Printer manufacturer Epson is releasing 11 new models of its WorkForce printers, which the company says will help small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) and work groups dramatically cut their costs for colour printing.

The machines are powered by the company’s PrecisionCore print chips which produce print-shop quality colour prints and sharp black and colour text at up to half the printing cost of colour laser printers, according to Epson.

Over the years printing has evolved as one of the most significant budget items for a business with some analysts calculating that the average office printing over 10,000 to 20,000 pages a year.

A big part of the reason why printing costs are so high is due expenditures on printer maintenance and supplies. For instance, printer ink costs about $10,000 a gallon, according to printing software maker GreenPrint.

“WorkForce printers powered by PrecisionCore deliver true performance beyond laser, opening the doors to unrestricted colour printing,” said Nils Madden, marketing director, desktop imaging and printing, Epson America, Inc. “With the high image quality, fast print speeds and lower printing costs that WorkForce printers provide, there is no reason for small businesses to consider colour lasers again.”

The PrecisionCore print chips are also able to increase ink flow and printing speed because it has packs a higher number of nozzles in a smaller area compared to other print chips. The chips produce dots at the micron level. Each nozzle on the print head delivers up to 50,000 droplets per second for increased precision and print quality.

Because the print chips are scalable, they can be combined to deliver more and boost print speed. The WorkForce printers are available in two-chip and four-chip configurations.

WorkForce models are also equipped with Ethernet, wireless and Wi-Fi, two-sided printing, copying, scanning and fax functionalities.

The printers are priced from about US$199 to $399. The printers will be available in mid-July.

The WorkForce Pro 5000-Series is designed for networked business environments. The Pro WF-5690 (multifunction) and WF-5190 (single function) are made for heavy duty work. With its four-chip configuration, the series delivers up to 50 per cent lower printing cost versus colour laser. It is capable of print speeds of 20 ISO ppm (black) and 20 ISO ppm (colour) , and a duty cycle of up to 45,000 pages per month.

The Pro 4000-Series is designed for business work groups. The Pro WF-4640 and WF-4630, offer a four-chip configuration, with up to 50 per cent lower printing cost versus colour laser, print speeds of 20 ISO ppm (black) and 20 ISO ppm (colour) and a 30,000-page per month duty cycle.

The 3000-Series is for home and small office use. The WF-3540 and WF-3620 offer a two-chip configuration, delivering up to 40 per cent lower printing cost versus colour laser, as well as 19 ISO ppm (black) and 10 ISO ppm (colour) , and a 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF). The WorkForce WF-3620 and WorkForce WF-3640 offer a 330-sheet and 580-sheet paper capacity, respectively.

The 7000-Series is targeted at creative professionals, architects or engineers. The WF-7620, WF-7610 and WF-7110 wide format business models offer a two-chip configuration and flexible paper handling with up to 40 per cent lower printing cost than colour laser. The series’ fast print speeds are : 18 ISO ppm (black) and 10 ISO ppm (colour), borderless prints up to 13” x 19” and automatic two-sided printing up to 11” x 17”.

The WF-7610 and WF-7620 offer 250-sheet and 500-sheet capacity, respectively, and both models deliver automatic two-sided print, copy, scan and fax up to 11” x 17”. Users can also easily scan up to 11” x 17” with the two-sided ADF.

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