In a move sure to spice up the digital imaging market, Dell has launched its first range of printers in Australia.
The Dell printer range initially includes the Dell Personal All-in-One A940 ink jet printer with scanning and fax capabilities, as well as the P1500 personal laser printer.
Priced at $199, the A940 features a 48-bit scanner, 4800 pixel x 1200 pixel resolution and boasts of 17 pages per minute (ppm) speeds.
Replacement ink cartridges start from $49 for a black and white cartridge and $59 for colour.
The P1500 laser printer, which is aimed at the small business market, offers printing speeds of up to 19ppm, with a 600 pixel x 600 pixel resolution (1200 pixel image quality) and 16MB of expandable memory. The P1500 will be available for $599. Three types of toner cartridges will be on offer starting from $149 for a 3000-page reusable toner cartridge (at 5 per cent coverage).
Dell managing director for Australia and New Zealand, David Miller, said the launch of Dell’s own branded printer range was a reaction to customer demand for a complete computing solution.
“We found out customers wanted a one-stop shop from Dell,” he said.
Customers want to source services and accountability for computing products from Dell, he said.
Dell will be the only supplier of consumables for its range of printers.
They will be available to purchase online via its supplies Web site or through a dedicated consumables hotline.
Although the printers were originally produced for Dell by Lexmark, there are several “value-added” features which Dell have introduced into both of the models which distinguish them from other Lexmark printers.
The most predominant of these is Dell’s Toner management system.
The management system is designed to notify customers when they are running out of toner or ink. The management system is loaded onto the customer’s PC as part of the printer driver.
Customers will be notified that their printer is low on ink via a pop-up alert on their PC screen. The alert is derived from the service tag for the customer’s printer, that customers will need to enter upon hooking their printer up to their system. The service tag identifies the correct ink and toner cartridge for that computer.
If customers choose to order consumables from Dell’s online store, the software will also highlight their required toner or ink cartridge from the available list.
As a result, consumers will only be able to use Dell ink and toner cartridges in Dell printers.
Miller said that while Dell has partnered with third-party vendors to provide solutions across its desktop lines in the past, the vendor felt it was important to co-ordinate the “look and feel” of its printing products.
“Where we need to own the customer’s experience, we do,” Miller said.
In a presentation on the printer launch, the company said it had no plans to offer its printer products or consumables range via the retail channel.
“We want to provide the most efficient means for our customers to get their products and supplies, and we believe that selling cartridges direct is an improved buying experience over retail,” Dell said.
Dell will be offering customers next day delivery for its consumables line. To ensure this delivery schedule can be met, Dell has struck up a new partnership with Australia Post, Miller said.
Dell launched its printers in the US in March this year.
Miller said printer sales in the US had already hit the 1 million mark.
“Sales jumped 70 per cent in quarter three, and are expected to jump 80 per cent in quarter four,” he said.
Australia is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, to sell the printer line.
While Dell has already released a portfolio of printing products in the US market, Miller said the company was taking a “crawl, walk, run” strategy with the Australian market.
Nevertheless, customers could expect to see further printer releases from Dell every quarter, he said.