Lexmark has released a new inkjet printer, the Z51, which offers ultra-fine resolution for photo-quality colour prints.
The printer is fitted with a newly designed combined cartridge and print head, providing 1200 x 1200dpi resolution with an ink drop size of seven picolitres.
Michel Cornet, product marketing manager at Lexmark, said the drop size determines an image's fineness of definition. Ink drops for most common office printers are about one-third larger.
Lexmark has improved the Z51's predecessor, the 5700, with a USB port, a low-noise feature and a better feeding system that can take paper up to 270g a square metre.
The printer includes the same colour-matching system as Windows 98 and comes bundled with Corel Printhouse Magic Version 4. It will be available next week, priced at £199.
One of the Z51's main competitors will be the Epson 740, which retails at a lower price of £179. An Epson spokeswoman claimed that the 740's resolution of 1440 x 720dpi and drop size of six picolitres give it an edge on print quality, without the need to replace the print head each time the cartridge runs out.
But Cornet insisted that the Epson 740's ink drops spread and form a greater surface area on the page than those of his product.
He said that the Z51's finer resolution means that it produces 38% more drops on each A4 page and that Epson's permanent print head will get clogged over time.
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