Xerox Canada’s Phaser 7300 is the Toronto-based firm’s latest entry into the single-pass colour printing technology arena.

In a media briefing Tuesday, Ken Knepper, Xerox product manager, showcased the Phaser 7300, a tabloid colour printer which transfers a full-colour image to paper in one pass and produces 30 colour pages per minute (ppm) and 37 ppm in black and white.

Starting at $6,300, the Phaser 7300 features a 500MHz processor (memory is upgradeable to 512MB) and up to 2,400 dpi resolution. The unit also has a “Run Black” feature which allows users to print only in black if the colour toner runs out.

Knepper said the workgroup colour printer offers a low cost per page, supports 20 to 25 users, and offers Smart Trays technology which displays the type of media available in the paper trays and the Auto Thickness Sensor which “instinctively” adjusts toner density for even print quality.

Previous issues such as paper jamming and uneven colour distribution have been addressed with the 7300 series, Knepper added.

In a demonstration of the Phaser 7300, a 30-page document job was completed in under a minute with crisp even colour and sharp text. Frank Albanese, an analyst for Toronto-based IDC Canada Ltd. noted that despite the latest Phaser being a solid offering, office colour printing hasn’t quite made heavy penetration within the enterprise space.

Xerox still has the reputation of being a high-end enterprise vendor and faces stiff competition from companies like Hewlett-Packard, Albanese said.

Functionality isn’t so much an issue as cost is to enterprises right now, Albanese added. The actual amount of colour printing that would be done in the average medium- to large-sized enterprise doesn’t translate into an immediate return on investment, he continued.

Memos, e-mails, short documents – these make up the bulk of most office printing needs, Albanese said. Outside of possible applications within verticals such as real estate and financials, right now colour printing is more of a nice-to-have rather than a need – widespread adoption of workgroup colour printers is still down the road, Albanese noted.

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