Know More About Your Printer

First Page Out: There Is More Than Meets The Eye

Most users hardly consider the laser printer’s First Page Out feature. Instead, users take full notice of a printer unit’s speed in pages per minute of PPM as a primary consideration to purchase. The truth of the matter is that preference should rest on the First Page Out feature because this reflects the laser printer’s quick response performance. More should be expected from the initial page turnout if the printer is used in a networked office environment.

It is seldom for office personnel to send bulk print jobs of say 100 pages at a time to a networked printer. Most likely, print jobs cluster to around 5 copies forwarded at a time; unlike small print shops that cater to volume printing where ppm speed is necessary. While ppm would be of much use to print shops, the same will not be as effective in offices where print requirements are intermittent and far in between.

There is really more to a printer’s First Page Out than meets the eye because response time between lasers printers will most likely vary. To serve as basis for comparison is the quick response time of each laser printer towards delivering an initial 5 pages of documents after being in standby mode for some time. Let me cite the findings of QualityLogic, an independent research study group that reported how a printer’s First Page Out truly reflects total print time. The color laser printer’s HP Laserjet 4700n and Lexmark C782n are used as example. See table below.

Laser Printer
Pages per minute
(PPM)
Warm Up Time
(seconds)
Print Time
(seconds)
HP Laserjet 4700n 31 10 25
Lexmark C782n
40 (monochrome)
35 (color)
11 72

Note that reflected Print Time involves the initial print out of 5 pages following standby mode.

Laser printers, just like any other mechanical equipment require warm-up time to rev its engine, carry out programmed tasks and deliver the expected performance rated by manufacturers. Just like cars, warm-up time is critical to delivering 0 to 100 mph performance in matter of seconds.

The difference in print time between the HP and Lexmark laser printers only proves that no 2 printers can deliver similar quick response time. More importantly, there is no guarantee that the printer with a faster ppm can outperform the printer with a slower page turnout time as comparison between the HP and Lexmark printer disclosed. Nonetheless for print jobs over 100 pages, the ppm will reveal the rated performance speed level. The laser printer’s quick response time is critical in an office environment. Note that workplace efficiency is somehow affected when the laser printer is remiss in delivering print outs. when scouting for a new color laser printer, pay close attention to the printer’s First Page Out quick response feature because there is more to it than meets the eye or the regular laser printer user’s perception.

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