By Princewill Ekwujuru
Six brands are locked in a fierce battle for dominance in the market for copy machine. The six brands are Canon, HP, Samsung, Epson, Dell, Rank Xerox and Brother.
In a bid to enhance market appeal, the manufacturers have enhanced the capacity of their products with multi- function capabilities, compact design, colour and integration of smart connectivity. Other innovation includes internet connectivity, increased paper capacity, automatic duplexing, Dropbox and Onenote service.
Other features are cloud service, enhanced printing quality, print speed, printing from phone, wireless word perfect service (WPS), built- in scanning and copying mechanism, and direct printing authentication.
These factors have led to deployment of various types of technological enhancement by copy printer manufacturers aimed at improving consumer experience.
Vanguard Companies and Market (C&M) findings indicates a growing market for copy printers driven by increased demand by businesses, new business centres as well as households. In a bid to satisfy the growing demand, the manufacturers have introduced varying types and sizes, each designed to meet the need of different segments of the market.
C&M findings reveal that there are two types of copy printers namely.
Table top- This is the compact design printer type. It is easy to install. The white colour is common and it is become more available in more models.
Over-the- ranges: This model is the standing type placed by at a corner of the office.
C&M discovered that until recently, the market comprised of only non smart copy printers. But competition for market share led manufacturers to develop and introduce smart printers which can be linked to the internet.
Copy printers like other of equipments have their peculiar challenges in spite of the technological advancements.
Paper Jams-The paper jam is the most common copy machine error encountered. The reasons for occurrence vary from the wrong paper size to plain old improper paper loading.
Lines on Paper- When finished copy contains streaks, lines or other deformities in the reproduction. This could be due to; Presence of Foreign substances on the scanner glass or mirrors; Drum or developer unit malfunction (only applies to multi-component copier systems); Drum blade malfunction resulting in large lines vertically down the page and issue with fusers.
Cartridge or Toner Issue-Low, empty or malfunctioning toner issues can occur within your copy machine. Incompatibility Issues – most copy machines require specific toner; if you try and use an incompatible cartridge, your print quality will suffer.
Wrinkled Pages-Wrinkled pages are often the result of worn out feed and exit rollers that cause sticking or jamming.
Copies too light or too dark-Most of the time, issues with light and dark on copy pages is as a result of an imbalance in the density controls on the copier. Someone may have inadvertently altered the settings previously, making subsequent images copied too light or too dark. In this case, resetting the density levels is the best solution.
Spots on the Page-This copy machine problem consists of random arrays of dots marring an otherwise perfect copy. This is an issue of smudges or debris on the copy mirror or glass.
C&M findings also revealed that each of the six brands have some unique features which enhance its competitive edge over the others.
HP Deskjet 3630
Small, affordable and smartly designed, compact, affordable but ink can be expensive. It has basic paper handling process. It is a decent printer for the price, offering reasonable print speeds and the ability to connect to mobile devices. It does not have the build quality of HP’s more expensive Envy models.
Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630
Economical print costs for volume printing. Fast print speeds, Cloud-connected, Loud Uninspiring design
It is a solid printer for small businesses and workgroups given its fast print speeds, solid print qualities, remote printing and scanning capabilities. Using the larger XL print cartridges, the WF-4630 delivers economical print costs that rival laser printers.
Canon Pixma TS8050
A companion of the travelling professional or someone who needs a small printer for occasional use, printing photos or using the scanner function. It’s a bit pricey to buy – and to run – but the flexibility and quality of the printouts are excellent.
Samsung Xpress M2070W
Clever Eco mode, reasonably quick, Duplexing is manual, No high yield cartridge option
The M2070W delivers a lot of bang for your business buck. It has Near Field Communication (NFC) printing capacity hence can print from compatible smartphones and online document sharing. It also has a clever Eco system that supplements the usual toner saving mode with a feature to remove images from documents by replacing bitmaps with sketches.
An excellent all-rounder for mono and colour printing with
Cloud service integration and Automatic duplexing but Colour cartridges can be pricey. The scanner is not the best.
It can upload to cloud services such as Dropbox and OneNote; It is wireless with WPS authentication and wireless direct printing, and its running costs are competitive. It also offers automatic duplex printing and its colour screen makes it easy to install and operate. This device is a solid all-rounder for personal computers (PCs) and mobile devices alike.
A neat and simple colour laser printer, Compact, Good workhorse for everyday printing, has no USB host connectivity, Not the biggest paper capacity. It is plain and simple and has a relatively small footprint on the desk. The printer is fitted with a 150-sheet main paper tray and a 100-sheet output tray, with an integrated drum/fuser unit and manual duplexing capabilities. Controls are adequate, with a two-line LCD display and a number of buttons for basic menu navigation. The C1760NW also offers an Ethernet connector, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a USB 2.0 port; although there is no USB host connectivity. The printer is built for offices or small workgroups and has a high-rated speed of 15ppm for black and colour.
Majority of the consumers that spoke to C&M indicated preference for HP, Canon and Xerox, but noted that others are also good depending a consumer’s brand loyalty.
Benjamin Amatayi, a procurement officer with Domazi printing company, located at the Lagos Badagry expressway, Lagos stated: “It has never been easy to find the perfect printer for your needs; whether you are looking for an all-in-one printer that can copy and fax, or you need the best photo printer or a fast and dependable laser printer for the office.”
“Printers have never been better, and there are so many brilliant printers out there, all at very competitive prices, that you find difficult to choose from when looking for a printer. This can make finding the best printer for your needs more complex.”
David Andre an administrative officer with Stevone Limited said, “In our office we use the HP brand, because it is affordable, its print speed is great. It is a decent printer.”
A printing expert, Innocent Igbantu of Wordwide prints in Shomolu area of Lagos said: “An Inkjet or Laser copy machine is perfect if you want the fullest range of colour printing with the ability to print photos at home, use inkjet. If you want to print mostly text documents, or at high volumes, laser printers are the way to go, with sharper text and a lower per-page cost.”
Another printer Omolayo Adeosun who operates a printing press in Ajegunle, Lagos stated: “For home or business. Some printers are built to offer great quality and value for the home user that prints a few pages a week, while others are built for busy offices where multiple users print dozens or hundreds of pages every day. Find the one that is right for you to avoid paying for features you do not need.”
Contributing, George Okpara, another printer in the same location said: “You should also pay attention to the manufacturer of your printer.”
On automatic duplexing, he stated: “If you regularly need to print 2-sided documents, duplexing is a must, since it allows a printer to re-feed a page through for printing on the other side. Skip this feature and you’ll need to manually flip every page to do the same. If you intend to do lots of photo printing, look for a printer that has a dedicated tray for photo paper, which makes it easier to get printing without fumbling with the paper tray and settings. Also look for printers that use more than 4 colours of ink. Those extra colours make for better blended colours and richer detail.”