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FedEx's New Printing Site Takes on Dell, H-P

Stocks in this article: FDX HPQ DELL

MEMPHIS ( TheStreet) -- Get ready for the FedEx (FDX) guy to also become your online small-business imaging guy.

Late last year,shipping powerhouse FedEx upgraded its small-business Web site, FedEx Office, with a new spiffy look, ambitious new printing features and online file storage. The move puts the shipping specialist in competion with Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) Creative Studio, Dell's (DELL) ImageDirect, VistaPrint's (VPRT) online collateral services and custom printing tools from Moo.

FedEx has been expanding its online products to target small businesses trying to cut costs in a weak economy. About 25% of the company's printing sales originated online during the previous year, says FedEx spokeswoman Jenny Robertson.

I recently tested the new site. Here's what I found:

What you get: The new FedEx Office offers a solid digital pipeline to manage your small business's marketing materials.

The company has worked hard to make its upgraded site easy to use. Simply surf over and pick one of its six templates to design, from presentations to brochures.

I uploaded my test PowerPoint deck. The service allowed me to tinker with image and printing options, including paper stock, bindings and colors. When finished, I could pick up my project at a local FedEx office or have it shipped. There are even couriers available for rush jobs.

Basic presentation packages start at 55 cents a page. More complex, full-color products with bindings and swanky paper cost about $8. FedEx stores files smaller than 100 megabytes for up to six months after every order is placed.

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