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

Subscribe to TCPGlobal

Samsung joins mid-speed mono laser MFP category, presenting low Total Cost of Printing for small businesses

Issue #0923/2 – Mid-speed 4-function A4 mono laser MFPs are surprisingly few and far between, with the majority of products sitting below 30ppm. Samsung has introduced two new devices in the 30-35ppm range but only the SCX-5635FN is fully available in Europe at this point. Most of the competitors in the class are also recent introductions: Brother MFC-8880DN; Dell 2335dn; Hewlett-Packard LaserJet M3035xs MFP; Lexmark X364dn; with Xerox’s Phaser 3635MFP/X still being less than a year old.

Samsung SCX-5635FNSamsung SCX-5635FN

The group is shortly also due to be joined by the 30ppm Canon i-SENSYS MF6680DN as well as the 35ppm Samsung SCX-5835FN.

There is, however, a sharp contrast within the class as it stands. Samsung, with its history in the low-end, low-cost portion of the market, joins the class with a product that is selling at a price that is a surprisingly significant 31% higher than the devices from Brother, Dell and Lexmark. But, the main contrast comes when Hewlett-Packard and Xerox’s devices are considered. Here we have a price differential of some 2.4x for Xerox and 3.3x for Hewlett-Packard.

Hardware Purchase

30-35ppm 4-Function Mono Laser MFPs

These two machines would normally be left out of such a comparison as being targeted at a clearly different market. We have included them here purely because the range of products available in this class is so limited and their inclusion helps to demonstrate the targeting dynamics in the market – more of which later. Suffice it to say that the presence of features such as: standard hard disk (LaserJet – 40GB, Phaser – 80GB); duplex ADF; second 500-sheet paper feed (LaserJet); and convenience stapler all help to set these devices apart as high-end enterprise machines rather than small business machines.

HP LJ M3035xs MFPHewlett-Packard
LaserJet M3035xs MFP

It should be clarified at this point that the group has been restricted to those devices with network interface, auto-duplex and PCL/PS capability as standard on top of the fax functionality and ADF. It must also be clarified that, like the LaserJet M3035xs and Phaser 3635MFP/X, the Lexmark X364 is also equipped with a duplexing ADF!

Xerox Phaser 3635MFP/XXerox Phaser 3635MFP/X

Perhaps surprising though, is that the quoted duty cycle on the Hewlett-Packard and Xerox devices is set at 75,000 pages per month, while duty cycle on two of the others is 80,000 (Lexmark and Samsung). Dell’s duty cycle is a much lower 35,000 pages per month and Brother does not publish any duty cycle figure for its hardware.

More realistically, recommended monthly duty cycle is put at 1,000-3,000 pages for the Samsung and 750-5,000 for the Lexmark. It is for this reason that the range of monthly page volumes used in the chart later in the article ranges from a low 500 pages per month up to 5,000 pages per month. In addition though, because of the high-end nature of the LaserJet and Phaser machines, a second chart has been prepared with page volumes ranging from 1,000 to 10,000.

Brother MFC-8880DNBrother MFC-8880DN

This is all within the fairly tight speed bracket of 30ppm to 35ppm and it does not follow that the more expensive machines are the fastest. Although the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet M3035xs is, indeed, at the top end, with a print speed of 35ppm, the cheapest machine in the group (Dell) also boasts a 35ppm print speed despite the fact that it costs 80% less to buy than the LaserJet. While Brother’s MFC-8880DN falls at the lower end of the group with a print speed of 30ppm, the three remaining devices all fall in the middle at 33ppm – including the high-end Phaser 3635MFP/X.

Moving on to running costs, toner yield varies considerably, ranging from 6,000 to 13,000 pages, with shipping yields ranging from 3,000 to 6,500 pages.

Print Speed Shipping Toner High-yield Toner
Brother MFC-8880DN 30 ppm 3,000 pages 8,000 pages
Dell 2335dn 35 ppm 3,000 pages 6,000 pages
Hewlett-Packard LJ M3035xs MFP 35 ppm 6,500 pages 13,000 pages
Lexmark X364dn 33 ppm 3,000 pages 9,000 pages
Samsung SCX-5635FN 33 ppm 4,000 pages 10,000 pages
Xerox Phaser 3635MFP/X 33 ppm 5,000 pages 10,000 pages
Lexmark X364dnLexmark X364dn

Fairly typically, Lexmark’s nominal CPP is the highest of the group despite its respectable 9,000-page yield – and this is based on the high-yield Return Programme cartridge, not the standard cartridge! Contrasting with this, Dell’s cartridge yields only 6,000 pages but has a low nominal CPP. Nominal CPP on Brother’s 8,000-page cartridge is on the high side.

We might have expected the nominal CPP from Hewlett-Packard and Xerox to be lower than all of the others because of their target market. But this is not the case. The Hewlett-Packard CPP only closely matches the average of the group, while Xerox’s is just a little lower.

Because the nominal CPP for these two machines falls only around the average, by the time this rolls up into a long-term Total Cost of Printing at 2,500 pages per month, along with purchase cost, the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet M3035xs and Xerox Phaser 3635MFP/X come out as being hugely more expensive than any of the others. In fact, the Hewlett-Packard would cost a user more than twice as much over three years as a Dell 2335dn would.

Total Cost of Printing

30-35ppm 4-Function Mono Laser MFPs

Note that for this group of printers, the long-term Cost of Printing over three years shown in the accompanying table is calculated on the basis of 2,500 pages per month; 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.

Lexmark’s high running costs ensure that Total Cost of Printing is the highest amongst the lower-cost machines despite its low purchase price. Again, in contrast, Samsung comes out very well on account of a remarkably low nominal CPP despite its higher than average purchase price – impressive for a company that has not been noted for low TCP in the past.

Dell 2335dnDell 2335dn

With the Hewlett-Packard and Xerox machines being so expensive, we felt that we had to run the primary variable page volume chart with just the four lower-cost machines. Even here, the difference in long term Total Cost of Printing between the four is relatively minimal.

Once away from the very low page count, the group splits clearly into two sections, with the Samsung falling rapidly to join the Dell in the lower portion of the chart as its higher purchase price is offset by low running costs, leaving Brother and Lexmark following a course some 26% higher on cost.

Total Cost of Printing

30-35ppm 4-Function Mono Laser MFPs

It is when we add in the other two machines that we discover something surprising that completely goes against all recognised understanding of the dynamics of Total Cost of Printing! The long-term cost of the two high-end machines never falls below the level of the lower-end machines!

In order to keep the chart simple, we’ve placed the Cost Per Page of the two high-end machines against the average of the four lower-cost machines.

Total Cost of Printing

30-35ppm 4-Function Mono Laser MFPs

What this means is that, on average, it would still be cheaper at 10,000 pages per month for an enterprise to run two of the lower-cost machines instead of one high-end machine, allowing them to spread convenience of printing around the company a little rather than running one centralised device. The only exception to this is when the Brother and Lexmark devices are set against the Phaser 3635MFP/X, where one Phaser just manages to undercut two Brother or Lexmark machines.

In conclusion then, Samsung’s new mono MFP, along with the company’s changing market strategy, places the device in a great position for tackling the small business market head-on and winning Samsung a still higher share of the overall printer market, challenging Hewlett-Packard hard. Perhaps its biggest downfall is the restrictive 250-sheet paper input tray, only expandable by a further 250 sheets.

~ END ~