I recently saw a study about the dilemma facing manufacturers of products sold in grocery stores – they don’t want their product lineup to get stale, but consumers can be overwhelmed if they’re offered too many choices.

Printer models have become a blur. I can’t keep up with the rollouts from HP any more, much less the other manufacturers. Every time I walk down the aisle at CompUSA, I feel like I’ve never seen any of the choices before. Who knew there was a laser printer from HP as low as $199? Color laserjets starting at $549! My goodness.

Dell has announced a slew of new additions to its printer lineup – a couple of printer/fax/copy/scan devices, a laser printer at $199, and more. Dell is bullish on its printer business, and I can imagine why – there’s high profit margins on the consumables and the printers are starting to look more like interchangeable commodities, generating as much brand loyalty as a toaster or blender (and about as much excitement).

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