XEROX & MINOLTA BATTLE FOR SUPREMACY
XEROX & MINOLTA BATTLE FOR SUPREMACY
2005-08-19 at 8:31:00 am #12503
Xerox, Minolta Printers Battle For Supremacy
August , 2005
This week, engineers
examine three impressive new color printers: Konica Minolta’s Magicolor
5450, Xerox’s Phaser 6350DP laser printer and its Phaser 8550DP
If your customers are using printers more than a couple of generations
old, it’s definitely worth upgrading them to these newer models.
The printers were tested for using a plain-old stopwatch and select images from the Spencer & Associates Printer Test Suite.
Konica Minolta Magicolor 5450
Offering PostScript 3 and PCL 6 emulations, this impressive single-pass
unit prints in color and black and white at 27 pages per minute (ppm).
The printer comes standard with 256 Mbytes of memory, which can be
upgraded to 1,024 Mbytes for faster processing and printing.
The Magicolor 5450 is network-ready with its built-in Gigabit NIC, and
it also has USB 2.0 and parallel ports. Designed for large workgroups,
this compact printer will fit any office or even on a desktop; it
measures 17.9 inches wide by 17.3 inches high by 20.5 inches deep. Easy
to set up, the printer comes with pre-installed toners. Auto-install
software detects the printer on a network and guides the solution
provider through the setup procedure.
A desktop status monitor shows print job and supply levels at a glance,
and solution providers can manage the printer from a Web browser using
Minolta’s PageScope software, which also works with printers from other
vendors. Plug-ins are available for seamless printing from OpenView,
NetView, Unicenter and the Microsoft Management Console.
The Magicolor 5450 uses special polymerized toner to produce fine
detail in text and graphics, and photo-realistic images that look rich
and glossy. The unit printed a 10-page monochrome Word document in just
30 seconds and a 10-page Word document with color headings in just 33
seconds. It printed a full-page picture of a castle in 20 seconds, and
produced two graphics files in about 30 seconds each. The Magicolor
5450 has a 60,000-page monthly duty cycle and is priced at $1,799. The
special toner is expensive: a 12,000-print set of four cartridges
(CMYK) costs $920.
The Konica Minolta Partner Program includes two levels, Partners and
Platinum Partners. Solution providers purchasing less than a minimum
dollar volume in hardware are classified as Partners, while solution
providers purchasing more than the threshold and that have an approved
business plan are classified as Platinum Partners.
Partner-level resellers are offered incentives of up to 10 percent,
dependent upon the sales volume they produce. Platinum Partner
resellers receive an incremental upfront discount and incentives up to
5 percent, dependent upon sales volume. In addition, Platinum Partner
resellers have access to customizable flyers, a direct mail program,
MDFs for joint marketing campaigns and a listing on Konica Minolta’s
Where to Buy Web site. The average solution provider margin is 10
percent to 15 percent with incentives.
Xerox Phaser 6350DP
Xerox’s new Phaser 6350DP is designed for high-volume workgroup
printing, producing up to 36 ppm in black-and-white or color with the
first page out in 10 seconds.
Consumables for the printer come preinstalled, so it’s easy to set up.
As far as connectivity, the Phaser 6350DP features a built-in NIC and
USB 2.0 interface. Management utilities include PhaserSMART, a
Web-based technical support feature; PrintingScout, which indicates
supply status; and CentreWare Web, a server-based application that lets
solution providers manage both Xerox and non-Xerox printers on a
In addition, a new feature called Personal Print lets users send
multiple print jobs to their own virtual mailbox on the printer’s hard
drive and then print them all at once without having to separate their
documents from those of coworkers.
The Phaser 6350DP printed the 10-page monochrome Word test document in
27 seconds and output the 10-page Word document with color headings in
just 24 seconds. It printed the castle photo in 13 seconds, and
produced the two graphics files in about 10 seconds each. It’s worth
noting that the original Phaser 6200 took 1 minute 32 seconds to print
the castle picture, the Phaser 6250 took a relatively quick 27 seconds
to print the same file, while the 6350DP did it in just 13 seconds. So
in some instances, the 6350DP is more than six times faster than the
original Phaser 6200. The Magicolor 5450 took 20 seconds to print the
same file, so the Xerox printer is significantly faster than the
Output from the Phaser 6350DP is quite sharp and has good contrast, but
the pages look dull compared to those produced by the Magicolor 5450.
The Phaser 6350DP is nonetheless a more robust printer than the
Magicolor 5450, boasting a monthly duty cycle of 120,000 pages, double
that of the Magicolor 5450. The Phaser 6350DP also carries a price of
Of these two printers, for the most photorealistic output, solution
providers should go with the Minolta. For the fastest output, or for
extreme high-volume printing, go with the Xerox. Note that
high-capacity 10,000-page toner cartridges for the Phaser 6350 cost
more than $800 for a set of four (CMYK).
Xerox Phaser 8559DP
Finally, for fast color printing without the hassles of toner, consider Xerox’s new Phaser 8550DP solid-ink printer.
Xerox’s four-color solid-ink blocks (CMYK) are keyed by shape so that
they will only fit in the proper slot. Much like big crayons, the solid
ink blocks aren’t messy at all.
The Phaser 8550DP offers print speeds similar to the Phaser 6350DP at a
price of only $1,299. Rated at up to 30 ppm in color and
black-and-white, the Phaser 8550DP will output the first page in less
than 5 seconds. Output is extremely glossy with a pleasing texture.
The Phaser 8550 printed both 10-page Word documents in 39 seconds each,
and printed the castle photo in just 18 seconds. The two additional
graphics files took about 10 seconds each to print. So, the Phaser
8550DP rates faster than the Minolta Magicolor 5450 but is slower than
the Phaser 6350DP.
The different levels in the Xerox Peak Program are based on quarterly
sales volumes, training, Authorized Service Provider (ASP) status and
maintaining a current demo unit.
Generating $12,500 in sales, Peak resellers can earn quarterly back-end
rebates. Standard Peak level support includes an incentive-based card
program, a demo program, MDFs and more. Resellers who earn the ASP
designation and participate in quarterly training, maintain a current
demo unit and meet a minimum average quarterly sales volume of $25,000
are eligible for Peak Elite status.
Those who reach Peak Elite status also receive prioritized leads, Web
referrals and Web placement for Xerox Office products and supplies. The
average margin for solution providers taking advantage of these
discounts and rebates is 10 percent.