by July 30, 2012 0 comments

Mid-Segment MFDs From 25k to 55k

Panasonic DP-MB300

Panasonic’s monochrome laser printers have come of age from the smaller and slower KX series MFDs to larger and much faster DP series, which boasts of DP-MB300 and DP-MB320 models. The MFD reviewed here is DP-MB300, which is well priced at `38,000, bearing in mind the wide range of features it has. Apart from being a monochrome printer, it is also a copier, a fax machine and an ADF colour scanner.

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Given the size 533x459x478mm, it will need ample desk space. Also, carrying it will require two pairs of hands as it weighs more than 22 kgs. It has a matted white body with a big paper tray at the bottom. It can hold more than 500 sheets at once. The control panel along with the small display is placed on the front, right over the 500 sheet paper tray and cartridge box. Here the need for a bigger display was felt, since the keys have been generously designed and so are prominent and easy to operate. DP-MB300 is a network device with USB 2.0 interface and is compatible with Mac OS 10.5, Windows XP, Vista and 7.

The device impresses with crisp print quality and a print speed of 32 ppm at 2400x1200dpi. The scanner offers colour scans and an optical scan resolution of 600x2400dpi, which can be interpolated up to 9600x9600dpi. It allows scanned documents to be sent to a networked PC or they can be emailed from the device itself. The copier produces at 32 cpm at 600×600 and can copy both sides of a small ID or Business card onto a single sheet. With auto Dupleix for print and copy, it will also curtail paper consumption and eventually the cost.

Bottom-line: This is a must have multi-faceted imaging device for those who want instant outputs at extremely high resolutions.

Mid-Segment MFDs From 25k to 55k

Lexmark X463De

Lexmark X463de is a monochrome multi-function laser printer with some unique and smart features, such as the wide 7 inch multi-touch display which can be customised, and makes the overall handling/operating very easy to use and understand. It has duplex printing, copying, and scanning along with fax. All the operations are done via the touchscreen and the number board for fax. It is bulky and weighs 22kg, which is a major drawback, since no one wants a huge device on their desk. The scanner is dual in nature with both flatbed and sheet fed operations and supports network scanning as well, which allows direct email of the scan from the MFD. With direct USB, placed next to the display, you can print or scan files through a USB based flash drive.

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The driver is installed automatically once you connect the printer to your computer through USB. It is slow to start and takes about 1-2 min to do so. Once on, it gives a good print speed of 38ppm in A4 with excellent print quality, and takes 8 sec to print the first page. Print-outs can be taken directly from a USB drive. Scan quality is good and it takes 8 sec to scan a file, which can be saved on a PC or mailed directly via network scanning mode. The copier is also fast with an output of 34 copies in a minute. Auto-Duplex is available with printing, scanning and copying. The first page output for both side printing is 13sec, for scanning it is 13 sec and for copying it consumes 18 sec. It is priced at 55k, which is a good deal for an MFD equipped with features that include fax and a heavy monthly duty cycle of 80,000 pages.

Bottom-line: A fast multi-function printer that delivers high performance and is easy to operate with a highly intuitive 7 inch multi-touch display.\

Mid-Segment MFDs From 25k to 55k

HP LaserJet 1536dnf

It has multiple features, such as an auto document feeder, fax, scanner, copier, auto-duplex and boasts of three paper trays, often a necessity in an MFD. It is very attractively priced at `25,000 and is a perfect device for SMEs with tight budget. It comes with a 250 sheet tray at the bottom and a 35 sheet automatic document feeder at the top. The interface stretches from one end to another and includes a small 2 line monochrome display and a slew of keys for fax, numbers, copy, settings, command etc. all very expansively placed. It features USB 2.0 and Ethernet for connectivity along with HPâ??s flagship ePrint feature, which works real well and is unique to this device, in relation to other MFDs.

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The print quality stands out with clear texts in all font sizes, and offers print resolution of up to 600x600dpi. The device scans at upto 1200×1200 dpi and it takes 21 seconds to scan a file. The first copy takes 10 seconds and in a minute it copies 23 sheets. Its print speed is also above average with just 24 ppm, while the first page print takes 12 seconds. It is a great MFD, though not in the same league as Lexmarkâ??s X463De, but because it is offers plenty of features for just `25,000. Its monthly duty cycle is just 8000 pages.

Bottom-line: HP 1536dnf has almost everything that an SME would want from an MFD and at `25,000, it’s a good bargain

Mid-Segment MFDs From 25k to 55k

HP LaserJet Pro M425

The HP LaserJet Pro 400 MFP M425 is very easy to install and ready to use. You do not require a CD for installation of the driver. It starts to install the driver when the printer is connected with any PC through the USB cable. It can be set up and shared anywhere in the office with both wired and wireless connectivity. The print quality is crisp and it took 10 seconds for the first page to print. The printer is pretty fast with a printing speed of 31 ppm. It has the capability of automatic duplex printing and the best print resolution you get is 1220 x 1200 dpi. Its copy speed is 31 cpm with first copy in 9 seconds. It has a unique app, which downloads files through the Internet for printing straightaway without needing a PC or USB drive.

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The time taken to scan a page is 8 seconds and the output can be sent directly to either a USB device, a network folder or even emailed to a configured account. It comes with HP’s proprietary eprint facility and also facilitates wireless direct printing. The HP LaserJet Pro 400 MFP M425 also has the auto-on/off technology, and the printer is turned on only when needed. The wake-up USB feature lets you print directly from the USB port. The weight of this printer is 15 Kgs. The control panel is on top-right side of printer which is easily adjustable and has a 3.5 inch colour touchscreen. Its monthly duty cycle is 50,000 pages.

Bottom-line: HP M425 is a brisk performer and ideal for SMEs with moderate printing requirements.

Mid-Segment MFDs From 25k to 55k

Xerox WorkCentre 3220

This compact LaserJet is an all-in-one printer, copier, scanner and stand-alone fax. It supports network based printing and scanning. One can connect it with a PC through Ethernet and USB. It is a compact MFD, unlike the Lexmark and Panasonic MFDs, weighing just 13 kgs. It is a square device with a 250 sheets paper tray at the bottom. The interface includes a control panel with buttons for fax, scan and copy along with number keys for fax and menu panel. It is easy to use even though the monochrome display is unusually small and so a preview is accessible only on a PC.

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Xerox 3220 is a network printer with auto-duplex. It churns out 26 print-outs in a minute at 1200x1200dpi with hardly any distortion in the text and image quality. The first page print takes 13 seconds, while in duplex the same command takes 20 seconds. Windows 7 automatically detected the printer and updated the driver. The scanned file can be sent via email or saved on a USB drive. At a max resolution of 4800x4800dpi, it scans a file in 28 seconds. The copy speed is 28 cpm with first copy taking 9 seconds. A duplex copy takes 27 seconds. It is highly worthwhile because of double-side duplex, printing, network support, scanner, copier and even fax. All this is available at an economical price of `29,000 with a monthly yield of 50,000 pages.

Bottom-line: Xerox 3220 is offering everything that SMEs want, including a smart price. If only the speed was a little better!

Entry-level MFDs: `10k to 25k

Samsung SCX 4728

Samsung SCX 4728 is a multi-function printer with stylish grey looking body and a cut-out control panel. It has a paper tray at the bottom. It has scanner, printer, copier and fax. The display is small monochrome. The panel has eco mode and ID copy. In Eco Mode you can reduce paper consumption with duplex printing and a toner save setting automatically. It goes in standby mode within a minute of non-activity. Duplex printing is available and it allows single-sided formats to double-sided booklet formats that reduce paper wastage. Its small and compact size makes it ideal for your desks. It doesnâ??t support saving scans to USB, network folder, and email.

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It performance is quite decent with a print speed of 26 ppm and first page print time of 12 seconds. The quality is good and without any blemish. A scanned file can be saved in DOC, HTML, JPEG, PDF, TIFF,TX formats and takes 15 seconds to scan an object, but only on PC and not on USB, email or network. The copy speed is 26 ppm with first page time of 12 seconds. Fax has been equipped with an address book, where you can search for the dialed numbers and add new contacts. It has Ethernet support but lacks direct USB printing or scanning. It runs on a one-piece cartridge and its monthly duty cycle is upto 12,000 A4 sheets.

Bottom-line: Samsung’s smartly priced MFD has some unique features apart from meeting the business needs of an enterprise

Entry-level MFDs: `10k to 25k

Canon MF4450

Canon MF4450 is an all-in-one printer with stand-alone fax, scanner, and copier with auto document feeder for small offices and is priced for just `17,595. It is a compact device with a weight of just 11 kgs and 390 x 421 x 370mm dimensions. It connects to PC through USB, Ethernet and has a 5-line monochrome LCD display and a number panel for fax. It also operates as standalone fax, apart from being a printer, copier and colour scanner. It has a 250 sheets cassette along with a 35 sheet auto document feeder.

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It is a decent performer with a print speed of 23 ppm at print resolution of 1200x600dpi, with first print time of 6 seconds. Print quality is passable but for basic needs it is good enough. Scan quality is a lot better and will impress at times with its colour scans. Scan resolution of 600x600dpi can be enhanced to 9600×9600 and is the reason for its great scans. It is a good copier with an output of 23 cpm at 600x600dpi with first copy time of 9 seconds. It is priced at `17,595, which makes it a very affordable printer for home and start-ups. It has a monthly duty cycle of 10,000. The maximum power consumption is 1220 W.

Bottomline: An affordable MFD for start-ups and for personal use with pretty decent performance.

Entry-level MFDs: `10k to 25k

HP LaserJet Pro M1213dnf

HP LaserJet Pro M1213dnf has full office functionality with inbuilt Ethernet. You can simply connect the MFP directly to a PC through USB 2.0 port, and set up the device without a CD. It has a retractable control panel with a two line monochrome display. It has scanner, copier and fax in it. It saves energy with HP auto on/ off technology, which turns your MFP on and off automatically.

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It boasts of the new HP Smart Print technology which is a printing application that allows you to select an initial print-worthy area and format the print output appropriately so you save on ink and paper. Smart Print does require Internet connection to download and install, but it can work on HTML files saved earlier. It features a 150-sheet input tray at the bottom.

Its performance is ordinary with a print speed of 17 ppm and first page print of 12 seconds. It lacks auto-duplex, direct USB print and also WiFi support. Scanning a file takes 18 seconds, which can be scanned in JPEG, PDF, BMP formats and can be converted through OCR software into editable documents. The copy speed is just 16 cpm with first copy time of 14seconds. It is priced at `17,499, which is great as it meets most of the needs of small offices besides boasting of a monthly duty cycle of 8000 pages.

Bottom-line: This full-featured MFP with Ethernet comes at an affordable price.

Entry-level MFDs: `10k to 25k

Xerox WorkCentre 3045

WorkCentre 3045 multifunction printer saves space due to its light and compact form and will fit easily on a small table. Its handling is easy and intuitive, thanks to the bright LCD panel. A front-side USB port allows scanning to USB drives straight away. It has manual duplex printing which allows for both side page printing.

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With a print resolution of up to 1200 x 1200 dpi, the text looks detailed and sharp with a print speed of 23ppm and first page print time of 13 seconds. Scanning can be done at 1200 x 1200 dpi in PDF, JPEG or TIFF file formats. The scan is done to the PC and can be edited, and it has the capability to look into email inbox and document repository folder for scanned files. The editor can enhance the quality of scanned files. It takes around 16 seconds to scan an object and 16 seconds to copy the first page. Unfortunately, multiple copies are not available and only one copy can be taken out at a time.

WorkCentre 3045 also includes fax and WiFi support, which is remarkable for an MFD priced at `16,500. This indeed is a gift for SMEs with real tight budget but serious business requirements. WorkCentre 3045 handles heavy workloads of up to 30,000 pages per month.

Bottomline: This is a must buy for SMEs and home-based users because of its attractive price, WiFi support, and features like fax, scan and copy.

Entry-level MFDs: `10k to 25k

Samsung SCX-4321

A multi-function printer with colour scanning and copying features in the budget MFP category. It is very attractively priced at `12k, which is a reasonable deal for small offices and home users. It allows efficient use of office space as it offers professional level printing, colour scanning and flatbed copying. It doesn’t have double-side printing or network connectivity though, but such features are too much to expect at this price.

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Samsung SCX-4321 is an ordinary performer with a print speed of 18 ppm and first page print time of 14 seconds. The quality of prints is ordinary with satisfactory text prints at 600×600 dpi. Scanning, just like other MFDs, is available in colour with ADF and it takes 46 seconds to scan an object at 600x600dpi. The copy speed is above average with 20 cpm and first copy time of 9 seconds. The MFD is a little noisy during printing. It has three paper trays including a 150-sheet tray, 1 sheet manual tray, 50 sheet face-down tray, and a monthly duty cycle of 4000 A4 sheets, which is too low.

Bottomline: An MFD with just elementary features at a stripped down price of `12,000, which may impress SOHO users.

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