After the computer, perhaps the most important piece of hardware your small business will buy is a desktop printer. There are inexpensive inkjet printers that could be up for the task, but printing is all about imaging. And if you want your small business to present a professional image, a laser printer is probably more appropriate.
How can you be certain you're buying only the particular functions that your small business needs today? Perhaps more important, how can you buy an imaging system that will fit your needs tomorrow?
Sharp recently introduced two new multifunction desktop copiers that solve under-buying and over-buying dilemmas for smaller businesses. The two new additions to Sharp's IMAGER product line offer letter and legal size printing and a full-color PC scanner, as well as advanced features such as electronic sorting, offset stacking and a 30-sheet document feeder.
With a compact modular design, Sharp's AR-168S and AR-168D IMAGER multifunction copiers offer a small footprint that fits in tight spaces, like a desktop in a small office. More importantly, both imaging devices and can readily be upgraded to enhance small business print capabilities.
George Grafanakis, Sharp Document Solutions product marketing manager for America, said in the past, adding advanced functionality was cost-prohibitive for small businesses.
"With the introduction of the new AR-168S and AR-168D IMAGER products, Sharp intends to make it easy for small businesses to enhance their workflow," Grafanakis said. "These new desktop IMAGER multifunction copiers offer upgrade paths that are flexible and inexpensive, so small businesses can easily purchase the functionality they need to be as productive as a big business."
With several upgrade paths available, small businesses can add workflow components from low-cost network printing to advanced network printing and scanning. Additionally, Super G3 faxing a function that allows each user connected to a fax server to automatically route faxes to a computer desktop can be added to any configuration.
Both models have 16-page per minute copying capabilities when set at 600 dots per inch output on standard size paper and flexible paper handling. A 250-sheet paper feeder comes standard, but is upgradable to a 500-sheet feed system. Both copiers can handle sorting up to 100 pages, and produce offset stacks of copies to make distribution of copies a breeze.
The difference between the two models is that the AR-168S comes with a 30-sheet single pass document feeder while the AR-168D comes with 30-sheet reversing single pass document feeder for copying two-sided originals.
Both models can hook-up to a PC via USB 2.0 (define) or IEEE 1284 parallel port (define) connections. Additionally, Sharpdesk personal document management software enables users to edit, save or distribute their electronic documents, quickly and easily.
The AR-168S and AR-168D also feature a cost-efficient, supply system, with a separate toner, developer and drum, which lowers total cost of ownership by maximizing supply usage an advantage over cartridge-based toner systems. The AR-168D auto-duplexing feature can also help small businesses reduce paper usage through the use of two-sided copying and printing.
Priced at $1,795, the AR-168S multifunction copier comes standard with one-sided print capabilities, 32 MB memory, electronic sorting, offset stacking, 30-sheet single-pass feed, 250-sheet paper cassette, and a 50 sheet-bypass tray.
Priced at $2,095, the AR-168D can produced two-sided copies, and also comes standard with 32 MB of memory, electronic sorting, offset stacking, 30-sheet reverse single pass document feed, 250-sheet paper cassette, and a 50 sheet-bypass tray.
Network expansion kits, to connect either Sharp IMAGER copiers to a local area network, are optional. The AR-NB2N, which covers PCL6 Network Printing and Network Scanning, retails for $750. The AR-168S and AR-168D desktop IMAGER products are now available through Sharp's authorized network of dealers and distributors.
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