The latest in the Bizhub series is an ideal printer/copier for an office environment with anything up to around 20 staff, but it’s scalable down to a studio of only a few people if you can afford it. It can be the output nerve centre of your business for printing, copying, scanning, faxing and just about any combination thereof.
Tests conducted by Desktop yielded a little under three and a half minutes to print out a 185 page document in mono, which works out at about 50 pages a minute — the sort of result you’d expect from such a well-specced machine. A colour runout of 96 pages with text and some large photos took four minutes 50 seconds, a count of around 18ppm, and there were a few delay stumbles as the Bizhub slowed to spool or process. Konica Minolta claims you can get up to 45ppm in colour from the Bizhub, which might be possible without large colour images.
The quality of the end product however is very good, the colours rich and deep. But don’t use it as a photo printer as it won’t take inkjet-style photo paper, either jamming on the paper or producing awful colour.
The Bizhub does everything you expect and plenty more you never knew was possible if you haven’t invested in a large business copier for a few years. A large, security-encrypted onboard hard disk can store everything from multiple user access levels or old forms for outputting to a huge number of jobs in processing.
It’s backed up with some impressive software features like Konica Minolta’s Unity Desktop. Put a copy on the glass or multiple sheets into the feeder and select ‘Word Conversion’ in the scan settings. The Bizhub scans each piece and coverts it via OCR to editable text, laid out with the images intact. It can also scan and email documents straight to users or across the web or simply in a variety of formats to your local system or server at settings of up to 600dpi.
Having the duplex unit as well means booklets, saddle stitching, folding and resizing are all in there somewhere and it’ll take you a little while to get used to how it all works but when you do it’s fairly intuitive. The copy quality is as high quality as that of the printer.
It’s all controlled from the large touch screen control panel on the unit. You need only tap it to wake the machine up in a scorching fast 30 seconds. There’s a total capacity of 6,500 sheets in four trays and you can print on anything up to 300gsm, which saves you ever getting business cards externally again if you have a guillotine and a steady hand.
The purchase price buys you set-up of your networking and installation of the unit by a Konica Minolta technician, and service contracts for replacement drums or ink for the first year. With a pleasing design for such a large device and a series of orange and blue lights that signal the paper levels and action under the hood, it’ll look at home in the grooviest of studios.