August 16, 2004 in Social Responsibility News

 Samsung's CLP-500 garners Buyers Lab's Office Imaging Products Picks of the Year

During the testing period for this year's "" Pick of the Year"" award, which ran from the summer of 2003 to the late spring of 2004, more than 130 multifunctional products, fax machines and printers were subjected to BLI's unique in-house laboratory evaluations. The rigorous battery of tests, which takes approximately three months to complete, includes an extensive durability test during which during which each unit is run at the manufacturer's maximum recommended monthly volume. The durability test is unique to Buyers Laboratory among publishers of office product evaluations and uniquely qualifies us to assess reliability, which is a critical factor for buyers and, given that virtually all of the products are designed for use on networks, for IT directors as well. Each product that successfully passes BLI's lab test earns BLI's ""Recommended"" or ""Highly Recommended"" seal as well as a BLI ""Certificate of Reliability"".
In addition to assessing reliability in terms of the number of service calls and preventative maintenance (PM) calls required, as well as misfeed frequency, BLI's three-month evaluation goes far beyond that to include an evaluation of copy and print quality, copy and print productivity, ease of use and economy, as well as connectivity issues such as feedback to workstations administrative utilities, print drivers and multitasking capabilities.

As always, activity in the lab reflects trends in the industry. Scanning solutions seen in the lab this year, for example, were much more refined than in previous years, with offerings that are integrated and offer much greater functionality than in the past, with support for LDAP now the norm. As would be expected, color products make up an increasingly larger percentage of tested models. Particularly noteworthy is that in the past year, all of the 23 color products tested (printers and multifunctional products) were products designed for office applications, as opposed to graphic arts-oriented applications. As with scan solutions, print drivers continue to become more sophisticated, with more drivers automatically detecting configured accessories, eliminating the need for administrators to manually specify this information, and with some drivers now offering device and job status information, including available paper supply.

Another trend evident from this past testing year is vendor's increasing use of their own controllers. Whereas EFI Fiery controllers were a staple in BLI's lab during the previous year, this past year saw very few.


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