IBM's New Infoprint Series

By Patricia Fusco | Posted April 21, 2003
IBM recently introduced five new color and monochrome printers. Of particular interest for smaller businesses are the Infoprint 1312, Infoprint 1332 and Infoprint 1357. Larger organizations will likely prefer the workhorse mentality and speed of the Infoprint 1352 and the Infoprint 1372. Each of these printers come as both a network-ready or base model.

As an entry-level printer, the Infoprint 1312 offers a great way for small businesses to boost productivity while maintaining a tidy work area — the printer's petite footprint that doesn't gobble up a lot of office space. This high-performance monochrome laser printer offers a print speed of up to 20 pages per minute. U.S. list price for a base model is $289, available only from IBM directly.

Ideal as a desktop printer but suitable for small workgroups, the Infoprint 1213 offers flexible networking options, broad media support and features found in higher priced printers. With a powerful 200 MHz RISC processor, it's a solid value for a sub $300 laser printer.

The Infoprint 1332 is a low- to mid-volume monochrome laser printer with a print speed of up to 35 ppm. This unit supports small- and medium-size workgroups with modular paper-handling options, stapling capabilities and the opportunity to go multi-functional — adding a scanner, copier and fax. U.S. list price for the base model is $790.

The Infoprint Color 1357 is a mid-volume, color laser printer with a print speed of up to 28 ppm. An ideal business color solution, it supports legal-size media and banner size paper up to 36 inches in length, as well as optional duplexing and finishing features to help minimize user intervention. U.S. list price for the base model is $3,624.

The Infoprint 1352 is a mid- to high-volume, monochrome laser printer with a print speed of up to 40 ppm. This unit provides medium and large size workgroups with broad media support and flexible options, including duplex and scanning, copying and faxing capabilities. U.S. list price for a base model is $1,090.

The Infoprint 1372 is a high-volume, monochrome laser printer with a print speed of up to 45 ppm. The most versatile printer of the Infoprint series supports high-volume printing and complex applications for medium and large size workgroups with legal-sized paper support, advanced finishing options such as a five-bin mailbox or smart staple finisher, as well as modular scanning, copying and faxing capabilities. U.S. list price for a base model is $1,543.

IBM's multi-function print options offer different solutions for small businesses that want to lower costs through device consolidation. The two new IBM MFP options include the M22 and M26 that add scanning, copying, faxing and e-routing capabilities to the Infoprint 1332, 1352 and 1372.

The M22 MFP Option adds an Aimplex scanner that operates at a speed up to 15 impressions per minute monochrome and up to 14 ipm color. U.S. list price is $1,448. The M26 MFP Option offers single-pass, duplex scans at a speed up to 23 ipm monochrome and up to 14 ipm color. U.S. list price for this option is $1,984.

IBM's existing M30 MFP option, which has an intuitive, color, touch-screen interface and scans pages at speeds up to 23 images per minute monochrome and 14 images per minute in color, has been exceedingly popular among businesses seeking to add a little color to their printing capabilities.

Paul Preo, IBM Printing Systems workgroup business line manager, said the company's new approach to modular printing system can lead to potential savings of 30 to 40 percent in total office output costs.

"We increased processor performance by 30 percent and doubled the memory of each unit to handle complex jobs faster," Preo said. "Add to that our expanded print cartridge yield to hold more toner and we drive down the cost of printing even further."

This is a major product refresh for IBM. Preo said the company withdrew several two-year-old models to take a new stand in the highly competitive print systems market.

"We're certainly seeing a couple of new phases in the market," Preo said. "Businesses are moving toward a printer-centric strategy, consolidating printers with copying, scanning and faxing functions. There is a value in consolidation of printing systems — rather than three different sets of supplies for each device, businesses need only one toner supplier for multiple devices."

But with this consolidation of printing systems come new problems. For example, some of the multi-function printers are all-in-one units. If the scanner is on the fritz, then entire unit has to be sent to the shop. Not so for IBM's Infoprint series — each modular option can be repaired or replaced independent of the other. If the scanner is acting up, small businesses can keep on printing while repairs are made for the scanning module only.

There are other benefits to building modular printing systems. Preo said small businesses can overcome the fear of over buying because they can mix-and-match their systems.

"A small business might not need multi-function printing capabilities today, but as a business grows, it has the capability to add modular functionality tomorrow without a large capital layout," Preo said. "It's modular — add it on later — it's upgradeable."

To date, only Lexmark offers modular upgrades like IBM. HP, on the other hand, has come to market with a series of all-in-one multi-function printing systems.

The five new IBM workgroup color and monochrome printers introduce a range of print speeds options from 20 to 45 ppm. Cost-saving features, such as duplex, multi-up printing (fitting multiple pages on one sheet of paper) and toner-saving features such as print darkness setting options, add to the versatility of these printers for workgroups of all sizes in small, medium and large businesses.

The Infoprint 1312, 1332, 1352 and Color 1357, and the M22 and M26 MFP Options, are scheduled to be generally available beginning April 25, 2003. The Infoprint 1372 is scheduled to be available beginning August 15, 2003. The Infoprint family of workgroup printers and MFP Options can be purchased online through IBM Printing Systems' remarketers and IBM sales representatives (except the Infoprint 1312 base model, available exclusively by direct sale only).

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