In response to shrinking work spaces and swelling rents, office technology companies are rolling out multi-function machines to maximise output and space. Hewlett Packard (HP) is no exception, with its LaserJet 5Si mopier that can do the job of a printer, photocopier and collator. HP's new marketing concept may help the company retain market share, said Yue Yean-feng, an industry analyst at Dataquest, a worldwide information technology market research company. The all-in-one market is the fastest-growing segment of the hard copy market, with worldwide sales expected to exceed US$10 billion by 1999, says Giga Information Group, a United States research firm. However, multi-function product sales are not without obstacles, according to analysts. 'These products are still in the introductory stage and the mind set is still for a single function machine. However, people are warming up to multi-function products,' Ms Yue said. 'In the long run it will save costs. If you are looking at office space say in Singapore or Hong Kong it makes more sense to have one [machine] versus two.' Traditionally, office workers print a document on a laser printer, then walk across the room to make duplicates, perhaps stopping for a chat along the way. Yet multi-function products like the 5si mopier combine document production steps. Workers can conveniently create multiple original copies at 24 pages per minute from their desk and have it collated and stapled at the same speed as the average photocopier, said Vincent Chan, HP's product development manager. The machine has four input trays for a total of 3,100 sheets of paper, eight output trays and a 40 megahertz microprocessor for high speed, sustained printing. Alternatively, jammed photocopiers are an annoyance we have all experienced, grinding work to a halt, sending us scouring the inner bowels of a photocopier for a lost original copy. 'When we looked at the equipment available, comparing printers and copiers, copiers require service quite often, the HP printers hardly ever asks for service,' Mr Chan said. HP printers have a 100,000 pages/month duty cycle, According to a survey conducted by The Office Product Analyst photocopiers average one service call a month. An example of a 5Si customer, according to Mr Chan, is a large construction company, which wants to cut down on the time restraints of re-drafting contracts and designs for its engineers on site. 'The construction company's design team uses the machine to accommodate last-minute design changes that are rushed out to the site, saving a trip to the printer. Productivity is really critical to these people,' he said. The latest dual-function launch by HP, due out later this month is the OfficeJet Pro 1150 colour-printer-copier-scanner; targeted at small companies. 'Big businesses can afford to buy separate machines, but small businesses are very price conscious. For under HK$10,000 they can have a machine to do many things,' said an HP spokesman in Hong Kong. The 5Si's list price is HK$86,818, or it can be leased for $6,800 per month.