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    New Oki “Print Smart” Range Launch event

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    Yesterday we held a big launch event at the prestigious Armani Hotel in Dubai to unveil Oki’s expanded printer range to our channel partners in the United Arab Emirates, led by our very own John Ross, general manager for the Middle East, India and Africa. The new products launch comes as part of OKI’s Print Smart strategy to offer competitive, cost-effective solutions to businesses of all sizes across a range of industries in the Middle East.

    We’ve completely revamped the range and are proud to offer cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions that will help businesses Print Smart. Over half of the revised product range consists of new or upgraded products, creating the opportunity to significantly increase our footprint in critical markets.

    With the launch of the new range we aim to improve green practices in businesses across the region as carbon emissions become a growing concern for leaders and decision makers and we hope businesses will realise that the use of green technology will ultimately cut costs and carbon emissions simultaneously. With our new products businesses of all sizes are set to benefit from the energy saving benefits and our green technology products, which are now in compliance with the latest European regulations and are based on the company’s unique proprietary LED technology.

    The extended OKI range boasts improved product performance and upgraded features that will help micro-businesses, SMB’s, and larger businesses Print Smart. We’ve had some great feedback from the market so far and look forward to your comments on the ASkOki blog!

    The new products range includes the following:

    Colour/Mono Multi-function products (MFPs)

    MB491, MB441, MB451, MB461, MB471,  MC352dn, MC362dn, MC562dn

    Colour/ Mono Single Function Products (SFPs)

    C301dn, C321dn, C331dn, C511dn, C531dn, C822, C831, C841, B401

    You can watch John’s recap of the launch event here

    The Forgotten Printing Variable: Paper | Cartridge Save Blog

    The Forgotten Printing Variable: Paper | Cartridge Save Blog.

    By: James Murray in How To

    Paper coming out of printerThe type of paper you use can have a big effect on your printing results

    Of all the factors that define the quality of your printer’s output, the one that is most often overlooked is probably paper.

    There is a vast array of paper out there — specialist, photo paper, textured paper, glossy paper, and all at different quality levels. There are papers marketed for individual uses and specific printers. Some will fade in a few weeks while others will last for decades. How do you decide?

    The first part of your decision is easy; are you buying paper for a laser printer, or an inkjet?

    Laser printers

    Laser printers are not fussy. They are capable, in theory at least, of printing on just about any surface that will make it through the machine’s paper path. The office standard, photocopier paper that you find in convenience stores and supermarkets is perfectly fine for a laser printer.

    Lasers do have problems with thicker paper, though. At grades (or weights) over about one hundred and sixty grams per square meter, heavier papers are going to cause more jams in a laser printer’s tortuous paper path. There is also paper on the market that carries a layer of plastic on its surface, and you can just imagine what the plastic is likely to do inside a laser printer: melt. Let’s not even think about it, shall we?

    There is special paper on the market for laser printers. It is just a little thicker than photocopier paper, with a slightly glossy surface. While the printer’s output will be exactly the same, it will look and feel of a higher quality.

    Inkjet printers

    Inkjets are different. Paper can and will make an enormous difference in the appearance and durability of the printouts that emerge from your inkjet printer. If you have been using an inkjet for years, then you have undoubtedly observed this yourself. A lot of inkjet users have no idea why this happens.

    Consider first the type of ink you’re using. Check the packaging. The dye-based ink designed for most photo printers isn’t meant to stay on the surface, but instead to get absorbed into the paper. That keeps colours from mingling and maintains images pricisely the way they were intended, with the different elements sharply defined. Dye-based ink, printed on normal paper, tends to pool and run, with the result that images will look fuzzy and letterforms sloppy. They will also look dull because dried ink is not as shiney as the paper’s glossy surface.

    The other type of inkjet ink, pigmented, avoids this problem, but the colours will be less vivid. This type of ink will also produce more of a matted look. The general rule is this: Use pigmented ink for printing text on normal paper and dye-based ink for printing photographs on special paper.

    The next decision to make is about the grade of the paper, or its weight. If you just want to archive some forms or routine business correspondence, then you can get away with standard copier paper, which has a grade of seventy-five to eighty grams per square metre. If on the other hand you are printing ads or greeting cards with an inkjet printer, then you will want to consider inkjet paper, which has a weight of niney to one hundred grams per square metre. That will include some brighteners, but also special layers to keep the ink from running.

    If you are printing display advertising or brochures with high-definition colour photographs, then you need glossy, photo paper. If you want even higher quality, then there is fine art paper, which you can expect to endure for decades. Of course, one thing it is not going to be is cheap. Expect to pay a pound per sheet of standard, A3-size paper and more.

    Considering the planet

    There are those among us who want to consider the environment as well as the appearance of their printer’s product. For these people there are products like recycled paper and “virgin fibre” paper, whose pulp comes from sustainable forestry. These environmentally-sound papers also have no bleach, which in turn means lower contrast than what you will see from mainstream paper.

    Finally, consider the advice given by your printer’s manufacturer. (On the other hand, you can safely ignore that manufacturer’s branded paper — you don’t really believe HP and Canon make paper, do you?)

    Finding the best paper for your printer and your work means reading labels, keeping a few of these pointers in mind and then experimenting on your own.

    Tech Chat podcast episode 18: OKI printers

    Tech Chat podcast episode 18: OKI printers.

    John Ross explains to ShuffleGazine listeners why LED technology simply rocks!

    How to buy a printer for your office

    How can SMB get more out of the business? How many times did this question cross your minds? There are four basic aspects to consider; ‘Plan, Process, People and Products’. Without a plan there can be no measures and without a measure there can be no improvement. You have to ask yourself; does the process run the business or support it? Are your people capable, trained and motivated? Does the product that you use do what you want, when you want it in a cost effective manner?  We are not going to focus on strategic planning, nor process control or staff development and retention. Our main concern is products and how they can save money and provide resources and time which will allow you to plan and measure, to validate and modify processes and motivate and develop your staff and your business.

    SMBs are usually concerned with stuff like cash flow, staffing, customers and managing growth. These are the things they classify as critical issues. When it comes to products like printers, they are not on top of mind for SMBs. However, a simple decision like what printer to buy can end up costing money – or providing benefits.

    Recently and thanks to advanced technology in the printing sector many of the SMBs have started to consider the in-house printing option rather than outsourcing their printing needs. If we take a good look at any office printing needs we would find them varying between several things like; official documents, contracts, brochures, letter heads, envelopes, business cards …etc. It’s very easy now to find a printer that meets all business’ needs and requirements. So when buying a printer if a considered decision is taken in a business perspective it can go a long way to saving money, time, and even being a motivational tool.

    The big question now is how to choose the right printer for your business. There are lots of types in the market nowadays; inkjet, Monochrome toner base printers LED/Laser, Colour toner base printers LED/Laser and Multi-function Printers Inkjet/mono/colour. How can you decide which one to buy and which one suits your line of business?

    There is no such a thing as a completely bad printer or a good printer, there is only a suitable printer. Each type of printers has its own pros and cons, the trick is to find out what are these pros and cons then decide upon them how suitable the printer would be for your business.

    Pros and Cons

    Inkjet

    When we talk about inkjet printers we can definitely say that they are cheap in price, they can print in colour and in photo mode they produce good print quality. However, they are very slow. Inkjet printers take more than 1 minute to print one A4 colour image (16PPM for colour toner base). They are very expensive to run and require a special media to deliver good quality printouts.

    Monochrome toner base printers LED/Laser

    Mono printers are reasonably priced; the cost of owning the printer is very economical. They provide fast printing for the business entry level starting at 20PPM and require no special media. Mono printers can print in duplex mode and are network ready, which is preferred for SMB, hence the ability to manage the printing resources and control cost and usage. The only con in mono printers is that they can’t print in colour.

    Colour toner base printers LED/Laser

    Colour printers don’t require special media to deliver good image quality. They are network ready and economical to own. They can print on heavy media that reaches up to 200 gsm in some machines and can print in duplex mode.

    To talk about colour printers cons we can sub classify the technology here to highlight them. Single pass is better than multi pass in terms of media flexibility and speed. Also, one should be aware of the fact that separate toners and drums are better than combined toner cartridge where customers can use the imaging unit to the end of its life regardless of the toner coverage on the page.  Printers that are equipped with tools to manage colour, network and usage, as well as to design templates are better because they are built to be ready out of the box solutions.

    Multi-function Printers Inkjet/mono/colour

    When it comes to MFPs, similar pros of the mono and colour toner base printers apply. In addition, MFPs are able to copy, scan, fax and of course print. In the case of proper SMB products the scanning should be network scanning. MFPs are very cheap when considering buying an inkjet one and reasonably priced when considering a toner base product.

    When talking about cons for the inkjet MFPs, the same cons of the inkjet printers mentioned before apply in this category as well. You should also be aware of none network colour toner base.

    Large format printers

    LFPs are used for specific type of applications like maps, indoor and outdoor banners. They are suitable for some advertising purposes and production houses; some of these organisations can be classified as SMBs. Considerations for purchase include the size of the printout and the set up cost for each print job.

    While LFPs supply the needs for indoor and outdoor large printouts, nevertheless they don’t fulfil all the printing needs and requirements for organisations such as production houses, and there is always a gap in printing small size images and point of sale materials like brochures, business cards, promotional leaflets, CD labels and small banners, which might also be required by their customers

    To avoid such a gap these organisations would require a printer that can address all the above mentioned applications. Some colour toner based printers would definitely be the suitable answer to such printing requirements, for they can print banners up to 120cm, produce very high quality images and print on thick media that reaches up to 300 gm.

    So which printer suits what business?

    Knowing what are the pros and cons of each type would definitely help you in deciding which printer suits your business, however, if you are still not sure about that here is some hints that can help you decide.

    Most of the inkjet printers are more suitable for domestic use and for Graphic Arts users who need high end photo quality products. As for mono printers; they depend on the product of course but they can be addressing SOHO/COHO, SMB, government and corporate use. Colour printers are suitable for COHO, SMB, government, special application market e.g. transfer paper, short run production and Graphic Arts applications. When talking about inkjet MFPs, they are best suited for domestic use or SOHO, while toner base are best for SOHO/COHO, SMB, corporate use and government as well as the special applications e.g. all of the previously mentioned plus document management applications.

    What to consider when buying a printer?

    There are various things you should consider when buying a printer. Of course there are important factors related to the users and the application but when generally speaking there are a few key considerations one should consider such as;

    Cost of ownership: One has to consider all relevant costs before buying a printer for example: consumables (Toner, Image drum, furses … etc.), media and the initial cost of buying the machine.

    Speed: Speed of printing is very important because time is a valuable factor. So when buying a printer one should consider how fast it is and whether this speed is good enough and suitable for business’ requirements.

    Management: For some users it is important to be bale to manage and control the printer, they should make sure the tools required for that are available as well as networkability.

    Media Flexibility: Depending on your business of course you should look for printers that are able to print on irregular media like CD labels, business card media, heavy weight media …etc.

    No one can deny how the SMB market is on the rise and how its business’ requirements are evolving accordingly. SMBs are more interested now in advanced network printers, technologies such as proofing systems and third dimension resolutions. They need the fast, the cost effective and the compact in size printers.

    Printing Vendors should be aware of the quick changes occurring in the market and the technologies required by SMBs. They should provide quicker products, more flexible and easier to use, packed with a variety of soft application that will assist in managing colour, network, printer resources, and make design of office documents as easy as possible.

    The main objective for the printing business now is to develop market leading in-house printing products that anticipate and meet the needs of business customers, whatever their size.

    General buying tips for SMB

    • Consider the price and yield of consumables beside the initial buying price.
    • Look at what kind of media deliver the best quality of printing and whether the printer requires a special kind of media like inkjet to get better results (media can be very expensive). Usually colour toner base can deliver very good quality when printing on regular office paper.
    • Look for a network printer if you are looking for a business printer, then look if there is soft tools to manage the printer and are they free or you have to pay for them and finally how easy are they to use.
    • If you have a problem of not having enough space look for a MFP, please note if it is a business MFP then network is something you have to look for not just for printing as a feature but also scanning should be considered then you have to look for what kind of soft tools are provided for you to mange your documents
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