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Lexmark unveiling 42 laser-printer models

The Lexmark MX812DTFE is among the 42 products being launched Thursday, in advance of Tuesday's third-quarter earnings announcement.
The Lexmark MX812DTFE is among the 42 products being launched Thursday, in advance of Tuesday's third-quarter earnings announcement. Photo courtesy Lexmark International

Lexmark International will announce one of the largest product launches in its 21-year history on Thursday morning.

The debut of 42 models of laser printers, which range in price from $199 to $5,499, comes in advance of Tuesday's third-quarter earnings announcement.

The printers are focused on businesses, which Lexmark has increasingly targeted in recent years. In August, the company announced it is shuttering its inkjet operations that had once been aimed at consumers and most recently at businesses.

In developing the new products, the Lexington-based company's engineers targeted ways to improve a user's experience. Below you'll find potential complaints and how the company has looked to fix them:

I've got a paper jam: "These devices are virtually jam-free because of some of the advances we made from how paper is handled," said Brian Henderson, director of worldwide product marketing.

In fact, he said that in the rare case there is a paper jam, the printers may still be able to continue functioning. For instance, if you experience a jam while trying to print double-sided, the device can still allow you to print single-sided documents.

The toner is fading before it needs to be changed: Lexmark's engineers have redesigned the toner system and added pieces that ensure "all the toner gets through," Henderson said.

"It's the same print quality all the way to the last page with no more fading and no shaking of the cartridge," he added.

There's also less need to change cartridges because Lexmark expanded the capacity of some to print up to 45,000 pages.

I wish it would start printing faster: It now takes only 4 seconds to see your first printout.

"The warm-up is essentially gone," said Tom Knight, vice president and general manager of business products.

By comparison, Henderson said the industry average is between 7 and 8 seconds.

I have more documents to scan than the automatic document feeder will hold: Lexmark has doubled the capacity of the automatic document feeder on some of the printers.

I wish the printer would scan documents more quickly: The company has used a dual-core processor inside the printer to speed up image processing and scanning.

"We were able to take a 50-page document, scan it and send it to a network folder in two minutes," Henderson said. "A competitive product took almost 10 minutes."

The company is also shipping an application standard on some that allows users to scan and send documents to multiple locations.

The scanner didn't scan one of my documents: Lexmark has added an ultrasonic multi-feed detection system to ensure that pages to be scanned don't get stuck together and scanned only as one.

It's technology similar to how ATMs ensure you don't get more $20 bills than you requested, Knight said.

"If you accidentally scan two pages as one, you'll know right away," Henderson added.

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