Lexmark Launches Compelling New Color MFPs Starting at $1,399 and with 7” Color Touch Screen, Workflow Solutions; Also Adds Three New Lexmark Solutions
Lexmark has introduced two new 25-ppm workgroup color laser MFPs that are positioned as featuring the more advanced security and workflow capability of more expensive MFPs, but with a smaller footprint and a lower price point—with pricing starting at $1,399. The firm—which laid out details of the new introductions in a conference with analysts last Thursday—also introduced three new Lexmark Solutions that, together with Lexmark’s Perceptive Software ImageNow enterprise content-management software, provide automated processing of invoices, new job hires, and travel expenses, and which are accessible via Lexmark MFPs’ e-Task icon-driven color touch screen.
The new X548de/dte A4 color MFPs are built on Lexmark’s lower-cost X543/544/546 family, but add a touch screen, something few competitors in this class provide—as well as standard workflow solutions for streamlining work processes, including print-on-demand and scanning. This is the same, new 7” e-task color touch screen with Adobe Flash Lite introduced in September 2010 with the higher-volume 50/50 ppm X792de (the X792 is faster with print speeds of 50/50 ppm, versus the new X548de/dte’s 25/25-ppm speed, and the X792de is also priced higher at $4,299). Earlier this year, Wirth Consulting evaluated the e-task color touch screen and found it bright, clear, and easy even for the newest user to get the hang of in just a few minutes. (The touch screen also has contextual sound—a nice touch that helps guide you through operation.) At the X548de’s price level—under $1,500—we’re hard pressed to find another MFP with a touch screen, save for Hewlett-Packard’s Color LaserJet CM3530.The X548de/dte also feature standard Lexmark Solutions (enabled by Lexmark’s Embedded Solutions Framework [eSF]) that are accessed at the touch screen, and include print-on-demand and automated network-scan routing.
The X548de/dte’s control panel incorporates (from left): Sleep Mode button (when pressed the system automatically reverts into low power-consumption mode); 7″ e-Task color touch screen; and numeric keypad.
Two versions of the new MFP are being marketed, the X548de and the X548dte. Pricing is as follows:
X548de –MSRP is $1,798.57; Web pricing is $1,399.00.
X548dte – MSRP is $2,248.57; Web pricing is $1,749.00. The X548dte adds a standard 160-GB hard drive and 550-sheet paper drawer with 100-sheet feeder for a 901-sheet standard paper capacity versus 251 sheets for the x548de.
The X548de/dte’s standard, pre-loaded Lexmark Solutions include:
Forms & Favorites – Provides easy print-on-demand from the touch screen. Users simply walk up to the touch screen, press the Forms & Favorites button, and select from displayed files to print them. We tested this capability with Lexmark’s C792de, and found it easy to link to files stored in network folders. This print-on-demand capability eliminates having to pre-print and store (as well as search for) pre-printed documents such as forms, directions, applications, etc., in filing cabinets, etc., and users only print the exact number of documents needed, eliminating waste. Administrators may also secure files so that only authorized users may access and print them.
- Scan to Network – Administrators can configure the MFP, so that, at the touch screen, users can route scanned files to up to 30 personal or public network folders, minimizing users making mistakes and routing files to wrong folders.
- Change Language – Easy changing of the touch screen’s language; 18 languages are supported.
Above: Lexmark’s Solutions portfolio. Ultimately, Lexmark Solutions and the e-TASK touch screen make it easier and faster for users to perform common office tasks, minimizing user training and errors. Note Solutions such as Scan to Network Premium, MFP Usage, Store It, Scan to (Microsoft) Sharepoint, Scan to DigiTech, etc.
The new X548de/dte also provide more advanced, enterprise-level security typically not available in this class, including hard-drive encryption and erase (automatic, scheduled, or manual) for the X548dte; an optional Card Reader (see below), several layers of user and administrator authentication, and security-audit logging. IPSec, SNMPv3 and 802.1x network security are also supported.
Other upgrades over the previous X543/544/546 family include a 900 MHz CPU and Gigabit Ethernet network interface, as well as:
With the e-Task color touch screen, users can preview print files on the touch screen before printing them; they may also print only select pages; and change print settings for stored print jobs. On the touch screen, users can display files downloaded from a USB memory drive, files stored at a network location (enabled via the Forms & Favorites Solution), and files stored in the X548dte’s hard-drive memory.
Both a front-mounted USB port for print from and scan to USB memory drives, as well as a new USB host port on the back of the unit that can be used for adding an optional Card Reader (users swipe a plastic card in order to authenticate themselves and obtain access).
Includes Lexmark’s Named Color utility, a spot-color matching utility introduced last fall, and which Lexmark says has been popular among customers. It’s used for matching of spot colors—for instance, for printing a red shade that precisely matches a corporate logo color. Also included is Pantone color-matching, and Lexmark’s Color Care for managing and controlling color output.
Front-mounted sleep button—press the sleep button and the unit reverts into energy-saving sleep modes; administrators can also schedule sleep modes. The X548de/dte are also compliant with Energy Star and Blue Angel energy-conservation standards.
The X548de/dte ship with high-yield toner cartridge (black yields 8,000 pages; each cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridge yields 4,000 pages). The MFPs use the same supplies as the X540 family, and Lexmark is also offering its Rewards program (free high-yield X540 toner cartridge of choice for every 10 Lexmark empty toner cartridges the customer returns to Lexmark for recycling, plus a free imaging kit). There’s also Lexmark’s Lifetime Pricing Guarantee—Lexmark won’t increase U.S. pricing for toner cartridges while the customer owns the product. Black and color photoconductors are also required.
For specifications, see below.
Three New Back-Office Lexmark Solutions
Also new are three Lexmark Solutions developed by Lexmark’s Perceptive Solutions (which Lexmark acquired last year), and designed for use with Perceptive Software’s ImageNow enterprise content-management software. The three solutions are accessed at the e-Task touch screen:
A Recruitment and Onboarding Solution is designed for human resources and for automating the hiring process. In brief, a hiring manager presses the Human Resources icon on the touch screen (lower right in photo to right) to scan interview notes; they’ll be alerted if any information is missing. ImageNow content-management software stores the scanned notes and alerts human-resources personnel that a job-offer letter needs to be created. Human-resources personal creates an offer letter in Microsoft Word, storing and managing the file with ImageNow software. ImageNow sends the hiring manager a link to the job-offer letter for review and approval via e-mail. Once approved, ImageNow processes a letter for sending to the job applicant, and adds the letter to the applicant’s electronic file.
An Invoice Processing Solution (lower left in photo to right) automates approval and payment of invoices. First, the user presses the Process Invoice icon on the touch screen, and is then prompted to authenticate themselves. Next, they select an invoice type and enter a department code. Once the invoice is scanned, ImageNow extracts invoice data and adds it to an e-form. ImageNow routes the information to accounts payable. At their computer workstation, the accounts-payable user opens the invoice in ImageNow software to validate and enter any additional data if necessary. ImageNow software then routes the invoice for review and entry of any codes, then for approval. Once the invoice is approved, data is uploaded
to the business application for final processing.
The Expenses Solution is designed for business travelers and automating submission of business-travel expenses—something many of us know can be a slow and tedious process. In brief, here’s how it works: at their computer workstation using ImageNow software, the business traveler fills out an expense report, and then generates and prints a bar-coded cover sheet via any Lexmark MFP. At the touch screen, the user presses the Travel Expense icon. The touch screen prompts the user to authenticate themselves, and then prompts the user to place the bar-coded sheet on top of receipts for scanning via the document feeder (smaller receipts are scanned on the flatbed scanner). ImageNow software stores captured receipts, and links them with the user’s expense report, and then automatically routes them for approval. Once the expenses are approved, accounting personnel review the receipts, and processes them for reimbursement.
The three new Solutions will be able for the new X548de/dte, and for all other e-Task and Solution-capable Lexmark models, and will be marketed by both the Lexmark and Perceptive Software direct sales forces. Pricing will vary depending on the number of users and any additional software, and will be available to Lexmark’s channel partners.
During Lexmark’s conference last Thursday with analysts, Bill Lucas, director of Lexmark’s Worldwide Product Marketing, noted that it’s been an exciting time for the company. While we’ve heard similar from other firms before, Lexmark does seem to have a lot of momentum on its side. The company, which reported $4.2 billion in revenue for 2010, and which markets a strong, A4, workflow-enabled MFP lineup that costs up to one-third the price of traditional A3 systems, is providing a strong challenger to the BTA copier-dealer channel. One strong card Lexmark holds is that some BTA copier-dealer channel vendors tend to “de-feature” any competitive A4 MFPs in order to drive placements of their more lucrative A3 systems–that is, the BTA side many omit touch screens, open solutions, workflow, etc, in order to drive placements of their more expensive A3 systems. Lexmark’s A4 systems, on the other hand, offer robust feature sets–which are now even available with offerings like the new X548de/dte.
Overall, we see the X548de/dte as a particularly strong competitor in the small/mid-size workgroup space, and it should especially appeal to vertical-market customers in banking, education, and healthcare sectors, where Lexmark has traditionally been very strong.
|Imaging Technology||Four-color laser|
|Print Speed and Resolution||25 ppm (black and color); 12.5 (black)/14.0 (color) seconds First Page Out Time|
|Memory and Interfaces||Standard 512 MB of memory expandable to 1,536 MB; X548dte include 160-GB hard drive; Gigabit Ethernet network interface; front-mounted USB port for print from and scan to USB memory drives; rear-mounted USB port–attach optional Card Reader, keyboard.|
|Operating Systems Supported||Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh OS, Citrix MetaFrame, Linux, Novell, UNIX.|
|Print Drivers and Printing||PCL 5c, PCL 6, PostScript 3 emulation, Personal Printer Data Stream (PPDS), PDF 1.6, Direct Image, Microsoft XPS|
|Software||Device management software for managing the system on the network and tracking jobs.|
|Maximum/Recommended Monthly Volume||85,000 pages/1,000 to 4,000 pages.|
|Scan||Color network scan to e-mail, FTP, fax, network, USB memory drives; 18 originals per minute (A4)|
|Fax||Color Super Group 3 fax|
|Media Handling||Automatic duplex printing; 50-sheet reversing automatic duplexing feeder; 251-sheet paper capacity for the X548de, and 901-sheet paper capacity for the X548dte; 150-sheet output tray; print on card stock, envelopes, labels, plain paper, transparenecies; expand paper capacity to a maximum of 1,450 sheets with options.|
|Dimensions (HxWxD) and Weight||X548de: 18.23″ x 17.32″ x 23.5″; 61.3 lbs.
X548dte: 23.5″ x 17.32″ x 23.5″; 70.7 lbs.