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SMART Papers Puts Its Photo Quality Inkjet Paper to Blind Test

Press release from the issuing company

-- New print performance study of the 34 widely marketed photo inkjet papers is available to OEMs, paper resellers, major retailers -- Study finds Kromekote sheet ranks in top third on print and paper quality, lower third on price -- Papers tested against 50 performance metrics using five popular inkjet printers Nov. 7, 2002 - - A new benchmarking study of the leading photo quality inkjet papers sold in wholesale and retail markets shows that SMART Papers' Kromekote Inkjet-Photographic sheet ranks in the top one-third in print and paper quality. The study also shows the Kromekote papers rank in the bottom one-third in price--making them the top value in an increasingly crowded marketplace. A print demonstration kit, featuring details on test results and methodology, is available to qualified OEMs, resellers and retailers from SMART Papers. The company is currently in talks with major OEMs and retailers. "The overall quality and price value of Kromekote Inkjet-Photographic paper is equal to or better than the leading photo inkjet papers currently sold in the market," said Garth Geist, Director of Digital Media for SMART Papers. "It gives the private label brand owner and reseller significant margin opportunity in a fast-growing business." Separately, SMART Papers announced today that Kromekote Inkjet-Photographic is now available with a minimum of 10% post-consumer recycled fiber content. The company can offer higher levels of post-consumer content in the sheet upon request. Nearly all photo inkjet papers on the market today feature no recycled content. More photo quality papers are under development. In the study, the print and paper qualities of each product were judged according to how they ranked against the average test value of all the papers in the study. To ensure strict objectivity during the testing process, sample ID numbers were assigned to each of the brands being tested. The test was conducted during August and September 2002 by the SMART Papers R&D laboratory under the direction of Yun-Long Pan, Ph.D., and product manager Laurie Marchetti. All papers were analyzed against 50 performance criteria. The paper quality performance areas in this test included paper brightness, whiteness, basis weight, gloss, thickness (caliper), stiffness and smoothness. The test also measured printed gloss, ink densities--in a variety of colors--and dry time. All inks used were dye-based. Among the qualities particularly important in a photo quality inkjet sheet are shade, surface smoothness, stiffness, unprinted gloss and printed gloss. They translate to realistic color tones, clarity of detail, reduced jamming, photo-like quality and images that "snap." The study found that Kromekote Inkjet-Photographic excelled in each of these areas. All of the photo quality inkjet sheets were run on five major brands of inkjet printers including the HP Photosmart 1315, Epson Stylus Photo 785EPX, Lexmark Z65, HP Deskjet 970CXI and the Canon S820D. The papers tested include all of the widely marketed photo quality inkjet papers in North America today. Pricing comparisons were determined by comparing wholesale prices. SMART Papers, LLC, is a privately held manufacturer of premium coated and uncoated printing papers. The Hamilton, Ohio-based company produces well-known brands such as Kromekoteplus, Knightkote Matte, Benefit, Carnival, All Purpose Litho and SMART Digital Papers. For samples and more information, contact Garth Geist at 513-869-5153 or visit www.smartpapers.com.