Xerox drops five new printers onto market

Broadcasting from New York to satellite locations around the world, Xerox Corp. on Thursday unveiled five new printers ranging from black-and-white to those employing solid-colour ink.

“We’re not just building better boxes, we’re building better business results,” Xerox’s CEO Anne Mulcahy told approximately 3,000 customers, industry analysts and media listening in around the world.

After funneling about US$400 million dollars in research and development, which resulted in more than 300 new patents, Mulcahy said, Xerox released the fruition of these efforts — the DocuTech 100 and 120 black-and-white digital printers.

The DocuTech 100 and 120 can copy or print up to 100 and 120 pages per minute (ppm) respectively, and can handle workloads from 500,000 to 700,000 pages per month. Both devices include dual-head scanners and a built-in CD-RW/DVD drive, which enables users to print directly from a CD and archive production jobs by copying them to a CD.

Signaling the first major redesign of its DocuTech product line since it was launched in 1990, Xerox said these are suitable devices for mid-production systems, including quick print shops, in-plant central reprographic departments, and in large enterprises for jobs such as reports and booklets.

Starting at $99,000 and available Feb. 15, these printers have 40 per cent fewer moving parts than their predecessors, which means they are more reliable and easier to repair, the company said, and are also four times quieter than other such devices.

Another new printer — the Phaser 8400 — can print up to 24 colour or black-and-white pages each minute, and sports a 500MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and has two-sided printing capabilities in four different configurations. It supports USB 2.0, parallel and Ethernet connections and multiple users.

The Phaser 8400 uses solid ink and Xerox’s 2400 FinePoint technology, which produces image quality pages up to 2,400 dpi. A Configuration Card is located on the back side of the machine and stores all the information about the printer, from how it is set up to administrators’ passwords. This means if the device isn’t working, a manager can simply remove the postage stamp-sized configuration card and attach it to another Phaser 8400 to keep the same settings and receive the same service.

It comes packaged with Adobe Corp.’s PostScript 3, and Xerox’s printer management tools CentreWare Web 3.0, PhaserSMART, and PrintingScout. PostScript 3 allows devices to print visually-rich documents, while CentreWare helps administrators manage and report networked printing devices. PhaserSMART checks for software upgrades and PrintingScout, which provides pop-up advice if problems are encountered during printing.

Xerox also released the Phaser 7750 colour printer, a 35ppm device designed for organizations that need high-performance, on-demanding printing like graphic artists. It runs on a 715MHz processor, supports USB 2.0 and Ethernet connections and comes with Adobe PostScript 3. In addition, Xerox is also offering new colour-calibration software to ensure all pages in a print job have consistent colour. It retails at $7,949.

Finally, the company introduced the Phaser 4500, a black-and-white, 36ppm printer that prints page with the quality of a 1,200 dpi image. Also sold with Adobe PostScript 3, it has a 400MHz processor, and the same Configuration Card as its brother — the Phaser 8400. It will retail at $1,389.

Ontario’s Ministry of Finance’s print production area has been a Xerox customer for 35 years and in the area of desktops it has been a customer for 10. The Ministry uses Xerox devices exclusively for print production purposes, but also uses some printers from Hewlett-Packard Co. and Canon Inc. on the desktop, said Darryl Dias, manager of infrastructure services for the Ministry.

Manny Feijo, the Ministry’s print-production coordinator, was impressed by Xerox’s new products, saying the devices would increase workflow and describing them as user-friendly.

“You could say they are idiot-free,” he said.

Hilary Considine, administrative support and procurement at the Ministry praised Xerox’s solid ink printers saying this technology gets rid of problems the Ministry has had in the past with toner exploding inside the devices, adding thay the price point of the Phaser 8400 $1,399 was very reasonable. She said Xerox’s entire 7700 family has performed well in this respect.

One of her colleagues, Brent Godfrey, end-user support at the Ministry, agreed that Xerox’s solid ink printers are superior, saying that they have traditionally been reliable.

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