The Winner’s Circle – 2009

Wirth Consulting publishes exclusive Head2Head Comparison Reports that are designed to help end-users, decision makers, and purchasing agents make the best decision when purchasing business-imaging equipment. Head2Head Comparison Reports compare and rank printers, All-in-Ones, and MFPs, and are presented in a convenient side-by-side format. These are the only reports in the industry that actually pinpoint a device that is best in its category.

Following are imaging devices that scored the highest overall rating and were awarded Best In Class for 2009.

Fall 2009 – Office A3 B/W MFPs from 33-39 PPM

Introduced in October 2009, the X860de 4 is Lexmark’s next-generation workgroup MFP. The new X860 Series incorporates Lexmark’s Embedded Solutions Framework (ESF) open-development platform for creating custom applications, such as automated scan-and-distribute workflows, and also features a faster 800 MHz CPU. The Lexmark X860de 4 scored highest overall, earning Best In Class. It provides all of the features required in a workgroup MFP, as well as extensive support for alternative and legacy platforms, state-of-the-art ease of use, and workflow-customization via its open-development platform–with all of this at a very affordable price point, providing exceptional value.

Fall 2009 – Color Duplex MFPs Under $500

For its part, the Hewlett-Packards Officejet Pro 8500 provided the most bang for the buck–low acquisition cost, lowest color consumables’ cost per page, and second-lowest monochrome consumables’ cost per page–all of which translate into lowest Total Cost of Ownership, and earning it a Best in Class designation.  There’s also substantial support for workgroup use:  wired and wireless network connectivity, high-yield consumables (users spend less time replacing ink cartridges), and optional Jetdirect print servers that further enhance workgroup use.  Since color MFPs in this segment also serve as photo printers, there’s also a PictBridge port, borderless printing and support for heavier media weight.

Fall 2009 – B/W Duplex MFPs Under $500

The Xerox WorkCentre 3220/DN achieved top scores in categories such as Value, Software, Printing, etc., earning it a Best in Class designation  In the Value category, it provides all the features typically required by small- and mid-size businesses, including standard Ethernet network connectivity, color network scanning, duplexing document feeder, and walk-up fax, all at under $499.  It also provides “extras” not usually found in this segment, including a “true” Adobe PostScript driver, USB convenience port for print from and scan to USB memory cards, and Xerox’s capable CentreWare network management.  Finally, consumables’ cost per page (2.3 cents) and Total Cost of Ownership is among the lowest in this segment, further enhancing value.

Summer 2009 – A3 Color Ink-Jet Printers

The Hewlett-Packard Officejet 7000 Wide Format Printer scored highest among A3 color ink-jet printers in this Head2Head Comparison Report, earning it a Best in Class designation.

The Officejet 7000 brings dye-based color imaging and large-format (Super B [13” x 19”]) media capability to users with an affordable entry-level price of $229 and affordable B/W and color consumables’ cost per page.  Standard out-of-the-box network connectivity enables easy sharing among small workgroups.

Summer 2009 – Color Printers Under $250

The Ricoh Aficio GX e3300N scored highest overall in Wirth Consulting’s Head2Head Comparison Report For Color Printers Under $250, earning Best In Class.  Both the Aficio GX e3300N and GX e3350N also scored with the lowest Total Cost of Ownership, while both the GX e3300N and GX e3350N both had lowest consumables’ cost per page for black and color.

 Consequently, the GX e3300N scored among the highest in the Value category, with its low acquisition price of $179, low consumables’ cost per page, and low Total Cost of Ownership.  In the Printing category, it also scored among the highest, aided by the use of Ricoh’s viscous, gel-like ink, which provides faster ink-drying time, which is especially important in duplex mode.  In duplex mode, time spent waiting for the alternate side of the substrate to dry is much reduced, with the resulting better duplex productivity compared to traditional ink-jet printers.

Summer 2009 – Office 26-32 PPM A3 B/W MFPs

The Xerox WorkCentre 5632 is a small to mid-volume monochrome office MFP that, like most systems in this segment, starts out as a digital copier-only but can be equipped with network scanning and printing.  What distinguishes it from its competitors is not only Xerox’s well-known ease-of-use, but an outstanding feature set, and very extensive expandability–from security to document finishing, to custom applications via Xerox’s Extensible Interface Platform. It overall performance and performance score earned it Best in Class.

Spring 2009 – Office 20-25 PPM A3 B/W Digital Copiers

The Canon imageRUNNER 3025 scored highest in the Head2Head Comparison Report For A3 20-25 PPM B/W Digital Copiers earning it Best in Class. Based on Canon’s industry-leading laser-print technology, and marketed as a digital-copier-only in its standard configuration, it stands out in the Features Category with extensive security, workflow, accessibility and document-finishing options that make it extremely versatile.

Spring 2009 – Office 20-25 PPM A3 B/W MFPs

The Canon imageRUNNER 3225 scored among the highest in categories such as Value, Features, Maintenance, Printing and Software earning it Best in Class. The system is based on Canon’s industry-leading laser-print technology, so users can expect excellent productivity and image quality.  The imageRUNNER 3225 is also exceptionally notable for its rich feature set.  This feature set includes a USB convenience port (for scan to and print from USB memory cards), 60-GB hard drive (that provides 100 user inboxes for storing files), optional color network scanning (Color Universal Send), and more.

The imageRUNNER 3225 also offers customization via Canon’s open-development platform, MEAP (Multifunctional Embedded Application Platform), for creating custom embedded applications for tasks such as automating scan workflows. And, of course, it can be extensively customized with options, including three document-finishing options, imageWARE Publishing Manager software for job composing and imposition, a removable hard-drive security option, and several accessibility options, including the ability to operate the system with voice commands.

Spring 2009 – Office A3 Color MFPs From 20-25 PPM

The Konica Minolta bizhub C253 scored among the highest in categories such as Media Handling, Software, and Printing earning it Best in Class.  In the media-handling category, it it can handle up to 140 lb. index stock via all paper sources, and can be equipped with extensive document-finishing options.  In the Software department, it’s enabled with Konica Minolta’s bizhub Extended Solution Technology (bEST).  With bEST, developers can create custom applications, for instance, for interfacing with third-party software for print management, automated document distribution and workflow for scanning, networking functions, etc.

Spring 2009 – Office A4 Color MFPs

The 31/31 ppm Sharp DX-C311 A4 color MFP is powered by a robust 800 MHz CPU, and features a Gigabit Ethernet network interface for fast transmission of data, as well as sophisticated scanning capability.  The DX-C401 features a 1 GHz CPU and is rated at 40/40 ppm.  The DX-C311/DX-C402 and MX-C311/MX-C402

Series all feature Sharp’s OSA open-development platform for creating advanced workflow applications.  These A4 color MFPs scored very high in the Value, Features, Media Handling, Scanning and Printing categories earning Best in Class.  Additionally, black and color consumables’ cost per page is the lowest in this class at a very economical at 0.98 and 4.84 cents respectively.

Spring 2009 – Color Duplex Printers From $1,000 To $1,500

The Xerox Phaser 8560/DT solid-ink color printer scored highest in the Head2Head Comparison Report For Color Duplex Printers From $1,000 To $1,500, earning Best In Class.  This 30-ppm solid-ink color printer was best in categories such as Value, Printing, Installation, Build Quality and Ease of Use.  Among its 10 competitors, the Phaser 8560/DT’s B/W and color consumables’ cost per page is among the lowest, as is its Total Cost of Ownership.  What also helps distinguish it from its competition is its versatility.  While it can be used as an economic color printer for producing both black and color output in the office, provisions such as a true Adobe PostScript print driver, color-matching software (including Pantone color-matching), and good image quality enable it to also be used for graphic-arts and color proofing.  Its solid-ink imaging technology provides good image quality, print speeds up to 30 ppm, and especially easy maintenance.

Winter 2009 – Color MFPs From $5,000 And Up

The Ricoh Aficio SP C811DN-DL scored highest overall in the Head2Head Comparison Report For Color MFPs From $5,000 And Up, earning Best in Class. The Aficio SP C811DN-DL outscored the competition in categories such as Value, Features and Media Handling.  For instance, it provides a substantial 3,200-sheet paper capacity (more than its competition), ability to print on up to 140 lb. index stock, ability to print on banner sheets up to 49.6″ long via its bypass tray, and optional document finishing.  Features of note include an 866 MHz CPU, Adobe PostScript print driver (not an emulation), and Pantone color-matching. The Aficio SP C811DN-DL also had low consumables’ Cost Per Page for both black and color (1.1 and 5.0 cents respectively) and low Total Cost of  Ownership.

Winter 2009 – Color MFPs From $500 To $750

The Ricoh GelSprinter GX3050SFN scored highest overall in the latest Wirth Consulting Head2Head Comparison Report For Color MFPs From $500 To $750, earning Best in Class.  The GelSprinter GX3050SFN is a network-ready color MFP for small/mid-size businesses that uses Ricoh’s piezo-ink imaging technology.  With this imaging technology, faster-drying viscous gel inks are used, eliminating smudging and curling (a traditional problem with many ink-jet devices).  Productivity is enhanced with a 400 MHz CPU and a belt-driven feeding mechanism.  The GelSprinter GX3050SFN incorporates solid build quality typical of the GelSprinter family, and ink cartridges are a snap to remove and replace, providing very easy maintenance.  This color MFP also had the lowest black consumables’ Cost per Page and lowest Total Cost of Ownership (and the second lowest color CPP and TCO in the group).  Both CPP and TCO are key considerations in this price-sensitive segment, where color devices are also typically used for producing substantial B/W output.

Winter 2009 – Workgroup Color MFPs From $2,000 To $5,000

Best in ClassLexmark X782XL

Winter 2009 – B&W MFPs From $3,000 To $4,000

Best in ClassXerox WorkCentre 4150/X

Winter 2009 – A4 Color Printers From $500 To $750

Best in ClassKonica Minolta magicolor 4650DN

Winter 2009 – Color Laser Printers With Duplex Under $500

Best in Class – Hewlett-Packard Color Laserjet CP2025dn

Winter 2009 – Duplex MFPs Under $500

Best in ClassHewlett-Packard Officejet L7780

Winter 2009 – A3 Color Toner-Based Printers

Best in Class Xerox Phaser 7760/DN

Winter 2009 – A3 Color Ink-Jet Printers