CRN Printer Week: 8 Single-Function Printers For The SMB Market

Simpler And Cheaper

The printing world has historically been competitive, with manufacturers bragging that their printers can get to the first page faster than the others, or print one more page per minute.

And even as the number of pages being printed in the U.S. has been declining over the past few years, these OEMs are becoming more competitive and looking for new places to grow.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest areas these vendors are looking at for new sales is the same place they have been selling to all along: small and midsize businesses. Now, end users are driving that opportunity, acknowledging that it’s time to replace some of their traditional hardware with something simpler and more cost-efficient, rather than vendors seeking to sell larger models with more capabilities,

Here are eight single-function printers -- released within the past 13 months -- that were designed to fill that need.

Lexmark CS820 Series Color Printer

Maximum pages per minute: 60

Size (width/depth/height, in inches): 21.12/22/20.6

Lexmark's most recent release, which is available only through partners, focuses on what the company calls "the next generation" of A4 color laser printers, smart printers and multifunction printers.

The CS820 single-function printer, released in January, brings color printing to smaller businesses that want to begin printing in-house in order to be able to better serve customers. It offers a lower total cost of ownership with new, longer-lasting, higher-capacity toner cartridges,

The printer also comes with a 4.3-inch color touch screen that uses the Lexmark Embedded solutions framework, which allows end users to customize its applications and pre-establish settings for their business.

Canon imageClass LBP253dw

Pages per minute: 35

Size (width/depth/height, in inches): 15.9/14.9/12.5

Canon released its imageClass lineup in early April. That included the LBP253dw, which is designed to help bring the technology of built-for-enterprise printers to Canon's small-office customers.

This monochrome printer supports multiple mobile printing capabilities, including applications like AirPrint, Morphia Print Service, Google Cloud Print and Canon's own Print Business app. The device also supports near field communication and has a USB port for anyone who wants to print from a flash drive.

The printer also offers password-protected department ID management that can store up to 300 IDs and a Secure Print offering that keeps confidential printed documents safe.

Brother HL-L6400DW monochrome

Pages per minute: 52

Size (width/depth/height, in inches): 15.7/15.6/11.3

In February, Brother released a number of monochrome laser printers aimed at solving work group needs. The HL-L6400 comes with a high-yield toner cartridge that can print about 12,000 pages. And it was developed to have high-grade security with an NFC card reader that provides walk-up authorization to release print jobs, maintaining the confidentiality of certain jobs, as well as network user authentication features meant to protect against unauthorized access.

This printer also features a 1.8-inch, touch-screen display user interface that supports mobile printing from cloud applications like Dropbox and Google Drive, and mobile device applications like AirPrint, Google Cloud Print 2.0, Mopria, Brother iPrint&Scan and Cortado Workplace. The device also supports Wi-Fi Direct and NFC-enabled devices, keeping the print environment up to speed with today’s increasingly mobile workforce.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-M5194

Pages per minute: 20

Size (width/depth/height, in inches): 18.1/25.8/15.1

This printer utilizes Epson’s PrecisionCore technology, the manufacturer's new inkjet technology for business. The new solution, aimed at smaller, networked business groups, uses less ink than legacy inkjets and can print up to 10,000 pages, helping a business save money. Epson claims that the new printer can save owners up to 50 percent when compared with a similarly priced laser printer. It also comes with secure PIN printing, user-access control and Web configuration security features that help protect data sent to the device.

Epson released this model as part of its Pro M5000 series in March 2015.

Dell E310dw

Pages per minute: 27

Size (width/depth/height, in inches): 14/14.2/7.3

Dell released this printer in May 2015 as a simple option for small businesses with managed IT environments, such as those involving managed service providers.

The E515 can be connected to a network via Wi-Fi, USB or Ethernet and is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows mobile printing apps. It also features automatic double-sided printing, and can be managed from the Dell PrinterHub, a console that integrates printer functions and cloud connectivity to simplify printing tasks and maintenance.

OKI B512dn Monochrome

Pages per minute: 47

Size (width/depth/height, in inches): 15.2/15.5/11.2

OKI's B512dn monochrome, introduced last year, won the Better Buy Innovative Product of the Year award in March. The printer was cited for its quick speed, Wi-Fi print capabilities, high memory and lower cost of ownership.

The printer features 3 GB of memory and uses OKI's LED print head technology, which -- because of its lack of moving parts -- has less of a chance to malfunction and cuts maintenance costs, according to the company.

This device is also built for the increasingly mobile workforce and supports mobile printing cloud solutions like Google Cloud Print, AirPrint and OKI's mobile print app that’s available on Android devices.

Ricoh SP C435DN Color Laser

Pages per minute: 37

Size (width/depth/height, in inches): 17.48/25.91/19.29

Ricoh released its most recent small office printer in February. This model supports mobile printing applications and keeps the cost of business down by allowing small businesses to move print jobs in-house.

The SP C435DN can connect to two networks simultaneously, a help for businesses that run both corporate and guest networks onsite. It also has a 320 GB hard disk drive that provides local secure document storage, print on demand, secure print, and data protection with data encryption and data overwrite capabilities. Users can also store jobs on the hard drive for quick access to commonly used forms and documents.

The printer also supports mobile printing applications, including its own Smart Device Print&Scan app.

HP LaserJet Pro M452dw

Pages per minute: 28

Size (width/depth/height, in inches): 16.2/25.6/13.4

In early March, HP released four new printer lines, one of which, LaserJet, was aimed at clients that want to control printing costs while getting a high-quality product.

HP says its LaserJet ink system can help businesses save up to half of their per-page costs when comparing cost of ownership to those of similar laser printers.

The ProM452 uses HP's LaserJet technology as well as the HP Jet Advantage Private Print security feature, which holds print jobs in the cloud until they’re unlocked with a PIN or ID badge to avoid confidential hard copy from being seen by the wrong eyes.

This printer, with access via its 3-inch, touch-screen interface, is compatible with mobile print applications and includes an NFC reader so phones and tablets can send print jobs at the touch of a button.