Monday, April 07, 2008

Free Color Printers, Really?

When television began to take off right after WWII, the pictures were small and in black and white only. Nobody cared because they'd grown up with radio. This was radio plus pictures. It was so much better than before. Then along came color television and, all of a sudden, those wonderful B&W pictures lost their magic. Color added so much more to the viewing experience. Once your friends and neighbors had color TV, how could you go home and enjoy those lame black and white images?

When desktop computers really began to take off, their viewing screens were in black and white. Or at least black and green. Or orange. But everything printed was in black and white. Then computers went to color screens, looking a lot like color TV. There were still text documents and spreadsheets, but now you could also have pictures taken with color cameras, drawings, paintings and graphs in full color. But print a hard copy and what do you get? Black and white.

The solution for many people is to buy an ink jet color printer as a single solution for low usage or to supplement a laser printer when color printouts are needed. Ink jet printers are pretty affordable now, sometimes even being included in a computer system package. But they have two notable limitations. One, the ink smears when the page gets wet or even when touched by moist fingers. Highlighter pens also cause the ink to run. Plus, the high cost and low yield of ink cartridges makes ink jet printers less than desirable for workgroup projects.

What you really crave in the office is a color business printer that will replace your black and white laser printer. But aren't color printers like this pretty pricey? They can be, especially when you get one designed to be shared on a network and with the capacity for an entire workgroup. But what if you could get a rugged high quality Xerox network color printer for free? You can with the Xerox FreeColorPrinters program.

This is a business service available to U.S. companies with more than one employee who will commit to a volume of at least 2,000 pages a month. Do you go through 4 reams of paper a month? You also commit to buy your ink and maintenance kits through the program. You'll need to fax a report that the printer generates once a month to verify compliance. But if you're willing to make those commitments, guess what? You get your printer free. Plus a free 3 year on-site service agreement.

The printer is the Xerox Phaser 8560 DN color printer. It turns out color pages up to 30 per minute and has a duty cycle of up to 85,000 pages per month. The first page can pop out in 5 seconds. The Phaser 8560 DN is a LAN networked printer with a standard paper capacity of 625 sheets, making it perfect for the whole office to share. It also prints out double sided. If you want to hook it to a single computer, there is a USB interface as well as the network connection.

How's color quality? This printer uses an innovative solid ink system with a resolution up to 2400 dpi. No messing around with rocking toner cartridges. You simply open the printer and drop in little sticks of color ink. The printer heats these and fuses them to the paper in a single pass, giving excellent color resolution. Xerox says that a typical 5% coverage black and white page costs at little as 1.9 cents to print, while a typical 20% color coverage page costs 10.1 cents.

If this sounds like a program that might work for your business or organization and let you move from strictly black and white documents to full color printout, you should take a few minutes to learn more about the Xerox FreeColorPrinters Program.

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