TCPglobal - news, views and issues on total cost of printing

Login
Subscribe to TCPGlobal

Kyocera finally brings an A4 ECOSYS colour MFP to market

Issue #1010 – After 17 years of highly cost-effective ECOSYS mono laser printers and MFPs, and latterly joined by high-end A3 copier-based MFPs, Kyocera now brings us the 26ppm A4 FS-C2026MFP and FS-C2126MFP ECOSYS colour multifunction devices. These are the company’s first A4 colour laser MFPs with an ECOSYS engine.

These two machines sit at a marketing threshold – there are many machines sitting at a lower price point than the FS-C2026 and FS-C2126 MFPs but offering lower print speed combined with much higher running costs. In the other direction, there are machines that offer a higher specification but at a considerably higher hardware purchase cost – and also combined with much higher running costs.

Kyocera FS-C2126MFP Kyocera FS-C2126MFP

On the question of hardware purchase price, the median price in Germany for the FS-C2126MFP used for these comparisons was researched on 30th September. However, the price on 27th September (just three days earlier) had been €110 higher (9%). Therefore, it may be expected that the competiveness of these products may intensify further over the coming few weeks.

It would be logical to begin a comparative grouping at around the 23ppm or 24ppm level but this would only allow for comparison with three alternative products. So, we have taken a range of machines for comparison that starts at 20ppm, which allows us to include devices from Brother, Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Oki and Xerox. It does, however, have an impact on the spread of hardware purchase prices for the group – not to mention the overall Total Cost of Printing.

Hewlett-Packard, in particular, simply does not have a model to compete directly with the FS-C2026/2126MFPs. Its 20ppm CM2320fxi has a monthly duty cycle of only 40,000 pages per month and a recommended volume up to just 2,500 pages per month – whereas Kyocera’s FS-2×26 series is rated for a maximum of 65,000, and recommended for up to 10,000, pages per month. The CM2320fxi is included here, despite its low purchase price and low duty cycle, to emphasise the specification/Total Cost of Printing gap between devices that could, potentially, be selected by purchasers for a busy colour workgroup environment.

All models chosen here offer a colour print speed of at least 20ppm; are duplex-ready as standard; and are 4-function devices (ie. with fax capability).

Canon i-SENSYS MF9130Canon i-SENSYS MF9130

At the opposite end of the scale to Hewlett-Packard’s CM2320fxi is Canon’s i-SENSYS MF9130. This device has the highest median hardware purchase price in the group but a generally unexciting specification. As we’ll see later though, it is equipped with very high capacity supplies (6,000 pages – and shipping with full cartridges) that are priced at an aggressive level to give it a very keen and competitive Total Cost of Printing. The one specification item that does stand out, but doesn’t in itself justify such a high purchase price compared to other devices in the group, is a full duplexing Automatic Document Feeder (DADF) – scans both sides of the document simultaneously.

However, it absolutely should not be inferred that this model is ‘overpriced’. Hardware purchase price and supplies pricing are a matter of marketing strategy and the strategy used by Canon here is closely in line with that always operated by Kyocera and reflective of the marketing approach dating back to the 1980’s where it was expected that the manufacturer would make a profit from the hardware sale. Lexmark started a price war in the 1990s that has resulted in the loss-leader approach so prevalent over the last decade.

So, rather than the Canon device being overpriced, it is more a question of the lower-priced devices deliberately undercutting Canon in order to make the sale, aiming to recoup the loss over the life of the device through high supplies prices. This becomes abundantly clear as we look at Total Cost of Printing later in the article and is a theme that is constantly repeated in TCPglobal.

Konica Minolta magicolor 4695MFKonica Minolta
magicolor 4695MF

Most devices within this print speed bracket fall within a price range from €800 to €1,000. The surprise is Konica Minolta’s magicolor 4695MF, priced at just €735. It is a particular surprise because of its extraordinary physical specification for the price. It has a higher print speed than many in the group (24ppm) but, more significantly and importantly, it is equipped with a Gigabit network interface, has the joint highest-capacity toners in the group (8,000 pages) and is rated for a maximum monthly duty cycle of 120,000 pages – 50% higher than the next most hardy device, Samsung’s CLX-6250FX, almost double the 65,000 pages per month of the Kyocera FS-C2126MFP and three times the level of the CM2320fxi.

And yet, it does not display an unusually high overall Total Cost of Printing.

Hardware Purchase

20-26ppm Duplex Colour Laser MFPs

Kyocera’s FS-C2126MFP is also priced at the top end of the scale, fully justified by its specification and clearly standing out at the top end of the group. Although the FS-C2126MFP loses out to other individual devices on many specification items, no other device consistently beats it, while the FS-C2126MFP does consistently beat most of the other devices in most areas. Only the Konica Minolta magicolor 4690MF and Canon i-SENSYS MF9130 have more than one significant specification item where they can claim the edge. These are:

  • Canon
    • offers a document feeder with full duplexing DADF (while the FS-C2126MFP and Lexmark’s X546 both offer a reversing RADF and Brother, Hewlett-Packard and Konica Minolta specify a duplexing ADF without specifying which type)
    • ships with 6,000-page toners
  • Konica Minolta
    • offers Gigabit Ethernet
    • maximum monthly duty cycle is more than double that of many devices in the group, at 120,000 pages
    • has the highest toner capacity, at 8,000 pages in all colours
Brother MFC-9840CDWBrother MFC-9840CDW

In addition, Brother offers a wireless interface as a standard feature and includes its SSL security feature as standard (see TCPglobal Issue #0935/1, , for additional comment), both of which are unique in the group – although Kyocera does offer wireless networking as an option. Brother also specifies colour and duplex faxing capability.

However, overall, the Kyocera FS-C2126MFP ranks as one of the highest specified models in the group. For instance:

  • print speed is 26ppm in both mono and colour (unbeaten)
  • its drum unit is long-life, with a rated life of 200,000 pages (unbeaten)
  • fibre networking is offered as an option (unbeaten)
  • Gigabit networking is offered as an option (beaten only by Konica Minolta)
  • maximum paper capacity is 1,300 sheets (beaten only by Lexmark)
  • potential paper sources totals four (beaten only by Lexmark with five – although the fifth feed is only single-sheet)
  • 50-sheet ADF is a reverse duplexing RADF (beaten only by Canon with DADF)
  • PRESCRIBE II offered for proprietary printing systems (relevant to Germany)
  • toner capacities are high @ K=7,000 pages; C/M/Y=5,000 pages
Brother
MFC-9840CDW
€806.14
Print speed
Network
 
Paper input
 
ADF
Languages
Duty cycle
Supplies
 
 
20/20 ppm
10/100 Ethernet with SSL
Wireless network
250-sheet + 50-sheet
Optional 500-sheet feed (Max 800 sheets)
35-sheet duplex (type unspecified)
PCL6/PS3 emulations
Not quoted
K – 5,000; C/M/Y – 4,000
Ships with: K – 2,500; C/M/Y – 1,500
Drum – 17,000; Belt – 50,000; Waste – 20,000
Canon
i-SENSYS MF9130
€1,345.15
Print speed
Network
Paper input
 
ADF
Languages
Duty cycle
Supplies
 
21/21 ppm
10/100 Ethernet
250-sheet + 100-sheet
Optional 500-sheet feed (Max 850 sheets)
50-sheet DADF
PCL5c/6 emulations
65,000 pages per month (max)
K – 6,000 pages; C/M/Y – 6,000 pages
Ships with: K – 6,000; C/M/Y – 6,000
Hewlett-Packard
CLJ CM2320fxi
€616.73
Print speed
Network
Paper input
ADF
Languages
Duty cycle
Supplies
 
20/20 ppm
10/100 Ethernet
250-sheet + 250-sheet + 50-sheet
50-sheet duplex (type unspecified)
HP PCL5c/6; PS3 emulation
40,000 pages per month (max)
K – 3,500; C/M/Y – 2,800
Ships with K – 1,200; C/M/Y – 1,200
Konica Minolta
magicolor 4695MF
€734.83
Print speed
Network
Paper input
 
ADF
Languages
Duty cycle
Supplies
 
 
24/24 ppm
Gigabit Ethernet
250-sheet + 100-sheet
Optional 500-sheet feed (Max 850 sheets)
Duplex (capacity and type not specified)
PCL5c/PCL6/PS3 emulations ; PDF direct
120,000 pages per month (max)
K – 8,000; C/M/Y – 8,000
Ships with: K – 3,000; C/M/Y – 3,000
C/M/Y/K Print units – 30,000; Waste – 9,000
Kyocera
FS-C2126MFP
€1,239.00
Print speed
Network
 
Paper input
 
ADF
Languages
 
Duty cycle
Supplies
 
 
26/26 ppm
10/100 Ethernet
Optional Wireless / Gigabit / Fibre
250-sheet + 50-sheet
Optional 500-sheet x2 (Max 1,300 sheets)
50-sheet RADF
PRESCRIBE IIc
PCL6/PS3 emulations; PDF direct; XPS direct
65,000 pages per month (max)
K – 7,000; C/M/Y – 5,000
Ships with: K – 3,500; C/M/Y – 2,500
Drum/developer – 200,000 pages
Lexmark
X546dtn
€904.99
Print speed
Network
Paper input
 
ADF
Languages
Duty cycle
Supplies
 
23/23 ppm
10/100 Ethernet
550-sheet + 250-sheet + 100-sheet + 1-sheet
Optional 550-sheet (Max 1,451 sheets)
50-sheet RADF
PCL5c/PCL6/PS3 emulations ; PDF direct
55,000 pages per month (max)
K – 8,000; C/M/Y – 4,000
Ships with: K – 4,000; C/M/Y – 4,000
Oki
MC560dn
€982.63
Print speed
Network
Paper input
 
ADF
Languages
Duty cycle
Supplies
 
32/20 ppm
10/100 Ethernet
300-sheets + 100 sheets
Optional 530 sheets (Max 930 sheets)
50-sheets
PCL5c/PCL6/PS3 emulations
60,000 pages per month (max)
K – 8,000; C/M/Y – 6,000
Ships with K – 1,500; C/M/Y – 1,500
Samsung
CLX-6250FX
€895.75
Print speed
Network
Paper input
ADF
Languages
Duty cycle
Supplies
 
24/24 ppm
10/100 Ethernet
250 sheets + 100 sheets
50 sheets
PCL5c/PCL6/PS3 emulations
80,000 pages (max)
K – 5,000; C/M/Y – 4,000
Ships with: K – 5,000; C/M/Y – 4,000
Xerox
Phaser 6180MFP/D
€894.33
Print speed
Network
 
Paper input
 
ADF
Languages
Duty cycle
Supplies
 
30/20 ppm
10/100 Ethernet
Optional Wireless
250 sheets + 150 sheets
Optional 550-sheet feeder
50 sheets
PCL6 emulation; Adobe PostScript 3
60,000 pages (max)
K – 8,000; C/M/Y – 6,000
Ships with: K – 5,000; C/M/Y – 4,000

Apart from a range of useful productivity features, such as ID copy, electronic sort, full auto-duplex copying with its Reversing ADF (RADF) and private print, Kyocera’s FS-C2126MFP also offers business features such as integrated accounting. With 20 department codes on offer, this feature allows an organisation to charge printing out to the relevant department with ease.

With a 65,000-page maximum duty cycle, Kyocera recommends the FS-C2x26MFPs for a monthly print volume of up to 10,000 pages. Even though the maximum duty cycle does not reach the levels of the Konica Minolta or Samsung devices, recommended volumes far exceed those for devices like the Lexmark (<4,000 pages per month) and Oki (1,500 to 5,000), making a durable and heavy duty desktop workgroup MFP. Most particularly though, on a Total Cost of Printing level the FS-C2126MFP is completely unbeatable, thanks to its ECOSYS engine – although, as indicated earlier, Canon is competing hard. While Kyocera’s nominal mono Cost Per Page is the lowest in the group, at 1.41 cents, all but Brother’s are significantly higher (at least 30%). Konica Minolta’s is 95% higher and Hewlett-Packard’s is more than double – at 120% higher. Likewise with the nominal colour CPP. Here we see a lower variability, with Hewlett-Packards being only 73% higher than Kyocera’s but, nevertheless, all but Canon’s are a minimum of 25% higher.

Title Purchase Print Speed Nominal
CPP
Mixed mono/colour
CPP over 3 years
Brother
MFC-9840CDW
€806.14 Mono
Colour
20 ppm
20 ppm
1.58 cents
19 cents
5.49 cents
Canon
i-SENSYS MF9130
€1,345.15 Mono
Colour
21 ppm
21 ppm
1.85 cents
8.99 cents
5.12 cents
Hewlett-Packard
CLJ CM2320fxi
€616.73 Mono
Colour
20 ppm
20 ppm
3.10 cents
14.13 cents
7.25 cents
Konica Minolta
magicolor 4695MF
€734.83 Mono
Colour
24 ppm
24 ppm
2.75 cents
11.12 cents
5.22 cents
Kyocera
FS-C2126MFP
€1,239.00 Mono
Colour
26 ppm
26 ppm
1.41 cents
8.19 cents
4.68 cents
Lexmark
X546dtn
€904.99 Mono
Colour
23 ppm
23 ppm
2.39 cents
11.89 cents
5.90 cents
Oki
MC560dn
€982.63 Mono
Colour
32 ppm
20 ppm
2.02 cents
10.20 cents
5.75 cents
Samsung
CLX-6250FX
€895.75 Mono
Colour
24 ppm
24 ppm
2.29 cents
10.33 cents
5.20 cents
Xerox
Phaser 6180MFP/D
€894.33 Mono
Colour
30 ppm
20 ppm
2.08 cents
10.69 cents
5.90 cents

Note that for this level of machine, the mixed mono/colour CPP over three years shown in the accompanying table is calculated on the basis of 2,500 pages per month; 70% pages in mono and 30% pages in colour; is based on the use of maximum capacity supplies; takes into account any standard, or starter, supplies shipped with the device; and also includes the cost of purchase. All prices are Median Street Price with tax, sourced in Germany.

Total Cost of Printing – Cost Per Page

20-26ppm Duplex Colour Laser MFPs

What this means in practice is that users will pay more for the Kyocera hardware but so much less for the supplies that the overall cost after three years is strongly in favour of the Kyocera FS-C2126MFP. In fact, printing 2,500 pages per month, only the Canon MF9130 has a long-term Total Cost of Printing that is within 10% of that boasted by the FS-C2126MFP – which is extraordinary considering the high hardware purchase cost of the Canon!

A couple of others, Konica Minolta and Samsung, compete fairly hard with Kyocera (TCP being 12% and 11% higher than Kyocera’s over three years respectively). This is achieved by a very low hardware purchase price from Konica Minolta and a good balance of average hardware purchase price and supplies costs from Samsung.

It is Hewlett-Packard’s CM2321fxi that stands out here as a machine out of its depth. As indicated, it has been included to demonstrate the effect of low-specification and low-cost hardware competing against the higher level of device available from Kyocera and Canon. Its supplies are priced too high for it to compete on Total Cost of Printing with any of the others in the group – even those with the most similar print speeds. At the end of three years, it will have cost 55% more to own than the FS-C2126MFP.

If we look at actual out-of-pocket expenditure over those three years, taking the print count up to 200,000 pages (5,555 pages per month), we find that the Kyocera FS-C2126MFP and Canon MF9130 seriously begin to break away from the pack at about 100,000 pages (i.e. at about 18 months-worth of use at 5,555 pages per month or three years of use at 2,777 pages per month).

Total Cost of Printing – Expenditure to 200K Pages

20-26ppm Duplex Colour Laser MFPs

In summary, the situation points us again to the fact that users with a high level of usage benefit rapidly from buying a heavy duty ECOSYS-engined device such as the FS-C2126MFP, despite its high initial cost, while those with low usage levels can ‘make do’ with a device that is cheaper to buy, will not last as long or provide the same level of performance but not cost any more in the long-run.

To illustrate this fact, let’s close off the article by breaking out the low end of the chart above to show how expenditure progresses up to the point at which the FS-C2126MFP becomes the cheapest to buy and operate (100,000 pages).

The spread of expenditure is tight enough for it to be difficult to differentiate between devices, especially at the 20,000–page level, but, even at this low page count, the most expensive device (Xerox Phaser 6180MFP/D) will have cost €400 more than the cheapest (Lexmark X546dtn). It is also interesting to note that the Hewlett-Packard CM2321fxi is already almost the most expensive, despite its rock-bottom purchase price, costing only €25 less than the Phaser to print 20,000 pages. Note in particular that it has already cost more than the FS-C2126MFP!!

Total Cost of Printing – Expenditure to 100K Pages

20-26ppm Duplex Colour Laser MFPs


~ END ~