Xerox Offers Souped-Up Color Multifunction Printer

Wednesday Mar 30th 2005 by Dan Muse
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Take a Xerox Phaser 8400 color printer and add copying, scanning and advanced document handling and what do you get? The WorkCentre C2424, a multifunction device that promises speed, color consistency and convenience.

Looking to offer high speed, color and convenience in one package that prints, copies and scans, Xerox Corp. today unveiled a new multifunction device aimed at small and mid-sized businesses.

The WorkCentre C2424 is designed to produce color and black-and-white documents at a speedy 24 pages per minute — a speed that, Xerox claims, hasn't been offered in a product in the C2424's price range.

Still, while the C2424 packs a lot of technology, the cost will make this multifunction unit feasible only for SMBs that have demanding requirements in terms of both quantity and quality of work.

Prices range from $2,999 for WorkCentre C2424 DN to $3,799 for the C2424 DP to $4,399 for C2424 DX. The average cost per copy is 10 cents based on five percent ink coverage.


Xerox WorkCentre C2424
The Xerox WorkCentre C2424 is a Phasor 8400 color printer on the bottom with multifunction capabilities added on top for copying, scanning and sophisticated paper handling.

While the prices may limit the C2424 to design firms, real estate agencies and other businesses with steady color demands, the features will probably sound appealing to everyone.

An internal 40GB hard drive gives you room to store documents, a 50-sheet duplex automatic document feeder makes producing two-sided documents easier. A 100-sheet paper tray accommodates up to 80-pound paper and handles a variety of envelopes, labels, transparencies and card stocks in sizes ranging from 3-by-5 inches to 8.5-by-14 inches. For more mundane jobs, the second paper tray (525-sheets) takes care of standard printing and copy needs.

In addition to printing and copying at 24 ppm at 600-by-600 dots per inch (dpi), the C2424 scans at 20 images per minute (the C2424 DN models scans at 300-by-300 dpi and the DP and DX models scan at 600-by-600 dpi).

The C2424 line is based on the Xerox Phaser 8400 printer — literally. The multifunction unit sits on top of the $999 Xerox color printer, adding the scanning unit, document feeder and control console to the popular printer (see our review of the Phaser 8400).

The WorkCentre C2424's Dual Head Scan unit will appeal to anyone who has had to scan double-sided documents. Because it has two scan heads, it scans both sides of a document simultaneously, making it not only twice as fast as systems that have one head, but also reducing the risk of paper jams because sheets do not need to be scanned, flipped and scanned again.


Xerox WorkCentre C2424
The Xerox WorkCentre C2424 is designed to combine high-speed, high-quality color printing with easy-to-use features such as this control panel.

The C2424's solid ink technology uses polymer-based ink instead of toner and works much the same way as an offset press does to ensure consistent color quality, according to Xerox. That is, after heating the ink blocks, the C2424 applies the appropriate colors to a drum inside the printer, which then transfers the image onto the page. The concept is similar to how an offset press transfers ink from a plate to a blanket and then to the paper.

In addition to providing more consistent color, Xerox says that solid inks are easier and cleaner to install than powdered toners, liquids, tanks or cartridges. The company says that adding solid ink blocks to the C2424 is like loading staples into a stapler.

Back to Black and White
Realizing that not all SMBs want or need to spring for color, Xerox also announced the 18-ppm CopyCentre C118 copier and WorkCentre M118/M118i multifunction systems with prices starting at $1,499 and $1,999.

The WorkCentre M118 MFP is designed to combine copy and print capabilities, while the WorkCentre M118i MFP adds fax and scan-to-e-mail. Xerox reports that the new M118i features one-touch fax, group dials and faxing from the desktop. A two-up faxing feature is designed to combine two faxed pages onto one to save time and paper.

Both the Copy Centre C118 and WorkCentre M118/M118i are built to handle a wide range of paper and media sizes, including heavy-duty paper up to 110-pound index stock.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking & Communications Channel and ServerWatch.

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