How We Test

Wirth Consulting Test Procedures

Wirth Consulting performs hands-on testing of printers, MFPs, All-in-Ones, software, and solutions.  Vendors who wish to participate in our testing program should contact us at terry@wirthconsulting.org. You’ll also get an opportunity to review the report in its entirety before we publish it. You can download a Summary of Test Procedures here.

General

We use best testing practices described in ASTM standards when testing. All testing is performed under controlled conditions with a stabilized network, and a “clean” computer workstation with the latest service packs and all application-software updates installed.

Installation

Mid-to high-volume office products are typically tested at the vendor’s designated location, while small/mid-size business and business-to-business (B2B) products are typically tested at our facility. For SMB and B2B products that we install ourselves, we record the procedures and time it requires to:

  1. Remove the components from their packaging and set up hardware and install imaging supplies.
  2. Install the device on our wired or wireless network.
  3. Install software utilities and print drivers on a single computer workstation.

Image Quality

We evaluate prints (produced with highest settings) and copies (in text, text/photo and photo modes) for negative/positive line/dot quality, halftone reproduction, grayscale reproduction, and photo reproduction. Raw TIFF photographs of output are included in each report.

Selection of the test targets used for image-quality analysis.

We display raw TIFF photos of the actual printed image quality in the test report to provide an approximation of image quality that end-users can expect.  However, all assessments of image-quality are made using the actual printed output itself.

Print Productivity

Using normal print settings, the media supply closest to the print processor, and finisher-tray output (when applicable), ensure that the device is not in recalibration or standby modes, and time the simplex and duplex FPOT (First Page Out Time) and Job Times/pages per minutes (ppm) for the following test documents:

    1. 1-page color photo.
    2. 10-page Adobe Acrobat color document.
    3. 10-page Adobe Acrobat black text document.
    4. 10-page graphic-intensive Microsoft Word Power Point document.
    5. 10-page Microsoft Word black text document.
    6. 10-page Microsoft Word black text document (duplex).

TEST PLATFORM: Microsoft Office 2010; 32-bit Microsoft Windows 7 SP1; Adobe Acrobat 9.4.5.

Copier Productivity

Using default copy settings, the media supply closest to the print processor, and finisher-tray output (when applicable), ensure that the device is not in recalibration or standby modes, and time the simplex and duplex FPOT and Job Times/ppm of a 10-page color document in both color and black modes.

Ease of Use

Analyze the control panel and touch-screen layout and design, as well as the user interface of any included software.

Software

Analyze the effectiveness and usability of all included software, including network-management utilities, client utilities, print drivers, etc.

Maintenance

Photograph and record all procedures for accessing and removing misfeeds, as well as all procedures for replacing imaging and media supplies.

Media Handling

Analyze the scope of all media types and weights that the device can handle.

Cost per Page

Using figures supplied by the vendor that are derived from the ISO/IEC 19752:2004 test method for the determination of imaging-supplies yields, calculate and report the cost per page based on original coverage of 5 percent per color for color devices (CYMK), and 6 percent for monochrome (black-output-only) devices.

Space and Power Requirements

Recognizing that space is always at a premium and most enterprises and users seek to minimize their energy costs, Wirth Consulting reports the energy consumed while printing, the space required in regards to its footprint (including cubic feet/cm), and whether additional space is required around the perimeter of the device for common user maintenance.

Warranty

Note standard and optional warranties, as well as any additional service offerings.

Eco-Friendly Features

We report on any of the device’s notable eco-friendly features or capabilities, including Energy Star-certification, consumables and device-recycling programs, vendor environmental initiatives and goals, etc.

Executive Summary

Evaluators compose a summary of the device’s overall performance in testing, describing the device’s strengths and limitations, overall value, and recommending its best-use applications and end-users. We then assign one of the following ratings: Outstanding, Well Worth Consideration, Worth Consideration, and Not Worth Consideration.

Additional Resources

Questions?

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