Kyocera and Canon have just launched new printers in one of the most competitive sectors of the market; the i-SENSYS LBP 7750CDN from Canon and the FS-C5350DN from Kyocera are the latest offerings in the 30 page per minute A4 colour laser sector. At first glance, both printers look very similar, with 256MB memory, a duplex unit, Postscript 3 emulation and optimised 9600 x 600dpi resolution. All of which begs the question; why is the Canon £130 more expensive when the Kyocera comes with a 2 year warranty, a 500-sheet input tray and will print on thicker media?
It’s a bit of a mystery, especially as the Kyocera is the least of Canon’s worries in this market. Perhaps the biggest plus point in the 7750CDN’s favour is the running cost; it’s one of the cheaper printers to run in its class but it’s not the cheapest – the Konica Minolta Magicolor 5650, Lexmark C780 and Ricoh SP C420 all have a lower cost per page. For a lot of people, the world doesn’t revolve around Xerox and HP but there are plenty of other alternatives in this price range and nothing about the LBP 7750 makes it stand out.
The Kyocera is more keenly priced at £502 and, as always, the running costs are excellent with a cost per page of 1.35p at 5% coverage and 5.4p at 20%. In addition, the FS-C5350 has excellent green credentials, another Kyocera selling point, and will no doubt prove as reliable as its predecessors. It might not be the first printer that springs to mind for most people but has got to be worth a look, at least.
Neither Kyocera nor Canon have had a huge impact thus far in the 30 page per minute colour laser sector and, as things stand, they’re not likely to. The FS-C5350DN will appeal to existing Kyocera customers as it continues the philosophy of keeping costs and carbon emissions low. There’s unlikely to be a great deal of interest outside of Kyocera’s small but loyal customer base, though, since most people won’t even realise it’s there.
Canon has expanded its product portfolio to include a range of colour and mono printers, although it seems that this is solely to give it a presence in these markets. With so much competition around people need a reason to buy any particular machine and the LBP 7750CDN doesn’t seem to give them one.
by Anthony Morgan