Epson, Ricoh Debut Color Laser Printers

Ricoh (800/955-3453, http://www.ricoh-usa.com ) is an established vendor of digital color copiers, and Epson America (800/463-7766, http://prographics.epson.com ) is well known for its color ink-jet printers. Now both are moving in new directions by offering their first color laser printers.

Ricoh has introduced a pair of color lasers. The $2,395 AP204, scheduled to ship by the time you read this, features 600-dpi resolution, a PostScript-clone controller, and a maximum color print speed of 4 pages per minute. It handles letter-size pages in its standard 250-sheet input tray, but you can also print on legal-size stocks by adding an optional second cassette. This May, Ricoh plans to ship the tabloid-format AP305. Pricing has not been set.

Epson's ColorPage 8000 uses the same 600-dpi tabloid-format printing engine found in recently introduced color laser printers from QMS and Tektronix. However, while those printers use built-in controllers, the ColorPage includes an external EFI Fiery print server with built-in PostScript 3, networking, and color-management capabilities. Epson will offer the printer exclusively through Ikon Office Solutions (610/296-8000, http://www.ikon.com ). The printer and Fiery server together will sell for just under $10,000.

See the sidebar Canon Returns to the Mac

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Welcome back, Canon. The company that developed the ink-jet engines for the Color StyleWriter 2500 and other Apple printers has returned to the Mac market with the BJC-6000, an ink-jet printer with an optional interface for USB-equipped Macs. Canon (800/652-2666, http://www.usa.canon.com ) claims that the BJC-6000 is its fastest ink-jet printer ever, producing up to 5 color pages or 8 monochrome pages per minute. The printer offers maximum resolution of 1,440 by 720 dpi and uses individual tanks for each color, so you don't have to replace all the CMYK inks when one runs out. The $249 printer requires a $69 USB adapter to work with a Mac. Canon offers an optional $43 Photo Ink cartridge for producing photo-quality prints.

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