Lexmark printer ink ‘resists fading’

Liquid lasers

Lexmark Europe has unveiled several new printers and All-In-One (AIO) products for consumers and small office/home office (SOHO) professionals. At its annual conference in Lisbon last week the company also introduced a new ink technology that combines for the first time dye-based and pigmented inks.

Lexmark claims that, when used on its own photo paper, the new ink resists fading from light, enabling consumers and professionals to better- preserve treasured photographs and keepsakes.

The ink technology is available in the new X5250 printer, which boasts photo capabilities with six-colour and borderless printing. The X5250 can print up to 14 pages per minute (ppm) in colour and can generate up to 20 ppm in black.

At the conference Lexmark also launched several new laser printers for the professional market, but the company believes laser printing will become less important in the future.

Faster inkjet printers will take over the role of laser printers, as ink jets offer better resolution quality for photo printing, Glenn Hudson, general manager of Lexmark's network attachment product, told the conference. "What we need for inkjet are higher printing speeds and dyes that dry faster."

Lexmark refers to its future printers as "liquid lasers".

CEO Paul Curlander declined to confirm that Lexmark, still very much a one-product line company, is to expand into other areas; he contented himself with the following: "We are looking into everything that has a relationship with printing".

Curlander isn't planning to invest a great deal in OEM strategy, he said. The company claims a "satisfactory" OEM relationship with Dell, where Lexmark printers are sold as Dell products; but Curlander is unsure what will happen, now that Dell is making similar arrangements with other printer manufacturers.

"This is just a small part of our business, promoting Lexmark as a brand is much more important. We used to partner with Compaq, but lost that business when it merged with HP", he said. ®