by Robert Palmer | 1/7/15
On January 5, Canon U.S.A introduced two new MFPs aimed at small and medium-size businesses and workgroups. Positioned as the new flagship products in its Color imageCLASS product line, the Color imageCLASS MF820Cdn and Color imageCLASS MF810Cdn deliver what Canon represents as new standards in areas such as productivity, image quality, and ease of use.
With print, copy, and scan speeds of up to 36 ppm, the MF820Cdn MFP is now the fastest imageCLASS color device in Canon’s lineup. Meanwhile, the MF810Cdn is only slightly slower with scan/copy speeds of 26 ppm. Both models offer a first-print-out time of approximately nine seconds, and come with standard support for USB and Ethernet connectivity.
There are several features included in the new models that are new to the imageCLASS product family. To begin with, the MF820Cdn and MF810Cdn are the first imageCLASS machines to support a color touch screen. According to Canon, users can interact with the new machines in a fashion similar to how they work with their mobile phones and tablets. The 3.5-inch display offers the ability to "flick" between screens to maximize productivity. In addition, users can create customizable buttons for commonly used features to help increase efficiency.
Both models ship standard with a 550-sheet paper cassette and a 100-sheet multipurpose tray, with support for an optional triple-cassette to produce a total paper capacity of up to a 2,300 sheets. Also new to the imageCLASS line are an Encrypted Send Security Kit option to help maintain data confidentiality during network transmission, and a Barcode Printing option, which allows users to print select bar codes in a readable format.
In addition, the new imageCLASS models support a broad array of Canon’s mobility solutions, including the Mobile Printing app and Mopria Print Service, which provides direct printing from Android-compatible mobile devices. The Canon Mobile Scanning for Business app offers further productivity enhancements for iOS and Android users, by allowing users to scan items directly into their compatible smartphones and tablets.
Both models feature the easy-to-use Canon Mobile Printing app, which is designed to help keep pace with today's demanding and changing workforce. This app enables users in homes and offices of all sizes to send print jobs directly from compatible Android tablets and smartphones to their Canon output device, and the ability for Apple users to send their print jobs to their Canon device from their compatible iPhone and iPad. Also supported is Mopria Print Service, a simple solution for users to print documents, emails, web pages and photos from compatible Android KitKat 4.4 smartphones and tablets.
For more information on Canon’s latest products, see press release.
By focusing on improving the end user experience, particularly for mobile applications, Canon’s latest imageCLASS MFPs continue a trend that is gaining significant traction among all OEMs these days. The “consumerization” of the MFP has become a hot topic and a focal point for many vendors, with an emphasis on providing a user experience that equals what customers have come to expect from their own smart phones and tablets. Extending that functionality to allow users to scan directly to the mobile device is an interesting feature, and one that will likely resonate well both with end users and channel partners.
The color MFP market has taken a hit over the past few years but there are signs of renewed interest, particularly among SMBs within the mid-range product segments. Among enterprise customers, color is often viewed as a luxury and many larger businesses are taking steps to restrict access to color devices and color functionality. On the other hand, SMB customers have a keen understanding of the value of color — particularly for those documents that reach the customer, such as promotional materials and other marketing collateral. As a result, SMBs are typically less concerned about the abuse or misuse of color for general office documents, at least compared to their enterprise counterparts.
Indeed, in-house marketing remains a growing opportunity in the SMB space, which should translate to increased demand for mid-range color MFPs. Of course, vendors must continue to keep an eye on key market drivers, such as total color operating costs and improved functionality. Without question, Canon’s latest products are positioned within the sweet spot of the SMB space, and the firm seems to be doing its part to address those factors that will foster continued customer interest.
Robert Palmer is chief analyst and a managing partner for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. He is an independent market analyst and industry consultant with more than 25 years experience in the printing industry covering technology and business sectors for prominent market research firms such as Lyra Research and InfoTrends. In December 2012 he formed Palmer Consulting as an independent consultancy focused on transformation, mobility, MPS, and the entire imaging market. Palmer is a popular speaker and presents regularly at industry conferences and trade events in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. He is also active in a variety of imaging industry forums and currently serves on the board of directors for the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA).