Lexmark takes aim at HP

Lexmark takes aim at HP

Lexmark is filling out its Optra line. The company has announced the Optra N network printer and enhancements to its MarkVision connectivity software last week.

The printer manufacturer intends to take on Hewlett-Packard's LaserJet 5Si in a battle for mid-range market share by adding management features and broader connectivity to its 24-page-per-minute laser printer.

"What Lexmark is doing is targeting a more full-featured solution, and delivering it at a better price than its competitors are," said John Goetz, an industry analyst.

According to Goetz, the Optra N uses the same Canon Computer Systems engine and some of the same paper handling features for a lower price than either HP's LaserJet 5Si or QMS's 2425.

In addition, the 600dpi engine operates with Lexmark's Image Enhancement Technology, providing 256 shades of grey using PostScript Level 2 or enhanced PCL 5.

The printer sports twin I/O slots and a bidirectional parallel port and can accommodate an optional hard drive and protocols such as Ethernet, TCP/IP, and Token Ring.

Lexmark will ship the Optra N 240 standard with PCL 5 and 4Mb of memory. The Optra N 245 has 16Mb of memory and an integrated Ethernet adaptor.

Lexmark has upgraded its MarkVision software to include Asset Management, enabling administrators to inventory and configure printers throughout the enterprise, and resource management features to tell users when a job is completed. MarkVision for most platforms is free of charge. Support for Windows NT clients will be available in the second half of the year.

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