PRODUCTION PRINTER REVIEWS | 5 MIN READ
If you're looking for a high-quality mid-volume printer, we're going to do a side-by-side-by side comparison of three of the better known brands, and models from those brands. The hope is our analysis can help you decide which checks off enough boxes to suit your business needs best.
Whether it's speed, production quality, production ability, paper capacity or other such features, we'll dive into each model's pluses (and minuses) and hopefully arm you with all the information you need to guide you in your decision.
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As a production printer/digital press provider for over 50 years, we often are asked the question of the best production printer on the market; so, we decided to write an article about it!
As a disclaimer, all of our third-party information comes from our friend's at Keypoint Intelligence - a trusted industry research firm.
Obviously, Canon is synonymous with copying and printing, holding at or near 20% of the "printer share by vendor" market, worldwide from 2015-2020. In 2021, however, that dipped to a low of 17.7%. While Canon's primary competitor, Hewlitt Packard, has seen the largest growth in market share.
Ricoh's also among the handful of manufacturers eating into Canon's dominance, growing from less than 2.5% of market share in 2017 to 3.6% last year.
Konica Minolta, on the other hand, has grown its market share by 17% in the last twelve years while expanding its product portfolio to include information technology (IT) business automation and digital analytics.
In general, Canon's still the standard-bearer when it comes to print quality, while Konica Minolta's a better fit for businesses more price-conscious, seeking a solid machine but being less particular about specific features.
For this specific comparison, though, Konica Minolta's C6085 price comes in generally on the higher side. Ricoh, on the other hand, has developed a solid reputation for product manufacturing, but also a service & support reputation that calls for improvement.
Personal preference, your costs/needs analysis, staffing and training will determine the machine that's right for you. So let's dive into each machine for a closer look.
Canon ImagePRESS C910 Review
Release Date: May 2019
Speed (letter/A4): 90 ppm color/b&w
Max. Resolution: 2400x2400 dpi
Dimensions: 67.4" x 60.2" x 38.7"
With Canon's C910 you get top speed, top scan speed, near-top level print resolution and comparable scan resolution, too, along with stapling, binding and folding features.
The C910 also comes in at a suggested retail price considerably lower than the comparable models we're reviewing here.
- Class-leading reliability
- At 90 pages per minute (ppm), it clocks in the fastest of the three
- Its two-tray staple finisher holds the most and its capacity per stacker is highest, as well
- The money you save on this machine compared to the others cannot be overlooked. With the savings, you could have optional add-ons to improve productivity - or add to your staff
- At 67.4" x 60.2" x 38.7", it takes up the most space of the three. The good news is, it's also the most lightweight, at 697 lbs
- Standard and max paper capacities come in short, meaning, for large print jobs, you'll be feeding the trays slightly more often
- Its max monthly duty cycle comes in last among the peers in this review, at 500,000 impressions, meaning a call for service could come sooner
Konica Minolta C6085 Review
Release Date: August 2017
Speed (letter/A4): 85 ppm color/b&w
Max. Resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi
Dimensions: 51.9" x 37.4" x 37.4"
While you're sacrificing on resolution (and price!), the Konica Minolta C6085 does give you peace of mind that you won't likely wear it down, and you won't likely have someone having to stand over it waiting to load more paper in one of its three trays.
- A whopping monthly max duty cycle of 1,530,000 impressions
- With optional paper feed unit(s) purchased, this machine's standard paper capacity comes in at 2-to-3 times higher than the other two we're comparing.
- Maintains rated speed for all types of papers
- Its 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution trails its peers, here.
- Overall speed lags comparable to related brands.
- Easily the costliest of the three.
Ricoh Pro C7200s Review
Release Date: March 2019
Speed (letter/A4): 85 ppm color/b&w
Max. Resolution: 2400 x 4800 dpi
Dimensions: 48.4" x 52" x 35.8"
This machine's user-friendly control panel, coupled with advanced automation features boosts productivity.
The Ricoh Pro C7200s is a solid choice whether you're doing simple print jobs or more sophisticated tasks, but speed and volume output lags.
- Best print resolution of the three.
- User-friendly interface means less time teaching new hires how to work it
- Highest max paper capacity of the three
- Loses print speed on papers at or above 300 gsm
- At more than 1200 lbs, once you put this machine where you want it, it's going to stay there.
What About Managed Print Services?
For organizations with many print devices, managed print services are a great way to save money by increasing efficiency.
Managed print services (MPS) are a the third-party full-service support of your printer fleet. Through the managing and collecting of data, a print vendor will be able to understand total costs, as well as establish baseline values and industry benchmarking.
As a result, complete cost, volume, performance, and utilization data for each device is understood for future purchases.
This creates significant savings and builds automated checks on each device so that unnecessary spending is avoided.
Not the best money maker for copier/printer dealers who rely financially on customers to use their machines often, but a huge win for businesses with larger print fleets.
What About Service?
There are many more factors to consider when purchasing a production printer. For instance, a great machine with terrible support becomes a very average piece of equipment. If reliability is at 99%, but the one time it does have issues takes days or weeks to receive service, then you negate that reliability.
Regarding the difference between dealers and manufacturers, we wrote an article on the myths when comparing copier dealers and manufacturers, and it has become an eye-opener for many. You might be surprised to learn that there are many similarities to the two and a few key differences.
Regardless of the decision you make, be sure to fully understand how to choose your production printer vendor so that you can be assured your digital presses will be up and running without issue.
If you would like to learn more details about the machines listed in this article, please reach out to us, today!
Posted by Kevin Kendall
Kevin Kendall is the VP of Services for Standard Office Systems and has built a career of assisting businesses with their office technology needs. He has decades of experience with products and services like copiers, business phone systems, and managed IT services. Mr. Kendall is driven to see others succeed and help them develop to achieve results beyond ordinary expectations.