Multi-function Systems

Finding the Color “Sweet Spot” BLI Lab Testing Can Help

<p><i>By <a href="http://www.buyerslab.com/news/viewarticle.asp?article=71116">Marlene Orr</a>, Senior Printer Analyst, November 23, 2010&#160; </i></p> <p>Color MFPs are&#160; gaining more acceptance in general office environments, thanks in part to a wider range of choices, better color (i.e., cost) controls and lower cost of ownership. But, with more choice, comes more confusion: finding the ideal product can get complicated by the vast array of available features, indecipherable specs and, of course, the age-old A3 versus A4 (or “copier-centric versus printer-centric,” if you prefer) debate. While no one product is right for everyone, color MFPs in the 40- to 50-ppm range have a lot to offer. In this ongoing series of articles, BLI can help sort through the clutter.</p> <p>40- to 50-PPM Color MFPs: What’s the Difference?</p> <p>Ranging in speed from 40- to 50-ppm, the <a href="http://www.buyerslab.com/bliq/product/showSpecItem.asp?type=4&amp;spec=5... MX-C402SC</b></a>, <a href="http://www.buyerslab.com/bliq/product/showSpecItem.asp?type=4&amp;spec=5... X792de</b></a> and <a href="http://www.buyerslab.com/bliq/product/showSpecItem.asp?type=4&amp;spec=5... WorkCentre 7545</b></a>, three MFPs undergoing testing in BLI’s lab, offer the same core functionality (print, copy and scan) and on the surface seem very much the same with only a few differences. All three models offer color controls/calibration, a touch-screen interface and a choice of finishing options. The most obvious differences are in output size (the Sharp and Lexmark models support only up to legal-size output, while the Xerox device supports up to ledger-size output, which, of course, carries a price), and rated speed. The Xerox model is also the only one of the group to offer an optional saddle-stitch booklet maker.</p>

HP, Lexmark and Sharp Color A4 MFPs Put to the Test A Look at How They Compete on Paper

<p><i>By <a href="http://www.buyerslab.com/news/viewarticle.asp?article=70715">Marlene Orr</a>, Senior Printer Analyst, November 8, 2010</i></p> <p>In the past month or so, HP, Lexmark and Sharp have announced letter/legal-size (A4) color models in the all-important 40- to 50-ppm speed range. Targeted to mid-size and large workgroups, these models are designed for users who don’t need ledger-size (A3) output, but still want the robust functionality of a traditional MFP. While certainly priced lower than A3 color models in this speed range, these new offerings don’t skimp on features. The Lexmark and Sharp models are currently in BLI’s lab for testing and test reports will be available in the coming months, while the HP model is scheduled to arrive in late November.&#160; Here’s a sneak preview of how these models stack up.</p> <p>Size Matters: Packing A3 Functionality into an A4 Footprint</p> <p>Clearly, the A3 and A4 MFP categories have been converging since HP’s introduction of the game-changing 4345 MFP series in late 2004, with HP claiming this new category of product would “turn the copier industry on its head.” While its impact may not have been that drastic, the industry has certainly taken notice, and so have customers, realizing that traditional A3 copiers are not the only MFP options available. This A4 trend continues upward as smaller footprints, faster speeds, lower price tags and advanced functionality have allowed letter/legal-size, or “printer-based,” products to gain traction as viable replacements for single-function printers and, to a much lesser extent, older A3 copier-based devices. Each of the three competitors brings something new to the table, with two models replacing key models and the third acting as a new addition to the line.</p>

HP, Lexmark and Sharp Color A4 MFPs Put to the Test A Look at How They Compete on Paper

<p><i>By <a href="http://www.buyerslab.com/news/viewarticle.asp?article=70715">Marlene Orr</a>, Senior Printer Analyst, November 8, 2010</i></p> <p>In the past month or so, HP, Lexmark and Sharp have announced letter/legal-size (A4) color models in the all-important 40- to 50-ppm speed range. Targeted to mid-size and large workgroups, these models are designed for users who don’t need ledger-size (A3) output, but still want the robust functionality of a traditional MFP. While certainly priced lower than A3 color models in this speed range, these new offerings don’t skimp on features. The Lexmark and Sharp models are currently in BLI’s lab for testing and test reports will be available in the coming months, while the HP model is scheduled to arrive in late November.&#160; Here’s a sneak preview of how these models stack up.</p> <p>Size Matters: Packing A3 Functionality into an A4 Footprint</p> <p>Clearly, the A3 and A4 MFP categories have been converging since HP’s introduction of the game-changing 4345 MFP series in late 2004, with HP claiming this new category of product would “turn the copier industry on its head.” While its impact may not have been that drastic, the industry has certainly taken notice, and so have customers, realizing that traditional A3 copiers are not the only MFP options available. This A4 trend continues upward as smaller footprints, faster speeds, lower price tags and advanced functionality have allowed letter/legal-size, or “printer-based,” products to gain traction as viable replacements for single-function printers and, to a much lesser extent, older A3 copier-based devices. Each of the three competitors brings something new to the table, with two models replacing key models and the third acting as a new addition to the line.</p>

Helpful Tips for Choosing the Right Device

<p>As technology continues to progress, it can be difficult to sift through all the different options available to you. However, here are a few helpful tips to help you determine which device is right for your business.</p> <p><b>Multifunction or Stand-Alone Device?</b></p> <p><a href="http://www.officeproductnews.net/files/Sharp-MX-Series-Graphics-for-Mult... style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 10px 10px 0px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; float: left; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px" title="Sharp MX Series Graphics for Multi-Function Page" border="0" alt="Sharp MX Series Graphics for Multi-Function Page" align="left" src="http://www.officeproductnews.net/files/Sharp-MX-Series-Graphics-for-Mult... width="184" height="121" /></a>Depending on the size of your company and how your business uses documents, a stand-alone device might be a good fit. However, in most cases, a multifunction system offers excellent productivity without a heightened expense. Plus, you will have easy access to other functions such as printing, scanning and faxing.</p> <p><b>Finishing Options</b></p> <p>With today’s business, very rarely are you only in need of basic copies. Therefore, it is important to consider what type of finishing options your device should have. Options include stapling, duplexing, hole-punching and a variety of other tasks. The last thing you want is to purchase a device and discover it will not do what you need to be successful.</p>

Embrace the New Standard: Multi-function Systems

<p>A multi-function system (MFP) is defined as a device that can handle two or more of the basic office functions: printing, scanning, copying or faxing. MFPs give y<a name="_GoBack"></a>our office important and reliable functionality in one easy-to-use piece of equipment. </p> <p>MFPs can perform any of the following functions:</p> <p><b><img style="border-right-width: 0px; margin: 10px 10px 10px 0px; display: inline; border-top-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px" title="KMC3232_pf750" border="0" alt="KMC3232_pf750" align="left" src="http://www.officeproductnews.net/files/KMC3232_pf750.jpg" width="99" height="93" /> Printing:</b> Like any laser printer, an MFP can connect to networks to provide basic printing to all users. However, MFPs also offer advanced finishing options and eco-friendly printing.</p> <p><b>Scanning:</b> Paper documents are starting to diminish as the digital age continues to creep in. Therefore, quality scanning capabilities are one of the best features of most MFPs. Connect your device to a document management system and you will have a searchable electronic database in no time.</p> <p><b>Copying:</b> With today’s technology, users are able to make limitless sets of documents and produce high-resolution copies with little time and effort</p> <p><b>Faxing:</b> Just like a standalone fax machine, an MFP can send and receive faxes. Furthermore, you can set your device to send incoming faxes to a folder on your network to reduce paper usage.</p>

Embrace the New Standard: Multi-function Systems

<p><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="iStock_000001266405Small" border="0" alt="iStock_000001266405Small" align="left" src="http://www.officeproductnews.net/files/iStock_000001266405Small_7.jpg" width="106" height="156" /> A multi-function system (MFP) is defined as a device that can handle two or more of the basic office functions: printing, scanning, copying or faxing. MFPs give your office important and reliable functionality in one easy-to-use piece of equipment. </p> <p>MFPs can perform any of the following functions:</p> <p><b>Printing:</b> Like any laser printer, an MFP can connect to networks to provide basic printing to all users. However, MFPs also offer advanced finishing options and eco-friendly printing.</p> <p><b>Scanning:</b> Paper documents are starting to diminish as the digital age continues to creep in. Therefore, quality scanning capabilities are one of the best features of most MFPs. Connect your device to a document management system and you will have a searchable electronic database in no time.</p> <p><b>Copying:</b> With today’s technology, users are able to make limitless sets of documents and produce high-resolution copies with little time and effort</p> <p><b>Faxing:</b> Just like a standalone fax machine, an MFP can send and receive faxes. Furthermore, you can set your device to send incoming faxes to a folder on your network to reduce paper usage.</p>

5 Tips for Choosing a Multifunction System

<p>When looking to purchase a new multifunction system, there are many aspects you need to consider to ensure the device will fit your budget and your printing needs. When it comes to upgrade equipment, be sure to think about these 5 issues before reaching your final decision.</p> <p><b>1. Complete a print assessment to determine print needs</b> <br />In order to fully understand the printing needs of your office you need to know how your devices are currently used. By conducting a print assessment, you will gain an understanding of what features are necessary to enhance productivity and decrease costs<img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 10px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="iStock_000002095641Small(2)" border="0" alt="iStock_000002095641Small(2)" align="right" src="http://www.officeproductnews.net/files/iStock_000002095641Small2_0.jpg" width="144" height="97" /> .</p> <p><b>2. Consider all expenses</b> <br />It is quite easy to be swayed into purchasing a piece of equipment that has an inexpensive initial price tag. However, you need to consider the total cost of ownership. This includes maintenance, supply costs and available warranties.</p>

Help the Environment and Cut Costs

<p>Many employees have the belief that printing is free since the equipment is easily accessible and a paper supply is abundant. However, paper is expensive not only to your business, but to the environment as well.</p> <p><img style="border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; margin: 10px 10px 10px 0px; display: inline; border-top: 0px; border-right: 0px" title="" border="0" alt="" align="left" src="http://www.officeproductnews.net/files/iStock_000000520880Small_2.jpg" width="93" height="103" /> Luckily, it is fairly easy to employ paper reduction strategies in your office. Some strategies include:</p> <p><b>Use Private Printing: </b>Private printing requires users to walk up to the print and key in a PIN in order to print their documents. By utilizing this feature, you will eliminate abandoned print jobs and cut waste.</p> <p><b>Duplex Printing: </b>Set your printer’s defaults to print double-sided. This can easily cut paper usage by up to 50%.</p>

Create Custom Marketing Materials to Reduce Costs

<p>With today’s color multifunction systems, creating in-house marketing materials is not only easy, but it is also a great cost-cutting tactic. By adding color to your marketing materials, you can boost marketing efforts without tightening your budget.</p> <p>When you use a print shop, you are usually required to run high volumes of <a href="http://www.officeproductnews.net/files/iStock_000004141883Small.jpg"><img style="border-right-width: 0px; margin: 10px 0px 10px 10px; display: inline; border-top-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px" title="multi-coloured books" border="0" alt="multi-coloured books" align="right" src="http://www.officeproductnews.net/files/iStock_000004141883Small_thumb.jpg" width="79" height="116" /></a> marketing materials. This means you use valuable office space to store extra runs of flyers and brochures. By utilizing your multifunction systems, you will have the ability to print on demand for the exact volume necessary.</p> <p>Bulk marketing materials also have to be quite generic to ensure maximum use opportunity. In-house marketing materials can be customized with specific information relevant to the recipient.</p>

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