Desktop Digital Printing–Waldman

Let’s now suppose that the very same real estate agent only wants 50 copies of her brochure, which is 11×17˝, four-color, two sides. Guess what? She doesn’t need the Internet or a commercial printer. She can print it right in her own office in less than an hour for about $50 in consumables. Guess what, too? The quality can be at or near commercial print quality. If you haven’t noticed, today’s laser printers for the office are producing extraordinary quality. Case in point: the Xerox Phaser 790DP.

The Phaser 790DP sells for an estimated retail price of $7,199. It can print up to 13×18˝ and down to 3×5˝, with a maximum image area of 12.6×17.7˝. According to the manufacturer, the cost of consumables at 20 percent coverage is 13.2 cents per sheet, which, of course, increases as the coverage increases. I’m a PostScript RIP fan and this machine uses a PostScript 3 RIP. So far, all this may sound great, but what about ink-jet devices selling for less than $1,000 that also produce superb quality?

There are many differences. First, the Phaser prints great on just about any paper, while most ink-jets print best on an exquisite sheet that is so expensive, you’re tempted to store it in your safe. The Phaser 790DP can print both sides automatically. In many cases, that priceless ink-jet paper can only be printed single-sided and, even if you find a sheet that allows duplex printing, you would have to manually feed it through again.

Needless to say, I don’t know of any office ink-jet printer that can come close to laser printer speeds for color. Plus, it has power with 128MB of RAM (more if you want) and, with a 6GB hard drive, you can put a great many jobs already RIPed in queue and manipulate them right up to print time. And, of course, the Phaser is a true network printer, which is critical to most office environments. In essence, the key differences are in productivity and per piece cost.

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