This Week in Imaging: Funai Selling Kodak Inkjets; New Hardware from Canon; In-House Testing; More

chesnut racehorse

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

This was a bit of a slow news week, but next week we’ll liven things up with an exclusive interview of an executive at Konica Minolta that’ll explore how the company and its dealers are doing with Konica Minolta’s 3D-printer program, and why dealers are – or should – use Konica Minolta if they wish to expand into the 3D-printer market.

While companies such as Konica Minolta, Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and Ricoh are exploring 3D printing, Funai Electric of Japan is seemingly going backward with a venture into consumer inkjet printers in the United States – specifically, Kodak consumer inkjet printers, a market that Kodak has exited. The move seems counter-intuitive, considering expanding consumer use of smartphones, and the move of inkjet into the small-business space, but who knows? Maybe Funai knows something we don’t.

Epson recently announced expanded Print Audit support for its WorkForce Pro inkjet printers and keeps forging forward with new solutions that make it easier for users to manage its cost-effective printers. We feel that this is a good move and it makes sense to get the program under way before sales of the new high-volume and ink bag-equipped WorkForce line take off.

We’ve just completed testing of Brother’s INKvestment MFC-J6925dw, one of the few “true” desktop A3 color inkjet All-in-Ones available today. In our tests, we found that it performed impressively overall and displayed quite a bit of innovation. It’s a very ambitious move to get into the office space, and, as we all know, old habits die hard, and in the United States, at least, where laser and big copier-MFPs reign supreme in the enterprise, battle will be formidable – although stranger things have happened in this industry. You can see the Hands-On Test Report here to get a look at how far business inkjet has come.

We recently received a Mobile Printing Hub (MPH) test unit from Teco Image Sytems and have just begun to put it through its paces. MPH is a compact and portable unit that connects to PCL printers and MFPs via their USB port and provides them with WiFi Direct Printing, mobile printing, NCF touch-to-print and more. Stay tuned for our Hands-On Report.

Feature Stories

  • Funai Begins Selling Kodak Verite 55, Promising up to 50-Percent Ink Savings – Read more here.
  • Newegg Selling $29.99 WiFi-Equipped Pantum P2502W  – We’re usually skeptical about the true cost of bargain-basement printers, as their supply costs tend to be obscenely high, courtesy of the old “give ’em the razor then sell ’em the blades” business mold. However, the Chinese-made Pantum P2502W WiFi-equipped monochrome laser printer with mobile printing and sold by Newegg for $29.99 has a black toner cost per page of 2.5¢, which is considerably less than that of many desktop laser printers, and somewhat less than that of only a handful of higher-priced inkjet models. That said, we haven’t got our hands on a test unit, so we can’t vouch for its performance, where our main concern would be software quality.

Office-Imaging News

  • Canon Expands A4 Lineup with Two New Black-and-White MFPs  – Read more here.
  • OKI Is Now Authorized Reseller for All Square 9 Softworks’ Solutions  – Read more here.

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