Panasonic has become the latest vendor to blur the lines between A4 and A3 devices, with the launch of the DP-MB500 series of mono MFPs.
Combining the low cost and high speed of an A4 MFP with the ability to print in sizes up to A3, the DPMB500 series represents a signifiant introduction for Panasonic as it continues to strengthen its position in the printer market, which it re-entered last year after an absence of five years.
In particular, it enables the company to target both A4 and A3 users with the same machines.
There are two models in the range, the DP-MB545 with print/copy speeds of 45 pages per minute (ppm) and the 36ppm DP-MB357.
Both models print on two sides of the page at their rated speed, have a paper capacity of 1,750 sheets, long-life consumables and a maximum monthly print volume of 150,000 pages, including up to 2,000 A3 pages per month.
Useful features include WiFi connectivity, support for printing from mobile devices and password-protected printing to maintain document security.
Sam Saunders, marketing and communications manager of DMC Business Machines, a distributor of the new printers, told PrintIT Reseller that the DP-MB500 series fills a big gap in the market.
He said: “What excites us at DMC is the versatility of these products. You have small, super-quick desktop devices that are A4 in footprintsize but A3 in capability. In our current portfolio we do have access to large, flor-standing A3 multifunctional devices or very expensive high-end professional A3 devices. But currently across our vendors there isn’t a product that allows desktop A3 at a reasonable purchase price and total cost of ownership, so that’s very exciting for us and our resellers. It plugs a huge gap in our portfolio.”
A3 output is still popular for proofs and spreadsheets, but according to most estimates currently accounts for less than 5% of the pages printed in offies. With the DP-MB500 series, small businesses and workgroups with limited A3 printing requirements no longer have to buy separate A4 and A3 devices or spend extra on a bulky A3 MFP. They can cover all their needs with one single, compact, affordable device.