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Gartner: Know the Difference Between Xerox Single-Pass Printers

Press release from the issuing company

May 20, 2002 - According to Gartner analyst, Ken Weilerstein, Xerox says both of its new color workgroup printers are "single-pass" models, but they use distinct technologies. Gartner says you should know the differences between them to understand their advantages. Weilerstein offered Gartner’s first take on the subject. On 13 May 2002, Xerox announced two color workgroup printers: - Phaser 6200 prints in monochrome or color at 16 pages per minute (ppm) with a resolution of 2,400 dots per inch. It retails for $1,999. - Phaser 8200 prints in monochrome or color at 10 to 16 ppm, depending on print quality, and retails for $1,499. “Xerox has allowed itself to become a victim of buyers' narrow expectations for office printers. Surveys by Gartner Dataquest have shown for a decade that buyers consider speed their top criterion for selecting an office printer. For this reason, Xerox plays up the speed of its new offerings, but this message conceals many of Xerox's advantages. “In particular, Xerox's use of the term "single-pass" may confuse buyers. The term normally denotes a laser or light-emitting diode (LED) printer that has separate imaging stations for each of the four colors it prints. Consequently, single-pass printers can generate full-color pages as fast as monochrome. Xerox rightly calls the Phaser 6200 a "single pass" printer. However, the solid-ink Phaser 8200 uses an entirely different technology from laser or LED printers, and its being single-pass is incidental. Users who associate the term single-pass with speed should note that the Phaser 8200 prints at 16 ppm only in draft mode and prints in standard mode (comparable to laser quality) at 10 ppm - slower than any of today's single-pass laser or LED printers. “By blurring the difference between the 6200 and 8200, Xerox obscures the uniqueness of the solid-ink technology used in the 8200. Unlike the predominant workgroup color printing technologies - laser or LED, single-pass or multipass - Xerox's solid-ink technology enables users to make tradeoffs between speed, cost per page and print quality. Also, the supplies are easier to replace than on laser printers, and users can print on more varied paper stocks. Gartner believes that Xerox should do more to make this versatility better known since it owns the technology and is the only vendor that markets it in the workgroup printer space. Xerox's widely varied printing technologies and wide selection of offerings give it an advantage over Hewlett-Packard and other competitors. With the 6200 and 8200, Xerox has now expanded that advantage into a lower price range. “Buyers of office printers should no longer assume that single-pass means simply "fast." By understanding some key distinctions between "single-pass" technologies, buyers can select printers with the flexibility and functions that best meet their needs.” Gartner, Inc. is a research and advisory firm that helps more than 11,000 clients understand technology and drive business growth. Gartner's divisions consist of Gartner Research, Gartner Consulting, Gartner Measurement and Gartner Events. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and consists of 4,300 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants in more than 90 locations worldwide. The company achieved fiscal 2001 revenue of $952 million.