Konica Minolta Named BLI’s 11x17 MFP Line of the Year for Unprecedented Fourth Straight Year
January 21, 2014 – Hackensack (NJ) – For the first time in the decades-long history of BLI’s awards, a manufacturer has won the 11x17 MFP Line of the Year award for a fourth consecutive year. The most coveted honor bestowed by Buyers Lab, the world’s leading authority on document imaging devices and solutions, Line of the Year is awarded once a year to the vendors whose products are determined to be the best in their respective categories of models tested in BLI’s rigorous two-month laboratory evaluation.
For 2014, as it has every year since 2011, that prestigious title goes to Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., Inc.
“What Konica Minolta has achieved with a fourth consecutive Line of the Year win is unprecedented,” said BLI Managing Editor Daria Hoffman. “The fact that year after year Konica Minolta continues to surpass the competition is a testament to the sustained quality of its 11x17 line.”
“What it boils down to with Konica Minolta is consistency,” said George Mikolay, BLI’s senior product editor for 11x17/Copier MFPs. “Whereas competing lines may stand out in certain speed bands, or in either color or black, Konica Minolta’s engines stand out across the board—in reliability, ease of use and image quality—in virtually all speed bands in both color and black. No other vendor brings the same quality of performance across its product line to the same degree.”
Reliability has proven to be the quality most important to buyers, and Konica Minolta’s product line has proven its mettle in this regard. Its current 11x17 products have logged more than 1.5 million impressions in BLI’s lab with consistently reliable performance. “In fact,” said Mikolay, “at real-world monthly usage volumes, it would take five Konica Minolta devices before users would experience even a single misfeed a month among them.”
BLI Manager of Laboratory Testing Pete Emory added, “The reliability Konica Minolta devices have consistently shown, from the low end to the high end, truly separates its line from others we have tested.” And the fact that Konica Minolta’s devices have user-replaceable color drums means that, unlike with many competitive devices, a service call is not required to replace them—a design that maximizes uptime.
Highly Productive and Standout Image Quality
“The color engines were found to quickly process and output users’ jobs not only in BLI’s real-world job stream test, but also when printing sets and producing booklets, and scan speeds are the fastest or among the fastest in their respective groups,” said Mikolay.
“All of Konica Minolta’s tested color devices received high marks for both business graphics and photographic images, producing bright, saturated color, natural flesh tones and smooth overall output.” Konica Minolta’s monochrome engines tested this year also earned high marks for printed image quality. “Even in copy mode, text was sharp, fine lines were consistent and halftone levels were distinct across all levels.”
Excellent Ease of Use and Robust Scan Functionality
Always easy to use, Konica Minolta’s excellent user interface, which allows users to easily switch among three different interfaces, has been further enhanced this past year with support for dragging and dropping and pinch-to-zoom, as well as the ability to rotate pages in a scan preview. The control panel also enables users to drag and drop files in a User Box to perform certain functions and rearrange pages in edit mode.
Also contributing to Konica Minolta’s 11x17 MFP Line of the Year accolade is the line’s robust scan functionality, which includes the ability to scan documents in PowerPoint format and optional searchable and encrypted PDF.
Solutions and More
Further enhancing this outstanding line is bizhub Extended Solution Technology (bEST), which enables integration of Konica Minolta devices with a range of applications that can help to control costs, heighten security and ease burdens associated with document capture, routing and management. Named BLI’s 2012 MFP Solutions Line of the Year, Konica Minolta now supports the bizhub MarketPlace—downloadable apps that allow users to display corporate announcements on their control panel, and to access a library of business forms and templates, check security settings, scan to Microsoft SharePoint and even order recycling boxes and print shipping labels.
Konica Minolta’s currently available 11x17 business color models include the “Pick”-winning bizhub C364e and bizhub C454e; the Highly Recommended bizhub C224e, bizhub C284e and bizhub C554e; and the bizhub C654e and bizhub C754e. Konica Minolta’s currently available 11x17 monochrome models include the “Pick”-winning bizhub 554e, and the Highly Recommended bizhub 284e and bizhub 364e, as well as the bizhub 654e and bizhub 754e, which are enhanced versions of predecessor models that earned Highly Recommended ratings. The monochrome line also includes the Recommended bizhub 215, and the bizhub 224e and 454e, which were not tested. Though they are not included in the 11x17 MFP Line of the Year award, Konica Minolta also offers production devices, including the PRO-Award winning bizhub PRESS C7000 and bizhub PRESS 1250/1250P, which further add to the scope and breadth of Konica Minolta’s offerings.
“Receiving ‘Pick’ awards from BLI, as well as the 2014 11x17 Line of the Year Award, further supports the leading innovation and proven performance of bizhub MFP solutions,” said Kevin Kern, senior vice president of marketing for Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., Inc. “We are honored to receive these awards and are committed to providing even more powerful solutions to our customers in 2014.”
“By assessing reliability, image quality, ease of use, productivity and a range of other criteria, BLI’s tests reveal to customers the products that deliver the best value and performance,” said BLI’s Hoffman. BLI congratulates Konica Minolta for producing quality performers across the board and once again winning 11x17 MFP Line of the Year for 2014.
About Buyers Laboratory LLC
Buyers Laboratory LLC (BLI) is the world’s leading independent provider of analytical information and service to the digital imaging and document management industry. For over 50 years, buyers have relied on BLI to help them differentiate products’ strengths and weaknesses and make the best purchasing decisions, while industry sales, marketing and product professionals have turned to BLI for insightful competitive intelligence and valued guidance on product development, competitive positioning and sales channel and marketing support. Using BLI’s web-based bliQ and Solutions Center services, 40,000 professionals worldwide create extensive side-by-side comparisons of hardware and software solutions for over 15,000 products globally, including comprehensive specifications and the performance results and ratings from BLI’s unparalleled Lab, Solutions and Environmental Test Reports, the result of months of hands-on evaluation in its US and UK labs. The services, also available via mobile devices, include a comprehensive library of BLI’s test reports, an image gallery, hard to find manufacturers’ literature and valuable tools for configuring products, calculating total cost of ownership (TCO) and annual power usage. BLI also offers consulting and private, for-hire testing services that help manufacturers develop and market better products and consumables.