I have been getting asked more and more recently to help customers find a high quality color MFP for around $1,000 here in Colorado Springs. While this would be ideal in a slower economy, I don’t think such a device exists. There are “less bad” desktop MFP’s than others, but the cost per print is pretty high on these devices. The one we’ve had the best luck with is the Xerox Phaser 6180 MFP. So, if you need a color MFP in the desktop variety, I would say to go ahead and get the Phaser 6180MFP because it is the best one I’ve found. However, there are some things you need to know about the desktop color copier market (especially the laser models).
First, there are two types: Single Pass and Multi-pass
Single pass is preferreable. Single pass means the paper only has to go through the imaging units once. The multi-pass have to go through once for each color. This is why you will see multi-pass units run about 1/4 the speed in color as they do in black and white. 31/8 or 20/5 or 16/4 are all common BW/Color speeds for multi pass desktop MFP’s. 21/20 would be a more common a “single pass” speed rating.
Second, if you have 3 page (plus) jobs, make sure you get the ADF models, otherwise you’ll have to put one sheet on the glass and then the next one, etc…
Third, is fax included? Most people assume the fax is included on all MFP’s. It is not. When you see a “Starting at” price, it is usually the print/Copy/Scan version-NOT the fax version.
Fourth, the cost per print. This gets more crucial as your volume of prints go up. MFP’s in this class can range from about $.15 to $.40 per print. If you are doing 100 prints or more per month, this cost can be substantial.
Overall, I only reccomed this option for very low color volumes with low projected color needs. If you print over 100 prints per month, and you know you will continue to do so, a larger machine with a contract will save you hundreds over the next couple years. Feel free to give me a call for your Colorado Springs color copier needs. I’ll analyze your exact needs and recommend the right machine for you.