Xerox ups the ante with high-speed printers

According to one analyst, adding more bang for the buck has historically been the business model of Xerox. And now, said Angele Boyd, group vice-president at IDC in Framingham, Mass. Xerox continues to show more value-add with the release of three new machines.

The company last month released new printing devices each geared toward various customer needs ranging from a general all-purpose combination colour/monochrome device to a high performance colour copier/printer.

According to Xerox, the Phaser 2135, a black and white/colour office printer is nearly four times faster than the closest competing printer on the market.

Jack Fanning, director of product marketing for Xerox, said the Phaser 2135 is able to print at high speeds in colour and black and white because of what he calls single pass technology.

“(Single pass technology) lays down all the colours at the same time,” Fanning said. “It benefits in two ways. From the performance side of things, it is much faster laying down all the colours at once, and the other is from an image quality standpoint. You have a better chance of keeping the colours in the proper position relative to each other.”

Fanning added that there are two points that are most important to customers regarding colour printing. He said that customers want colour printers that are functional and affordable.

The Phaser 2135, he said is an ideal printer for office environments where there is a need for a mix of black and white and colour. With a print speed of 21 pages per minute (ppm) in colour, and 26 ppm in black and white, Xerox said the 2135 is designed to replace the need for separate colour and monochrome printers. The 2135 features 10/100Base-T Ethernet standard and 128MB of standard memory.

Although she said that there are some inroads being made in the combination colour/black and white printers, Boyd said, for now, there will not be a 100 per cent replacement of monochrome devices.

“I think that at the same time that these (colour) products are coming down in price and increasing in monochrome speed, you still have monochrome devices that are significantly still lower in cost,” Boyd said. “We are not at the point of people buying these devices as complete replacements for monochrome. Monochrome still has its distinct advantages.”

She did note that for general business uses, the Phaser 2135’s single pass technology is very acceptable, saying that users of that model are likely to be more concerned with print speed as opposed to colour quality.

Fanning said he believes the Phaser can provide image quality that is on-par or better than multi-pass devices, but he noted that for more advanced colour printing demands, the DocuColor 2006 printer/copier offers advanced performance. Geared to graphic professionals, the DocuColor 2006 has a print speed of 6 ppm in colour and 26 ppm in black and white. The company said intense colour is achieved through eight-bit colour depth for a higher image quality. The 2006 also delivers colour-management tools that support colour press files including ICC and ICM. It comes with expandable memory up to 512MB, a built-in 6GB hard drive and a 266MHz processor.

“The DocuColor 2006 is more for graphic design work,” Fanning said. “You could certainly use it (in an office environment) but the biggest limiting factor is the print speed. But it is also an extremely high quality.”

Xerox also released the DocuPrint N4525 high-speed black and white printer. With a print speed of 45 ppm, the company said it offers finishing capabilities not found on competitive machines including a single-bin 3,000 sheet finisher/stacker that includes stapling and hole punching.

All three devices come with CentreWare printer management software, which includes an embedded Web server that allows for remote printing management via a Web browser.

Available now, the Phaser 2135 retails for an estimated $9,149; the DocuColor retails for an estimated $17,499; and the DocuPrint retails for an estimated $4,549. Xerox is on the Web at