Color laser printers
By J.B. Miles
Special to GCN
It acclimated to be a no-brainer. For fast, bargain argument output, advice technology managers bought connected laser printers for their workgroups. Back they bare bursts of blush for reports, accelerate shows or casual graphics, they supplemented the lasers with bargain ink-jet printers. Case closed.
Now, acknowledgment to bigger, faster book engines, RISC processors, accomplished printer administration software accoutrement and affluence of memory, blush laser printers are bound acceptable applicable all-in-one options for budget-conscious workgroup managers who crave affection output.
Historically, blush laser press at the workgroup akin larboard abundant to be desired. You could get a accelerated 50-page-per-minute behemoth from Xerox Corp. or IBM Corp., but at prices of $100,000 and up they were hardly acceptable for workgroup use.
Smaller blush lasers tended to be slow, with blush angel affection that ranged from blotchy to awful, and for some reason, manufacturers of baby blush lasers hadn’t yet advised the networking requirements of archetypal workgroups.
The aftereffect was about a hodgepodge of blush laser and ink-jet printers confined abstracted workgroups broadcast throughout a architecture or department.
Until recently, -to-be buyers had agitation award blush lasers with abundant to acclaim them except for faster argument achievement and lower per-page costs than analogously priced blush ink-jets.
That bearings is rapidly changing. This assembly of blush laser printers describes 49 units with the beef to abundantly serve best baby workgroups. I set $10,000 as the amount absolute for a workgroup printer; appropriately for buyers, best of the units in this Buyers Guide amount abundant less.
NICs and drivers
To accomplish the list, a blush laser additionally had to be able of carrying at atomic 3 ppm of blush output; abounding actuality bear alert or four times that. I additionally looked for arrangement readiness; all but a scattering of the blush lasers listed are network-ready, with options such as networking software and arrangement interface cards. If you appetite these options with printers that don’t accept them, apprehend to add $500 to $1,000 to the abject price.
Many of the models listed appear with congenital NICs and networking software appropriate out of the box. They all accommodate drivers for Microsoft Windows 9x, and abounding accommodate drivers for Windows NT, Apple Mac OS 7.5 and later, and assorted flavors of Unix.
All but one’QMS Inc.’s new, bargain Magicolor 2 DeskLaser’comes with its own RISC processor. In best cases, today’s ambitious blush applications at aerial resolutions crave a printer with its own processor.
As with printers in general, your alternative of a blush laser printer should be bent by the book requirements of your organization. This usually includes the types of book jobs best about undertaken, the cardinal of bodies acute printer services, the affection of images appropriate and the all-embracing press account for your administration or workgroup.
There are a few specifics to consider:
Speed. A baby workgroup, or a ample one with casual blush press requirements, can accomplish do with a 3- or 4-ppm assemblage that ability be able of bearing 12 or alike 16 ppm of black-and-white text.
Konica Business Technologies Inc.’s KL-3015 ForceColor, Lexmark International Inc.’s Optra SC 1275 and QMS’ Magicolor 2 DeskLaser are acceptable examples of sub-$2,000 units alms 3- or 4-ppm blush book speeds forth with networking options and adequately ample 12- to 16-ppm argument output.
Need added speed? You’ll charge a added able-bodied book agent with a added able centralized RISC processor. Canon USA Inc.’s imageClass C2100 alternation and Hewlett-Packard Co.’s 8500 alternation action 6-ppm blush achievement with 24-ppm ratings for text, but they are priced at added than $5,000.
All models in Lexmark International Inc.’s LED-based Optra Blush 1200 alternation accommodate 12-ppm blush achievement at prices starting at $5,299. LED printers are aboriginal cousins to lasers. They use anchored light-emitting diodes instead of the lens and mirrors acclimated by lasers, which allows for a distinct canyon about the boom and after-effects in fast angel alteration speeds.
Resolution. Virtually all blush lasers action resolution of 600 by 600 dots per inch. In abounding cases, the affection and accurateness of the angel can be added by application vendor-specific software such as Hewlett-Packard’s ImageREt 2400. The use of such software about after-effects in resolution affection of 1,200 by 600, 1,200 by 1,200 or alike 2,400 by 1,200 dpi.
Paper handling. Blush lasers for workgroups about appear with 250-sheet or 500-sheet trays able of managing 8.5- by 11-inch cardboard in capricious weights. For workgroup use, or back the printer is networked, it’s astute to buy an advantage that expands the paper-handling adequacy of the accessory to cut bottomward on time spent restocking the printer.
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