Xerox Unveils New Low-Cost Color Printers

Xerox has rolled out a new color laser printer for the SMB market.

Extending deeper into the low end of the printer market, Xerox Corp. on Monday rolled out a new color laser printer for small and medium-sized businesses.

"We see color moving down market, where there is very fierce competition," said Joe Adriano, product manager at Xerox, in Wilsonville, Ore. "HP [Hewlett-Packard Co.] rules the monochrome world; anyone who wants to gain market share looks to color."

The $699 Phaser 6100BD, fueled by a 120MHz processor and 64MB of memory, can print 21 ppm (pages per minute) in monochrome and 5 ppm in color. Initial warm-up speed is 15 seconds for monochrome and 24 seconds for color. Like other laser printers in the sub-$1000 market, the 6100 uses a four-pass system, compared with faster--and more expensive--printers like the Xerox 6250, which uses a one-pass approach.

Unlike other color laser printers in this space, the 6100 offers standard two-sided color printing, said Adriano. "Some of the other lasers dont even offer duplex at all, and those that do make it a very expensive add-on," he said.

Another feature that sets the printer apart is its noise level, said Adriano. The machine operates at 48db, which is somewhere between a whisper, which falls in the 10-20 db range, and normal conversation, about 60 db. "Most network monochrome printers are running at 53db," said Adriano.

The 6100 comes with a 250-sheet tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose tray. An extra 500-sheet feeder costs $299.

The printer offers 600- or 1200-dpi (dots per inch) resolution.

Stamford, Conn.-based Xerox offers another model, the $899 6100DN, that includes 10/100 Ethernet connectivity and an embedded Web server.

Xerox says cost per page depends on toner cartridge options. With higher-capacity cartridges, geared for businesses that print higher volumes, users pay about 2.5 cents for monochrome and 12.5 cents for color. With standard cartridges, which cost less than the higher-capacity version, users pay about 3 cents for monochrome and 15 cents for color.

Xerox also on Monday rolled out a new low-end monochrome printer, the Phaser 3130, for $299. With a 166MHz processor and 32MB of memory, the unit prints 17 ppm at 1200-dpi resolution. The printer can hold 250 sheets.

At 13.9 by 7.7 by 14.6 inches and 15.5 pounds, the 3130 is one of the industrys smallest black-and-white laser printers, according to Xerox. The machine has no internal networking.

Both printers are available now through Xerox reseller channels.

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