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New Ricoh Color Lasers Are For SMB Mass Printing

The networked Aficio SP C430DN and C431DN color laser printers offer high throughput and high-capacity cartridges, but are priced accordingly.

The networked Aficio SP C430DN and C431DN color laser printers offer high throughput and high-capacity cartridges, but are priced accordingly.If you need to churn out significant quantities of a color documents right now, then Ricoh has something for you with its announcement of two new color laser printers with high throughput and large toner capacities.

The Aficio SP C430DN offers 37 ppm and costs $1,499. The SP C431DN offers 42 ppm and costs $1,999. Both offer 1,200 dpi resolution, plus three color cartridges rated at 21,000 sheets and a black cartridge rated at 24,000 sheets. (That's about 10 times more than your average SOHO laser printer.)

The toner cost per page is not available because Ricoh does not actually sell replacement cartridges-you are referred to resellers if you want that.

The units can support up to three optional 550-sheet paper feed trays, for a total of 2,300 sheets. Using a bypass tray they can handle sheets up to 140 index pounds (seven times heavier than standard office paper), coated paper and other special media.

The C431DN (i.e., the more expensive one) comes with an 80 gigabyte hard drive and 768 megabytes of RAM. This is an extra-cost option for the C430DN.

With prices like these, an SMB also needs to seriously consider using the local print shop, which is probably set up to accept PDF transmissions and may also offer binding services. And simple price-per-sheet calculations might point you in that direction.

But what such calculations can't reflect is the value of convenience. If mass document production is a regular and critical event in your office, $2,000 or so might seem a reasonable price to gain total control over the process. Otherwise, outsourcing, with all its potential pitfalls and delays, remains an option.

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