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Sharps new Frontier A4 MFP with A3 extra’s

Published January 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm · Filed under Fax / MFP

Back to the future

Introducing Sharp’s new Frontier series: the A4 device with A3 functionality.

High speed A4 MFPs are being touted as ‘the next big thing’ in offi ce printing. But

this is not a description that you will fi nd Sharp group product marketing manager

Tom Primett using. For, as he points out, A4 devices have been around since the

fi rst days of the copier industry.

“People talk about A4 MFPs as if they were some revolutionary development

that copier manufacturers have kept back from their customers. But this is simply

not the case. The fi rst copiers were A4 and it was only when customers demanded

A3 machines that they became the dominant format. Now customers are asking

for A4 devices again and so that is what we are giving them,” he said.

In this respect, A4 devices like Sharp’s new Frontier series are more Back to

the Future than Brave New World.

What Primett doesn’t dispute is that demand for high speed A4 MFPs is growing

as businesses aim to reduce print costs by installing A4 MFPs: a) to replace

desktop printers that are hard to manage and expensive to run; and b) to replace

under-utilised A3 MFPs with devices that cost less to buy, take up less room, consume

less energy and require fewer resources to make and ship.

With the proportion of pages printed in A3 on most offi ce MFPs varying from

less than 3% to about 10%, depending on who you talk to, it makes sense for

businesses to deploy A4 devices close to workgroups with a smaller number of

A3 devices along the corridor for the minority of print/copy jobs that require larger

page sizes, long print runs or sophisticated fi nishing.

“Our customers have started to ask us about A4 devices because they can see

the benefi t of machines that are small enough to fi t anywhere and fl exible enough

to meet most demands. But what they don’t want is a mix of different devices that

all work in different ways. Nor do they want to experience any loss of productivity,”

Primett said.

“The benefits of consolidating a printer fleet will only be realised if you give

employees the same interface on every machine, from small workgroup devices to

large departmental MFPs. Otherwise they will simply use the device they feel most

comfortable with rather than the one that is most appropriate. The same applies

to print speeds and fi nishing options.”

To date, businesses requiring colour A4 MFPs have had a limited - and limiting

- choice. Colour A4 devices have either been too slow, lacked the features people

expect from a departmental device or have only been available from suppliers with

a narrow range that can’t meet all offi ce printing needs.

Sharp’s new Frontier series of 31 and 38 page per minute A4 colour MFPs

suffer from none of these drawbacks:

1) They are part of a family that also includes A3 devices offering print speeds of

26, 31, 41 and 50 pages per minute for both colour and B&W pages. All models

in the family have the same stunning design and user interface;

2) They are very fast, which means that customers will experience no loss of productivity

when switching from A3 to A4 devices;

3) They share the same powerful platform as the A3 devices, including support for

Sharp’s award-winning OSA, which allows them to be integrated with network applications

and workfl ows in the same way as Sharp’s A3 devices; and

4) Unlike many A4 devices, they come with all the features you would expect to

fi nd on a workgroup device, including a large colour touchscreen display; 80GB

hard disk for storing documents and previous jobs; Sharpdesk document management

software; Sharp’s Data Security Suite; and an optional inner fi nisher

for sorting, stapling and stacking. The machines also come with one or two

features you wouldn’t expect, like a Business Card Feeder that makes it easy

to scan business cards and the MFP Remote Front Panel Printer Administration

Utility that enables IT helpdesk professionals to view the control panel remotely

for quicker problem-solving.

“The market is full of A4 colour MFPs but they have very limited functionality

compared to our Frontier series,” Primett declared. “Printer-based all-in-ones tend

to be slow, often don’t have duplex printing, and don’t offer collation or stapling.

These are all features that offi ce workers demand and which the Frontier series

offers as standard. Our A4 MFPs are true offi ce solutions offering all the features

found in our A3 products.”

Whether you are a small business looking for a highly productive, compact colour

MFP or a large business wanting to reduce the number of standalone printers

or under-utilised A3 devices, the Sharp Frontier series of A4 colour MFPs is just

what you have been waiting for.

0800 1385051

…A choice of model

There are four models in Sharp’s Frontier series of A4 MFPs, all offering colour printing, copying,

network scanning and optional fax. The MX-C381 and MX-C380 have print speeds of 38 pages

per minute both for B&W and colour prints; and the MX-C311 and MX-C310 print and copy at

31 pages per minute. The MX-C381 and MX-C311 feature a large 8.5in colour touchscreen

LCD display suitable for viewing thumbnail previews of scans and stored documents, while the

MX-C380 and MX-C310 have a smaller 4.3in display.

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