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Wed 1 Dec 2004 04:00 AM

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Vendors update MFD offerings

Epson and Kyocera have followed Canon and HP’s recent lead by adding to their lines of MFD products.

Epson and Kyocera have followed Canon and HP’s recent lead by adding to their MFD lines.

Kyocera Mita has launched a whole new range of MFDs, each of which offers network integration straight from the box.

The firm recently unveiled three new print and copy devices, each aimed at small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The firm’s KM-1650, KM-2050 and KM-2550 are designed for teams of five to twenty people and include extra scan and fax options for users interested in making more of their device.

“Kyocera Mita is uniquely positioned to deliver the printing performance and connectivity that customers demand from a printer vendor, and the copy quality and functionality that they expect from a copier manufacturer,” commented Kyocera Mita’s product manager, Maki Nagao. “With their competitive features and their high-quality, long-life components, the new KM-1650, KM-2050 and KM-2550 are sure to account for a significant increase in business volume for our channel partners”.

In addition to each of the new MFDs being network ready, these models offer quoted print speeds of between 16 and 25 A4 pages per minute (and up to 13 pages per minute for A3). Kyocera is also making a big play of each machine’s “long-life components”, claiming its mission is to deliver devices with the lowest overall running costs. Each of its three new MFDs also offers extra add-ons such as a job separator, internal finisher, duplex unit and document processor, plus users can also increase paper capacities if required.

Epson meanwhile has announced one new MFD in the form of its entry-level Stylus CX3500. Aimed at students, home workers and small business users, the machine offers print, copy and scan functions for just $116.

“The demand for all-in-one products is very strong in the Middle East market and growing at a rapid pace,” said Khalil El-Dalu, general manager, Epson Middle East. “The Stylus CX3500 is aimed at people who wish to have the advantage of individual ink cartridges, compact design and ease of use within a multifunction device. This is what the market demands – an all-in-one product that has the print, copy and scan functionality of a traditional multifunction device but in a smaller, more stylish package,”

The 3500 uses Epson’s proprietary ‘Durabrite’ inks to produce what the firm claims are laser sharp blacks and vivid colours, which are also waterproof, smudge proof and fade resistant for up to 80 years. These inks are contained in separate cartridges for greater control over print costs, while Epson quotes the CX3500 as offering speedy performance of up to 15ppm (pages per minute) at a maximum resolution of 5,760 optimised dpi. Digital imaging enthusiasts in particular might also be attracted by the 3500’s standalone functionality.

Epson and Kyocera’s releases come hot on the heels of new launch products from HP and Canon. Canon recently unveiled its next generation 'iR' black and white MFDs, targeted at SOHO and SMB users, while HP has unveiled products it hopes will attract copier buyers as well as printer customers. Its new LaserJet 4345mfp was the key product launch at the firm’s recent German press event. This 45 copies-per-minute MFD, along with HP’s new LaserJet 9040, 9050 and colour 9500 models, has been designed to capture the attention of copier buyers by offering similar copy speeds and also incorporating HP’s LaserJet and ScanJet technologies.

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