• 2toner1-2
  • 7035-overstock-banner-902x177
  • mse-big-banner-new-03-17-2016-416716a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-212
  • Video and Film
  • Print
  • cartridgewebsite-com-big-banner-02-09-07-2016
  • big-banner-ad_2-sean
  • 05 02 2016 429716a-cig-clearchoice-banner-902x177
  • 4toner4
  • mse-big-new-banner-03-17-2016-416616a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-114


 user 2005-06-07 at 9:51:00 am Views: 49
  • #9762
    Licence to print money

    Even small businesses can
    now afford a laser printer that scans, faxes and copies as well,

    It makes sense to have a printer, scanner
    and copier all in one device, but until recently, it was too expensive for
    manufacturers to include laser printing in systems aimed at small and
    medium-sized businesses. But now, thanks to the decline in cost of laser
    printing engines, that is changing.

    Last month, Epson announced a colour laser multifunction printer with the
    Aculaser CX11N series that cost about £500. This was followed by
    Hewlett-Packard’s similarly priced LaserJet 2800 series. The 2800 AiO
    (All-in-One) is network-ready and prints 19 pages per minute (ppm) in mono and
    4ppm in colour.

    The multifunction
    printer (MFP) or all-in-one is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the printer
    market. Typically, these devices combine print, scan, copy and sometimes fax
    features in one unit. At the higher end, they also offer network connectivity,
    the ability to email scanned or copied images to other users, and to print on
    both sides of the paper.

    Several manufacturers have launched colour inkjet MFPs that are raising the
    bar on speed and quality while blurring the line between inkjet and laser. For
    example, Xerox’s WorkCentre 2424, which costs £1,900, is the first MFP based on
    the company’s solid-ink technology, which can produce high-quality colour
    prints. Meanwhile Oki’s C5510, priced at £869, uses single-pass printing to
    deliver 12ppm in colour and 20ppm in mono.

    Such is the confidence of the manufacturers that Lexmark predicts all MFPs
    will be colour by 2007. But their success will depend partly on whether people
    think they can afford to print more in colour, which is typically about seven
    times the cost per page of printing in mono.

    With MFP prices ranging from about £200 to £2,000, buyers may be confused
    about the relative merits of different devices. Most buyers consider print
    speed, price and form factor, but experts say the cost of ownership should be
    taken more seriously now manufacturers sell the hardware almost as loss leaders.

    Peter Maude, an analyst with Charisco Printer Labs, says manufacturers are
    beginning to wage a war over the cost of consumables such as ink cartridges.
    “One of the most impressive characteristics of the HP device is that
    consumables, unlike those for the Xerox 2424, have not been keyed to create an
    artificial monopoly,” he says. “The same consumables fit both its LaserJet 2550
    and the new All-in-One device.”

    Maude says Oki and Xerox have adjusted the price of toner so that black and
    white printing is cheaper on the MFP than on their printers, but colour is more

    When it comes to print speeds, consumers are right to be cautious about
    advertised figures. Many manufacturers, including Xerox, admit that print speeds
    given in brochures are misleading. “There is no agreed standard, which makes it
    very difficult to compare,” says Ken Salmon, manager of Xerox’s monochrome
    business unit. “We refer buyers to independent tests that look at a range of
    tasks to get a better comparison.”

    Xerox’s MFPs compare particularly well in tests by the US-based Buyers
    Laboratory, which runs 15 different print jobs when comparing printers.

    It’s even harder for buyers to evaluate an MFP’s ability to perform more than
    one task at the same time. The cheaper products can only handle one task at a
    time, but some high-end MFPs can juggle printing, scanning, copying, and faxing
    simultaneously. They can also save paper costs by printing on both sides.

    But one of the biggest changes in the printer market is the shift to online
    sales. All the manufacturers are keenly aware that with Dell’s arrival, they
    must now prune their costs and compete directly with online sales.

    Dell began selling printers in the UK two years ago, and now offers a dozen
    printers aimed at consumers and small businesses. However, it does not have a
    laser colour MFP. “We are keeping an eye on how this market grows and will
    review our range as the market develops,” says John Kelly, printer business
    manager at Dell UK.

    Whatever the sales model, MFPs are beginning to make inroads into
    medium-sized firms that would traditionally use separate devices. For example,
    Bournemouth-based law firm Lester Aldridge, which has a staff of 350 across five
    sites, has gone from using a mixture of different printers to MFPs from Canon.
    IT director Neil Prevett says there are many benefits: “It makes organising
    consumables a lot easier and more predictable, and because the devices are fully
    networked, we are able to accurately measure printer usage and integrate digital
    scans into our document management system.”

    But another IT manager, who prefers to remain anonymous, suggests MFPs have
    some way to go. “There is no point giving colour MFPs to most staff – they
    hardly ever use most of the functions,” he says. “Besides, if I give them
    colour, they will just waste money printing out party invitations and the