spit the first page out four seconds after the user hits "print."
“It’s a good time for Lexmark,” said Sammy Kinlaw, worldwide vice president of channel and OEM sales at Lexmark. “It’s a good time for the channel to become more aware. We have a lot of work to do in front of us, but these products open the door.”
Digital to paper and back to digital remains a “key element” in print strategies for many industries, such as banking and government, White said. With that in mind, the new lineup boasts a single-pass duplex scanner on monochrome MFPs that can input 150 pages per minute, and includes optical character recognition software.
Leigh Anne Belcher, manager of global product marketing for large workgroup platforms at Lexmark, oversees the monochrome devices. She said this newest line of products also has increased durability for deployment in unforgiving environments, with a range of temperatures, and altitudes, with no less forgiving users.
Gone are the plastic frames of the past, she said. Now all Lexmark models are built with steel frames, and a ruggedness demonstrated when Belcher opened the door to the toner cartridge and heaved, lifting the device by using the door as a lever.
“Some of our large customers have these situated places where they’re sitting on a floor, or they’re shoved in a cabinet and that drives behavior like kicking the drawer closed," she said. "So to support those needs of those harsh environments we’ve made a number of enhancements to this category of product, one of the largest being a move away from plastic frames on our current products to steel frames across this line."
With the bulk of print jobs numbered at between three to 10 pages, Lexmark said, end-user productivity is not improved once a product can print between 60 and 70 pages per minute. So the focus for engineers became getting the print job out faster.
“That time to first page and print release requirement was more important to many customers than how many pages per minute it runs,” Belcher said. “They put a key focus on reducing that and getting it down to four seconds. That’s the fastest time to first page claim that there is in this class of products. That’s a best in class for us.”
Ron Wells, manager global product marketing for small workgroup platforms at Lexmark said the color units clock a time to first page at seven seconds and print at a speed up to 40 pages per minute. Wells, who runs those printers, said the entire line is built to grow with a company.
“There’s really a common theme where we simplified the overall experience from the end-users aspect,” said Wells, adding, “with improved imaging unit life, with extra-long yield so they’re not interacting with the device, improvement to the paper path, and overall reliability and improved touch screen capability on these devices to have a more omni-experience with what they would have in a working on their tablet or mobile phone.”