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Scanning the Future Industry Experts, BLI Discuss Trends and Tradition at Scanner TAC Meeting

By Lisa">http://www.buyerslab.com/news/viewarticle.asp?article=78807">Lisa Reider, Senior Product Editor, Scanners and Environmental

For BLI’s second scanner Testing Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting, representatives from Canon, HP, Kodak, Panasonic and Plustek joined forces with one goal in mind—to weigh in on BLI’s current and upcoming test procedures.  The day-long meeting covered a range of topics, including varying methods of testing scan speed, the importance of optical character recognition when evaluating image quality, scan-to-cloud functionality, environmental testing for scanners and the addition of harder document types to the media handling test. While some topics resulted in the need for additional research and discussions, others, such as the new media types to add, were immediately resolved.

Established in 2006, TAC meetings let vendors comment on BLI’s test methods, provide insight into upcoming trends and share information on how different market segments use products in unique ways. TAC meetings, both here and in Europe, touch every aspect of BLI’s work, while giving vendors a chance to interact.

Wide-Format: A Bright Spot in Print

By Lynn Nannariello, assistant managing editor, and Joe Tischner, wide format test specialist, May 1, 2012

When BLI recently spoke to representatives from two major wide-format manufacturers—HP and Océ—about the state of the wide-format market, we found that, contrary to recent reports, not all news in the print industry is bad.

According to Sal Sheikh, vice president of marketing for Océ North America’s wide-format printing systems division, Océ’s wide-format devices cover two applications environments—technical documents and display graphics—both of which have seen significant growth. He attributed the company’s growth in the technical document sector to Xerox’s exit from the wide-format technical document market. After Xerox left the market in 2011, Océ expanded its distribution by establishing relationships with resellers who previously sold Xerox products and with Xerox customers. In the display graphics market, growth came from sales of the Océ Arizona product line, a portfolio that continued to expand in 2011.

Wide Format Printers Present Significant Innovation at drupa 2012

 By Joe Tischner, wide format test specialist, June 4, 2012

BLI editors had a chance to check out the latest offerings from a number of manufacturers in the wide-format arena represented across many of the halls at drupa 2012, the quadrennial print trade show that took place in early May in Düsseldorf, Germany. Enthusiastic product managers and sales reps eagerly discussed new ink colors, improvements in printhead design and the productivity enhancements of a great many newly-unveiled devices, as well as a few prototypes. BLI’s coverage primarily includes models in the 36- to 64-inch width range employing aqueous, latex or solvent inks, as well as two toner-based wide-format solutions.

Canon/Océ

Keen focus in Océ’s section of the Canon booth was on the Velocity, Océ’s high-volume color wide-format printer currently under development. The unit is the result of collaborative efforts between Océ engineering teams and Memjet, the printhead manufacturing company. According to Eelco Schillings, Océ business development manager, the 42-inch width four-color unit, which employs five Memjet printheads, is capable of printing up to 500 A0-size color documents in one hour at 1600-x-800-dpi. The Velocity supports up to six media rolls for a maximum output capacity of nearly 4,000 feet. Schillings stated that Océ will be offering beta-version models of the Velocity to existing customers in an effort to obtain critical feedback, and the company will determine if and when Velocity will move to the production phase based on that feedback, which they hope to have compiled by the second half of 2012. The recently-released Océ ColorWave 650, which utilizes the company’s CrystalPoint technology, was also busy churning out posters, maps and renderings during the show.

Will HP Trigger a Resurgence of Ink in the Office?

By Marlene Orr, Senior Analyst, Printers/A4 MFP, December 11, 2012

Not too long ago, both Kodak and Lexmark made public their plans to leave the inkjet market; HP went the other direction in late October, announcing its PageWide inkjet technology, which promises to bring the best of laser and ink to business users. HP claims the new Officejet Pro X series printers and MFPs (scheduled for Spring 2013 availability) will deliver speeds of up to 70 ppm (in General Office mode; up to 42 ppm in Professional mode) at about half the cost per page for supplies of competitive color lasers. Can HP deliver on these promises and how will these products fit into business environments? Though the products won’t be on the market for months, BLI saw the products in action at a recent analyst event and has taken a closer look at the technology and what it could mean to the office printing market.

PageWide Array: What it is and What it Does…

PageWide technology is a series of staggered, overlapping dies (groups of ink nozzles) that, as the name implies, span the width of the page. Rather than travelling back and forth on a carriage to deliver ink dots across the page as with traditional inkjet printers, the new HP printhead is stationary; the page moves under it during the imaging process. The most obvious advantage of having a stationary printhead is, of course, speed (case in point: one of the fastest desktop inkjets available, the Epson B-510DN, advertises a draft speed of 37 ppm, though BLI found actual tested speeds in default mode to be much slower). Another key advantage, according to HP, is quality, as it eliminates the banding that occurs from the back-and-forth motion, especially at higher speeds.

BLI Unearths a Softer Side to Eco-Friendly Printing

By Lisa Reider, BLI Senior Product Editor, Scanners and Environmental

Whether through buying ENERGY STAR-qualified electronics or more fuel-efficient vehicles, the effects of climate change have many people changing their day-to-day activities. And the trend continues to spread despite economic constraints. But in addition to checking for eco-labels and reading BLI Environmental Test Reports to identify the most energy-efficient printers and MFPs, users can also change their printing habits for the better by using eco-friendly printing solutions.

While for years we’ve reported on the many environmentally friendly features available with document imaging devices, such as toner-save mode, blank-page removal, auto color mode and N-up printing and copying, there are also several solutions available that help to optimize printing habits to reduce waste and save money—some of them for free. Eco-friendly print solutions offer various tools dedicated to three basic functions: Web printing, document printing and usage monitoring. Some solutions may do all three, while others might focus on a single task. We took a look at offerings from vendors such as Lexmark, Samsung, HP and Canon, as well as some third-party offerings. Below is a breakdown of some of the more prominent eco-friendly print solutions available.

Wow…Is That Really an Inkjet?

By Marlene Orr, Senior Analyst, Printers/A4 MFP, March 20, 2013

Historically, inkjets have been slower than laser devices, and although high-capacity cartridges were available for business-class inkjets, the yields were generally lower than those available for business-class laser machines. Of course, the inkjets cost less and many offered a comparable cost per page, making them a good choice for low-volume environments. But those slower speeds and relatively low yield cartridges didn’t make them a good fit for higher-volume business environments. Until now, that is.

Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) has long been a fixture in the home and in the office with its inkjet technology, but the new Officejet Pro X series products turns the idea of inkjet printing on its head. With rated speeds topping out at 70 ppm (42 ppm in default mode), combined with a high duty cycle (75,000 pages per month) and ink cartridges that yield more than 5,000 pages each, the Officejet Pro X576 MFP and X551 printer look like true competitors for laser devices at these higher values. Here’s a peek at some of the first test results coming out of the lab on these models and how they compare with laser models.

HP’s Answer to Mobile Printing in the Enterprise

By Marlene Orr, Senior Analyst, Printers/A4 MFPs, December 2, 2013

In the age of BYOD (bring your own device), workers and IT directors need to find a way to increase mobility and compliance in office environments. Workers want to be able to print easily from their mobile devices; IT directors don’t want to compromise security. At a recent analyst event in Boise, HP offered insight on its current offerings for mobile printing in enterprise environments.

HP Print Day 2013

By Marlene Orr, Senior Analyst, Printers/A4 MFPs, December 3, 2013

Hewlett-Packard (HP) hosted a small group of press and analysts at its campus in Boise, Idaho in mid-November to provide a closer look at the fall product introductions, gain further insight on software solutions and participate in a behind-the-scenes look at some of HP’s LaserJet test labs.

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