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 user 2005-05-31 at 9:40:00 am Views: 73
  • #9809
    Ricoh Enters Inkjet Space with Low-Cost GelSprinter
    May 2005.

    Ricoh announced a new line of speedy, full-color
    printers that use quick-drying ink and have duplex capabilities as a standard

    • The G700 prints 20 pages per minute (ppm) for single-sided documents and
      costs $449.
    • The G500 prints 19 ppm for single-sided documents and costs $329.

    Duplex documents print at 85 percent of the speed of single-sided printing.
    These models are targeted at the business inkjet market. They have already been
    released in Japan and are scheduled to go on sale in the United States in July.
    Multifunction configurations of these machines are scheduled to ship in late
    2005 or early 2006.


    These units are decent but unspectacular entrants into the market. Ricoh has
    introduced them in the hope of getting a cut of the lucrative and growing
    supplemental office print market. Gartner has long warned enterprises about the
    high cost of inkjet printing, but HP, Lexmark and Epson have all benefited
    greatly from its persistent use. Ricoh will need to improve if it hopes to
    displace these other providers.

    In the standard mode, the GelSprinters do not produce very dark blacks, and
    their colors are not as vibrant, but Ricoh says that this print quality is
    intentional. The GelSprinters are meant in part for duplex printing jobs, and
    heavier ink applications would bleed through the paper, destroying the image on
    the other side.

    Ricoh has seen some success with these printers in Japan. Ricoh shipped 4,200
    A3 models, which can use 11-by-17-inch paper, in 1Q05 alone. Ricoh holds the top
    spot in the business inkjet printer market in Japan, with 38,100 machines
    shipped in 1Q05.

    These printers probably will find a home in Ricoh’s direct and dealer
    distribution channels as bonus models “thrown in” as part of a larger deal to
    encourage placements and the sale of aftermarket supplies. More modest shipments
    will occur in Ricoh’s two-tier and printer distribution channels.


    • Small and midsize business customers: Consider the lower cost (two
      cents per page for black and six cents for color) and duplex features that these
      units offer.
    • All customers: Use these units only for general office applications,
      such as text and graphics, not for photo printing