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BLI Announces Winners In Segments 3, 4 And Critical Color

18 Dec, 2007

BLI Announces Winners In Segments 3, 4 And Critical Color

Buyers Laboratory Inc. (BLI) has announced the winners of its Segment 3 and 4 copier MFP “Picks,” as well as its "Picks" in the critical-color MFP category, with the coveted awards going to products from Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Sharp and Xerox.

The leading global provider of intelligence on document imaging products, BLI has been putting business equipment to the test for the past 46 years. Its semi-annual “Pick” awards acknowledge the very best performers in its unique battery of laboratory tests, which evaluate a wide range of the most important performance factors for buyers. These include reliability, image quality, productivity, ease of use and a host of connectivity attributes.
And the Fall 2007 "Pick" Winners are…

Outstanding Segment 4 Monochrome MFP - Sharp MX-M450N

Outstanding Segment 3 Business Color MFP - Ricoh Aficio MP C3500
(also sold as Gestetner DSc535, Lanier LD435c and Savin C3535)

Outstanding Segment 4 Business Color MFPs
Konica Minolta bizhub C451 (41- to 50-ppm)
Xerox WorkCentre 7345 (41- to 50-ppm)
Konica Minolta bizhub C550 (51- to 60-ppm)
Konica Minolta bizhub C650 (61- to 69-ppm)

Outstanding Segment 4 Business Color MFPs
Xerox DocuColor 242 (51- to 60-ppm)
Xerox DocuColor 252 (61- to 69-ppm)
Xerox DocuColor 260 (70+-ppm)

Security, Connectivity Attributes Garner Sharp Acclaim In Segment 4 Monochrome
The Sharp MX-M450N has earned a “Pick of the Year” award for “Outstanding Segment 4 Monochrome MFP” because of its exceptional overall performance when subjected to BLI’s comprehensive battery of tests.

“In addition to offering a class-leading security feature set, the 45-ppm MX-M450N earned BLI’s highest rating for many aspects of its performance, including administrative utilities, feedback to workstations and ease of network setup,” said Lynn Nannariello, BLI’s assistant managing editor.

Also contributing to BLI’s decision to give this award to the MX-M450N, which offers copy, print, scan and fax functionality, is this model’s impressive reliability in BLI’s 200,000-impression durability test, as well as above average print output, multitasking capabilities and ease of use, including intuitive print drivers.

“Sharp is very pleased to receive the prestigious BLI 'Pick of the Year' award for ‘Outstanding Segment 4 Monochrome MFP,’” said George Grafanakis, senior manager of product planning and marketing for Sharp Imaging and Information Systems of America (SIICA). “This affirms that the MX-M450N workgroup document system represents the best in performance, features and reliability in the mid-volume workgroup category with its leading technological innovations, such as Scan2 dual-head scanning, true multitasking and Sharp OSA technology.”

Ricoh Aficio MP C3500 Delivers Strong Results Across The Board
Earning marks of Excellent or Very Good in nearly every category BLI evaluates, the Ricoh Aficio MP C3500 series distinguished itself from the other Segment 3 business color MFPs BLI tested in the period. With a rated engine speed of 35 ppm for both monochrome and color output, the Aficio MP C3500 delivered generally above average productivity in BLI’s tests, with especially strong showings in color and monochrome copy speeds. Buyers can also expect good to very good output quality, whether they are printing marketing materials for clients or copying presentation slides for a meeting.

“The Aficio MP C3500 offers robust setup and management tools for administrators, as well as superior ease of use for end users in an organization,” said Pete Emory, manager of laboratory testing at BLI. “It delivers an unparalleled balance of reliability, performance and image quality.”

"Ricoh is honored to have won a BLI 'Pick' award for the Aficio MP C3500," said Michael Hunter, director of corporate product marketing for Ricoh Americas Corporation. "The recognition of this award demonstrates our never-ending commitment to providing customers with the most reliable and efficient office solutions."

The Aficio MP C3500 also delivers an above-average standard paper capacity among business color models in this segment, and its paper drawers and bypass tray can handle a wider range of paper weights than most other devices, giving users greater flexibility to match the media to the job at hand. Buyers enjoy all these benefits at a price that is competitive with other devices in its class. This Fall 2007 "Pick of the Year" honor is awarded to the Aficio MP C3500 Series, which includes the MP C3500 and MP C3500 SPF; as well as Ricoh’s brand mates, the Gestetner DSc535, Lanier LD435c and Savin C3535, along with their other available configurations.

Konica Minolta Cleans Up In Segment 4 Business Color
Based on their impressive reliability and very good overall image quality, the Konica Minolta bizhub C451, C550 and C650, which are all based on the same engine, have won Fall 2007 BLI “Pick” awards for “Outstanding Segment 4 Business Color MFPs” in the 41- to 50-ppm, 51- to 60-ppm and 61- to 69-ppm speed ranges, respectively.

Employing the company’s new “InfoLine Design,” ease of use has been boosted compared to the previous generation of bizhub devices: the control panel, which features a touch-screen LCD with tab browsing, not only tilts but swivels; lamps next to the drawers indicate that paper is loaded or needs to be; and LEDs on the units display toner levels.

All three devices also proved to be very productive overall in their respective speed segments, especially in color copy mode. Black print productivity for the bizhub C451 was also very good. Add to these factors an above-average feature set for the bizhub C451, pricing that is lower than the average for the bizhub C550 and bizhub C650, as well as wide range of standard security features for all the products, and it's clear that these products stand out as some of the year’s best.

“Konica Minolta has certainly done its homework in developing this new engine,” said Emory. “Print quality is one thing, but to have copy quality that rivals it is outstanding. From multitasking to scanning, to their competitive to aggressive prices, these three units are dependable MFPs for business color customers, general office use and color environments.”

Image Quality, Ease Of Use Earn Xerox High Praise In Segment 4 Business Color
The Xerox WorkCentre 7345 has been awarded a Fall 2007 BLI "Pick" for "Outstanding 41- to 50-ppm Segment 4 Business Color MFP."
With a rated speed of 35 ppm for color and 45 ppm for black, what separates the WorkCentre 7345 from other models in its competitive group is its outstanding image quality, as the model earned excellent and very good ratings in every area evaluated for both black and color, said BLI's Emory.

The device also proved to be highly reliable in durability testing and earned very high marks for its overall ease of use in terms of its control panel and print drivers.

“The WorkCentre product line delivers high-quality color, fast speeds, top-notch security and more ways to manage documents, making our customers more productive, efficient and ultimately, more competitive,” said David Bates, vice president of product marketing for the Xerox Office Group.

Xerox DocuColors Prove To Be Critical To Success In Critical Color
The Xerox DocuColor 242, 252 and 260, which are all based on the same engine, have each been awarded BLI "Picks" for "Outstanding Critical Color MFP" in the 51- to 60-ppm, 61- to 69-ppm and 70+-ppm speed ranges, respectively.

Offering critical color in a much more compact package than many of their competitors, the DocuColor 242, 252 and 260 displayed superior image quality in both black and color. In addition, according to BLI's Emory, the DocuColor 260 provided color that remained more consistent over the course of the test than most color product tested to date.

The devices also proved to be highly reliable during BLI's durability testing.

“We are very excited to receive these 'Pick' awards in the critical color category. This highlights our continued commitment to providing the right combination of features to our customers, from graphic arts professionals to offices small to large,” said Xerox's Bates.

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