Epson: Inkjets are better than lasers for business
Are inkjets really good enough for serious business use? Epson certainly thinks so and it's putting its money where its mouth is with a new range of business printers.
Most businesses have favoured laser printers over inkjet-based models for the majority of their printing needs, but Epson hopes to change that with its new range of inkjet printers aimed at the workplace.
Most businesses choose lasers over inkjets due to the fact that lasers have been cheaper to run in terms of consumables, can print pages faster and can print significantly larger volumes.
Epson claims this has now changed for many businesses thanks to its new WorkForce Pro series of printers and Multi Function Peripherals (MFPs).
According to the Japanese printer giant, the 4000-series printers and 4500-series MFPs are just as reliable as similarly-priced lasers, but cost 50 per cent less per page and are just as fast if not faster. The high yield cartridges are rated for 3,400 pages.
Some models can print up to 15-20,000 pages a month – a lot more than inkjets have managed previously, according to Andrew Semple, head of Epson Europe’s business imaging division. The initial models won’t support PCL6 or Postscript 3 though, but this should be rectified soon after the September launch.
Tony Petford, vice president of sales, claimed the WorkForce Pro range could only have been made by Epson due to the company’s Micro Piezo inkjet nozzle technology.
Micro Piezo print heads don’t wear out as quickly as the print heads from rival manufacturers, according to Petford.
Semple was keen to emphasise the WorkForce Pro range isn’t a flash-in-the-pan technology experiment but is part of Epson’s long-term strategy for business peripherals.
“We are offering laser-like yields but at half the running costs of a laser… on top of that you can factor in ecological advatanges as well – 80 per cent less power than a laser printer," he said. "The time is now for business inkjets”.
Semple stressed the WorkForce Pro range is “designed specifically to compete with laser products from the ground-up.”
When questioned about why Epson is therefore continuing to offer similar laser printers alongside the WorkForce Pro range, Semple replied that “it’s all about customer choice."
He added: "We will continue to offer a laser range … we don’t currently have business inkjets which offer solutions for the medium workgroup or larger workgroup but we do have lasers that cover that segment of the market, but in time we will obviously use our Micro Piezo technology to develop more and more products in more and more segments – this is the start”.
Stay tuned for a full review of the Epson WorkForce Pro range following its September release.