Keypoint Intelligence – Buyers Lab has announced the winners of its PaceSetter awards in Ease of Use: A4 Small Workgroup and A4 Mid-Size Workgroup. These awards, based on testing by Buyers Lab and research conducted on the SMB market, recognizes the OEMs that have incorporated end-to-end ease of use in the design of their small and mid-size workgroup devices.
The winners for 2019–2020 are:
- Lexmark International, Inc.
BLI PaceSetter 2019–2020 in Ease of Use: A4 Small Workgroup
- Ricoh Usa, Inc.
BLI PaceSetter 2019–2020 in Ease of Use: A4 Mid-Size Workgroup
(also sold under the Savin and Lanier brands)
“Easy-to-use printers and MFPs are essential for the smooth functioning of any office environment,” said Kaitlin Shaw, senior editor of Printer/MFP Evaluation at Keypoint Intelligence – Buyers Lab. “Busy workgroups don’t have time to waste at the device. Next to reliability, a device’s usability is the most important factor for keeping workflow moving. Lexmark and Ricoh stood out above other OEMs as having the most user-friendly offerings for small and mid-size workgroup environments, respectively.”
To determine which OEMs lead the market, analysts at Keypoint Intelligence conducted an in-depth study on tested Ease of Use functionality, focusing on features that directly relate to small and mid-size workgroup habits and environments. Key areas of evaluation included print, scan, and copy functionality, control panels, routine maintenance procedures, and feedback.
Lexmark Recognized For Standout User-Friendliness
Lexmark offers a range of devices for small workgroups. Touchscreens make programming walk-up jobs easier, and print drivers make programming jobs from workstations simple. Helping to further reduce downtime, Lexmark keeps users informed of device status before they send jobs via its feedback utility. Buyers Lab analysts were impressed with Lexmark’s robust USB print capabilities too, particularly the broad range of supported file formats including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Also impressive is the level of guidance Lexmark’s touchscreens provide for user maintenance procedures; extensive, graphical, step-by-step instructions steer users seamlessly through the processes for toner replacement and misfeed removal.
RICOH’S Smart Operation Panel Offers Superior Usability And Advanced Features For Mid-Size Workgroups
Ricoh stood out far and above the competition in the mid-size workgroup category in every way—thanks largely to its intuitive Smart Operation Panel, which is available across its mid-volume (and higher) line. The large, Android-style display includes a web browser and lets users select from a wide range of Ricoh smart apps that can streamline workflows and enhance productivity. Helping to further reduce downtime, the Quick Copy and Quick Scanner menus can simplify the programming of scan and copy jobs. Buyers Lab analysts and technicians were impressed with the control panel’s level of customization, which includes one-touch presets and the ability to rearrange features and modify any screen. Scan functionality was also notable, with broad file format support and robust USB scanning (and printing) functionality. The devices are as easy to use as they are to maintain, offering extensive guidance on the control panel for clearing misfeeds and replacing toner. Furthermore, well-organized print drivers and the detailed feedback they offer to workstations make desktop activity as seamless as walk-up activity.
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