*UPDATE* The replacement for the GX e7700n is the RICOH SG 7100DN
Ricoh has just announced that it is to update its range of inkjet printers, known as GelSprinters. The fourth generation is getting something of a revamp, complete with catchy new name: GELJET. The first of the new GELJETs won’t be available until April but here we take a quick look at what we can expect.
Ricoh has long been promoting its range of gel printers as a low cost, energy-efficient and cheap-to-run alternative to laser printers, so what’s different about the new range (apart from the name)? Well, according to Ricoh, a few things.
First and possibly most important is the improved viscosity gel formula – Ricoh doesn’t say whether it's more or less viscous but, since the new gels are less prone to clogging and drying in the print head, one would presume that they're less viscous. Ricoh also claims that image quality has been improved but we'll have to wait and see on that one. The new models also feature bi-directional ink pumps, which minimise gel wastage during cleaning and helping to keep costs down. Talking of costs, Enhanced Economy Mode allows you to print in colour 'at virtually the price of mono' and the new GELJETS use even less energy than before – just 27W for the single function and 45W for the multifunction devices.
That's not all, either. The new models are 30% smaller and lighter than their predecessors, with the option of adding two 500-sheet paper trays for maximum paper handling capacity. First page out time has been improved, making it the fastest in this market sector, according to Ricoh, and it is now possible to print in black even when all other colours are empty – important for printing out those urgent documents.
On to the models themselves – there will be three ranges of GELJET printers initially, with the single function machines being launched in April and the multifunction devices available from May. The SG 2100N fills the entry-level slot and replaces the GX e2600, with the SG 3110DN range replacing the GX e3300n, 3350n and 5550n. The SG 3110DN comes in two flavours – wireless and non-wireless but both will feature Ethernet connectivity and auto duplexing as standard.
The SG 3110 MFP replaces the GX 3050sfn and, like the 3110DN, also comes in two flavours, both of which have WiFi as standard. The choice in the MFP range is between the SG 3110SFNw 4-in-1 with fax and the SG 3110SNw 3-in-1 non-fax version. Ricoh's A3 GelSprinter, the GX e7700n, remains available for the time being but is due to be replaced later in the year.
by Anthony Morgan