Colour lasers follow PC pricing trend

Colour laser printers, once one of the leaders in the high-cost components on your computer system, are falling dramatically in price. A little over a year ago it would have been difficult to find a colour laser printer for under $10,000. Today they are listed at prices just under $5000 and above.

Colour laser printers, once one of the leaders in the high-cost components on your computer system, are falling dramatically in price.

A little over a year ago it would have been difficult to find a colour laser printer for under $10,000. Today they are listed at prices just under $5000 and above.

New printers from Minolta and Panasonic offer the cheapest prices — the Minolta Color PagePro A4 printer is listed at $4934, while the Panasonic Monet series starts at $5995, excluding GST.

The laser market is fighting a tough battle against latest inkjet printers which deliver photo-quality output. Others, such as the latest Tektronix solid-ink printers, compete on another front — by offering free black ink.

The Monet machines come in two new models, the KPX-PS8000 in up to 1200 x 1200 dots per inch resolution, and the KX-P8410 at 600 x 600dpi. The more expensive model is the KPX-PS8000, which doubles up as a copier, printer and scanner.

Panasonic distributor MEC’s Joanne Bowey says buyers should take a good look at the cost of consumables — output from the Monet series costs between 5c and 70c a page, depending on colour density.

MEC is also offering its own range of consumables — Mega Matt 115gsm coated paper at $16.95 ex GST for 250 sheets, and 80gsm Reflex Laser 80gsm coated paper at $16.35 ex GST for 500 sheets.

For inkjet printers, MEC is offering universal refills at $49.95 ex GST for a colour kit and $26.95 ex GST for a black universal kit. Other options are available.

Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard is pushing at the high end of the monochrome laser market with a new A3 1200 x 1200 dpi printer in the 5000 series. Prices for these models start at $3500 ex GST.

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