In the heart of Rome, Epson makes a gladiatorial jump into the colour laser arena.
Laser printers, those cornerstones (sometimes literally) of the office saw a boost in their diversification when Epson recently announced two new series at the Spazio Etoile, Rome.
Amidst the distinctly cosmopolitan atmosphere (and fabulous food), some of the bigwigs at Epson Europe jointly presented the company’s aggressive new strategy that will see it take on the key players in the laser printer market.
””’Kicked off by Attilio Capocchi, Country Manager, Epson Italia s.p.a, the Epson laser event was headed up by the European team (top to bottom: Ramon Ollé, CEO and Chairman Epson Europe, Thierry Bagnaschino, Head of Business and Visual Products Epson Europe, and Delphine Donné, Senior Product Manager, Laser Epson Europe.””’
The two printers in question are the AcuLaser 2600N and the AcuLaser CX11N. The 2600N offers a great deal of flexibility when it comes to both colour and mono printing. The reason? Well, the unique four-cycle print engine can take either one or four black toner cartridges for mono printing or alternatively a set of CMYK toners for colour printing. In essence, a business that chiefly prints in black and white could use the standard 2600N and then fit the colour toners at a later date if the demand for colour prints grows.
As for performance and spec, you’re looking at about 30ppm (A4) in mono and 7.5ppm in colour with a first page out time of about 9.3sec and 15.3sec, respectively. Paper capacity hits 650 sheets as standard, but can be bolstered up to 1,150 with an optional paper cassette.
An easy to read backlit LCD, and simple controls should make the 2600N series child’s play to operate, whereas the USB2.0, parallel and a network interfaces, which come as standard, should ensure speed and compatibility. In fact, Epson even felt confident enough to run the 2600N alongside an HP LaserJet 2420n in a speed test demonstrating that it had the faster product.
Jordi Castillo, European Product Manager for laser printers said, “Our innovative AcuLaser 2600N, provides a future proof and cost-effective solution. You get a high performance mono laser printer, and a highly flexible device that you’ll be able to upgrade to colour if your business needs it in the future.”
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Of course, price will play a big part in its success and the mono 2600N base model retails for a recommended price of £526 ex VAT, and £601 for the colour-ready version (C2600N). The duplex-enabled 2600DN, and high paper capacity (with duplex) 2600DTN will set you back £651 and £777 ex VAT, respectively, but expect to pay around £865 ex VAT for the top of the line C2600DTN.
Moving on to the CX11N, we’re now talking jack of all trades. This is a multi-function printer (MFP) for the business market that comes in three guises. There’s a £503 ex VAT base model that features 600 x 600dpi optical scanning and copying; up to 25ppm (A4) mono and 5ppm colour printing; and, like the 2600N, an Ethernet and USB2.0 interface. With a paper capacity of up to 180 sheets this might seem a little small next to the 2600N, but with an optional (£179 ex VAT) paper cassette this can be increased to 680 sheets. Furthermore, a first page out of only 9 seconds in mono, and 17 seconds in colour, means you won’t have much time to loiter around the printer before your boss catches you.
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The other two versions – the CX11NF and CX11NFC – offer fax functionality, a 50 page document feeder, and for the latter an extra storage cabinet. The recommended retail prices for these are £575 and £647 ext VAT, respectively. All versions are easy to use and administer, and with the large back-lit LCD control panel, you can check the printer’s current status and toner usage.
Mark Richardson, Business Manager for Business Products, Epson UK said, “The AcuLaser CX11N series combines Epson’s highest aspirations in colour imaging with our proven high-performance scanning engine. With a very competitive price we are aiming to be recognised as a leader in the colour MFP market by offering small businesses a central communication tool that reflects our dedication to our clients.”
With these launches Epson, more commonly known for its inkjet printers and standalone scanners, looks serious about stirring up the colour laser printer market. And why not, especially if you want to strengthen your number two position.