Oki Printing Solutions has launched two new midrange A4 printers in the UK to go up against HP’s 3600 Series, touting the speed and flexibility of devices based on light emitting diode (LED) technology as their edge over its competitor’s laser products.
Alan McLeish, senior product marketing manager OKI Europe, said Oki Printing Solutions is the brand name of Oki Data Corp, the printing division of Tokyo-based telecoms equipment vendor Oki Electric Industry.
He said the two new boxes belong to the company’s C5000 Series of single-function, color A4 devices for the enterprise market, which is also its biggest seller in volume terms. They are the C5750 and the C5950, offering speeds respectively of 22 pages per minute color and 32 ppm mono for the former, and 26 ppm/32 ppm for the latter.
That compares to 17 ppm color and mono for the HP product, he said, explaining that LED printers slow down for color vis-a-vis monochrome on account of color registration, which is the need to make sure a dot of a particular color is in exactly the right place for mixing with the next, which is not a requirement with laser.
On the other hand, laser printers’ engines are slower overall, because they use transfer belt technology, with the ink going from toner to belt to paper, which requires a larger engine and makes it more difficult to engineer a flat paper run, he said.
McLeish said the new devices can handle both thicker and longer paper than the HP devices.
Normal copy page thickness is 80 grams per square meter (gsm), but our printers can go up to 120 gsm, which is card thickness, so a company using them won’t need to outsource things like business card printing, he said.
We can also handle paper up to 1.2 meters long, which means these printers can be used for banners, fliers, posters and the like. Laser printers can’t do that because of the transfer belt.
Oki has a two-tier distribution market in the UK and one-tier in the rest of Europe. The UK list prices for the two new devices is are 599 pounds ($1,182) for the C5750 and 759 pounds ($1,499) for the C5950.
These devices were launched in various other countries around Europe slightly earlier but have yet to be unveiled in the US, where they will bear slightly different names: the C5750 will be known as the C6050 and the C5950 as the C6150. The company is still deciding whether to launch the smaller of the two in the US at all, but if Oki does decide to go with it, it will be launched at the same time as the C6150 on June 1. He said the reason for the company’s hesitation about the US market is that it already offers two other devices in Europe known as the C5650 and the C5850, which are cheaper because they are Windows-specific and use Microsoft’s Graphic Device Interface driver.
With GDI a lot of the job processing is on the PC, not the printer, so you can use a simpler controller processor on the printer itself, he said.
On a multi-OS printer, on the other hand, the driver is the more complex Page Control Language, or PCL, which is owned by HP and so requires a royalty payment, as well as a larger processor and more memory.
The C5750 and C5950 are multi-OS printers.
Oki has three product lines in its printer portfolio: dot-matrix devices for businesses such as garages, DIY shops, and enterprises with very distributed networks where there is not a requirement for high speed but rather for robustness; monochrome printers; and color printers, both of which based on LED. In terms of segments addressed, McLeish said it spans the whole gamut, from home/SoHo though SMB and enterprise, up to the graphics industry, print-for-pay market.