One of the main things people do with a multifunctional printer (MFP) these days, and what has quickly become the most important thing they do with a copier in general, is to scan documents to a PDF file.
Scanning documents into a PDF file is the most versatile way to scan something because everyone can open a PDF. Your phone opens them, your computer opens them, your tablet opens them. Hey, even if your computer can’t open them, it will direct you to download a program that will open them.
In other words, when you scan documents to a PDF file, you can be guaranteed the person on the receiving end of that document will be able to open it. Moreover, you will be able to open it on all of your devices. I’ll get into more about that later, but first I will discuss how to scan documents into a single PDF file.
How to Scan Documents to a PDF File
When people ask me “How do I scan documents into PDF files?” they’re often surprised to learn how easy it is. After scanning a document, the screen will present options asking what you want to do with it. Options may include emailing the document, saving on the MFP itself, or saving as a PDF.
When saved as a PDF the document can be opened on a computer, sent to a mobile device, or stored however you wish. You can scan documents into a single PDF file, or create multiple files for multiple documents. It all depends on how you want to store the data.
The Importance of Scanning
People print more than they copy, but every year people are scanning more than they print. There are several reasons why scanning is it outpacing copying and printing.
In an effort to create a more paperless office, many business owners have begun scanning documents and storing only the digital copies. If that’s something you happen to be interested in, please see our article on digital document management best practices.
Perhaps the most obvious reason why people scan as much as they do is because it’s easier to send digital documents than physical documents. Lastly, scanning has become so big because the barrier to entry has never been so low.
With a pretty inexpensive MFP you can still scan in color, even if the MFP only outputs black and white. You can take a color brochure, scan it on a black and white machine, and send it in full color to whoever needs it.
Scan Documents to a PDF File: In Summary
When you scan documents to a PDF file, anyone with a computer or mobile device can open them. PDFs are so common that, in most cases, the operating system a person is using will have a built-in PDF viewer. In the event that there is no PDF viewer, the computer will prompt the user to download an application to open the file.
Scanning documents into any format other than PDF could present challenges, as there may be difficulties opening the file. Another benefit of PDFs is that they’re highly editable. Many applications exist for computers and tablets that allow you to markup PDFs with ease. To get started scanning documents into PDF files, please inquire about leasing a new or used MFP today.
As the owner of Dean Office Solutions, I’ve been involved in this business for nearly 35 years. With that much experience, I can say with confidence that most of the equipment in this industry is under a copier lease contract.
Even more copiers are leased per deal than cars. Sure, people still buy copiers to some extent, but in my business, almost all copiers are leased.
A copier lease contract is so popular because it offers a tremendous value. For an affordable monthly price you can have a brand new copier in your office, and even throw in a copier maintenance contract that will cover the machine for the length of your lease.
Another reason why a copier lease contract offers greater value is because there’s always an opportunity to upgrade after a set number of years. Buying a machine is so final. It means you own that copier for the foreseeable future. Not everyone wants to make that kind of commitment, especially if they like to keep up with current technology.
If you’re the type of person that likes to upgrade every three years, then signing a three-year copier lease agreement gives you the opportunity to return the machine and lease a new one. You’ll also have the option to keep the machine at the end of the lease if that’s what you decide on.
Why Sign a Copier Lease Contract With Dean Office Solutions
With nearly four decades in the business, I’ve become a lease expert. I’ve gotten to know all the major lease companies and deal with many of them directly. I’ve also learned who not to deal with, like the ones who make copier contracts difficult for customers.
We deal exclusively with customer-friendly companies, which we judge based on how easy they are to deal with at the end of a lease. You see, there are things that need to be done at the end of a lease so it doesn’t go into renewal.
Letting a lease expire, without notifying the leasing company of your intentions, will cause it to go into renewal. Renewal can be from one to twelve months and getting out of it is a pain, if at all possible.
Even worse is when you throw copier service contracts into the mix as well. If you have had a service contract that ran concurrently with your lease, and your lease expired, you’ll need to make additional arrangements for service on top of paying for your lease.
In order to avoid renewing your lease, you need to send a letter or email indicating you intend to return the machine. The letter should be sent several months ahead of the lease end date.
With that said, we deal with companies that will gladly accept their machine back at the end of the lease and keep the customer experience as simple as possible.
Copier Lease Contract: In Summary
Whether you’re a customer of ours or not, we can look at your current lease and guide you in the right direction. Our free copier lease audit will show you what you have to do, and help you get everything in place before the end of your lease. Then, after your lease is up, we’ll be happy to pair you with a new model.
If you’re interested in extending the life of your equipment, please see our article full of helpful maintenance tips.
In the next and final installment in our series of articles comparing major copier brands, we come to Konica Minolta vs Xerox.
If you have read any previous entries in this series you may be familiar with how Xerox stacks up to the competition— which is to say, it doesn’t.
Xerox is not the company it once was, and can hardly be considered a serious competitor in the mid-range market, which is what we’re involved in at Dean Office Solutions.
When it comes to Konica Minolta vs Xerox printers, in the mid-range market, Konica offers a much better product than what you would get from Xerox. Konica Minolta is one of the manufacturers that has put a lot of time, effort, and resources into becoming one of the big players in the multifunctional printer (MFP) market.
Konica Minolta makes an excellent machine, but it doesn’t compete with Xerox in the absolute highest end market. Xerox is still king when it comes to production equipment, such as those at print shops which output hundreds of pages per minute.
However, that’s irrelevant in this discussion of Konica vs Xerox, as a typical business owner is not in the market for a production machine. Although it’s worth knowing in case you’re wondering why the next print shop you go into is full of Xerox machines.
At Dean Office Solutions we do not sell new Konica Minolta or Xerox machines, although we do service and repair them. On that note, I must mention that there is no winner between Konica vs Xerox when it comes to maintenance. The cost of maintenance and repair on both of these brands is generally higher than others in the same category.
Xerox parts are harder to come by, they’re more expensive, and fewer people service them. On the other hand, Konica Minolta copier models use proprietary parts that are pricey to replace. For example, Konica uses special parts called imaging units that could cost up to $500, and that’s if you only need one.
Another potential drawback of Konica Minolta machines is that some users find the interface more difficult to navigate compared to other leading brands. Less tech-savvy individuals may have a difficult time migrating to a Konica machine, so keep that in mind when considering who is going to be using it.
Konica vs Xerox: In Summary
If you’ve narrowed down your options to Konica vs Xerox, know that with Konica you’re getting a better machine but it’s not the most affordable to maintain. Although it will be easier to find Konica copier service when you need it, due to the fact more people service them.
My recommendation between Konica vs Xerox easily goes to Konica Minolta in this comparison. Konica is a hard working company that’s still on its way up, whereas Xerox coasts on its reputation and has been on a steady decline.
At this point, the very future of Xerox in the mid-range market is uncertain. When investing in a Konica machine you’re putting your money behind a company that will be a major player for a long time to come. For the best price on a Konica Minolta MFP, please inquire about our used Konica Minolta copiers.
In our next installment of comparing differences from major brands, we arrive at the two biggest names in the industry— Canon vs Xerox copiers.
Xerox’s First Major Competitor
Xerox has become synonymous with photocopying, due in large part to the fact it invented the plain paper copier in the 1960s. Until the 1970s Xerox commanded 100% of the plain paper copying market, which is when Canon came along.
Canon was the first big company to present a formidable challenge to Xerox in the fight for supremacy in the copier business. The company’s first entry in the market was a simple black and white printer. From there, the company has since expanded its product line with models in every category.
Canon vs Xerox — Canon is King
Today, Canon now has more placements than any other copier brand out there. The market share of Xerox is minuscule compared to what it once was. Xerox went from owning the entire market to owning about 10-15% of the market at present time. Of course, that’s not all due to Canon. Other copier brands like Ricoh and Sharp have also been eroding Xerox’s share of the market.
Since there are more Canon copiers in offices than any other, it’s much easier to find Canon copier service compared to Xerox. With more options for Canon copier repair service, you can have peace of mind that your copier will always be in business.
There’s a reason why Canon has the most placements out of any other copier brand, and that’s because it makes a better product. With superior machines at reasonable prices, coupled with plenty of brand marketing, Canon has become the company to beat.
Admittedly, Canon’s brand awareness means there is usually a higher price associated with its products compared to lesser known brands. One thing that is equal between Canon vs Xerox is that, with both brands, you’re paying for the name to some extent. Make no mistake, with Canon you’re also paying for a top-of-the-line machine, but there is a premium for the brand.
In most of the segments we compete in at Dean Office Solutions, which is low-to-mid volume with some high volume, Xerox lags behind the others. In the range of equipment that outputs up to 90 pages per minute, Xerox is not that big of a player anymore.
Canon vs Xerox: In Summary
Canon is easily the top brand when comparing Canon vs Xerox and, at this point, it may be the number one copier brand in the world. Canon is closely followed by Sharp, Kyocera, and Ricoh. Xerox remains competitive in the real high-end market, which includes the type of equipment you’d find at print shops. Xerox is still at the top of its game when it comes to copiers used as a printing press in large, in-house corporate environments, and also print-for-pay environments.
For all other commercial printing needs, Canon is the brand you want. Whether you’re in need of a color or black and white machine, Canon offers the best of both. As one of the leading Canon dealers in NJ, in addition to buying and leasing new copiers, we are happy to offer Canon copier rental service and a full selection of used Canon copiers. Getting a top machine from today’s leading brand has never been easier.
In this next installment of comparing office equipment brands, we are looking at the differences between Kyocera vs Xerox copiers.
As I mentioned in a previous article, Xerox is synonymous with photocopiers. Xerox is much more well known than Kyocera, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. Before I get into Kyocera vs Xerox, here is a little background information on Kyocera to get you more acquainted with the brand.
Kyocera vs Xerox: Background on Kyocera Products
Kyocera has been around since the 1960s and got its start by manufacturing ceramic insulators for television picture tubes. Since then it has vastly diversified its product offerings.
As Kyocera grew it acquired companies which allowed it to expand its product line. In January 2000, Kyocera acquired photocopier manufacturer Mita Industrial Company and created Kyocera Mita Corporation (now Kyocera Document Solutions Corporation).
Kyocera Document Solutions now manufactures a wide range of copiers, multifunctional printers, and toner cartridges. Currently, Kyocera office equipment is marketed under the “Copystar” name. It’s safe to say that Kyocera is now one of the most successful copier companies in the world.
If you did the math, you’ve figured out that Kyocera has been in the copier business for 18 years. It has not yet earned the reputation and name recognition of Xerox, which has been in the industry for several decades.
The problem with that is Xerox coasts on its reputation while producing machines that are largely inferior to its competitors. At one time Xerox had 100% of the plain paper copier market. Unfortunately for Xerox, it did not change with the times and is now barely able to compete in an industry it invented.
However, Xerox is still seen by most as a company that produces a good product. Due to its name being so well-known, those who have not done their due diligence may still believe it’s top-of-the-line. That is simply not true anymore.
When comparing Kyocera vs Xerox, I can say without hesitation that Kyocera makes better products. The only thing holding it back is that not as many people know about it.
The sticker price of a Kyocera photocopy machine will almost always be cheaper than Xerox when comparing similar machines. In addition, the overall cost of ownership will be cheaper. Xerox machines are less reliable, which means more frequent service calls, and the cost of toner is more expensive.
Another lesser-known fact about Kyocera is that there’s only one common driver for all of its machines. That means it’s extremely user-friendly to both set up and update a Kyocera machine. With an extensive set of software solutions, Kyocera also makes it easier to store electronic documents.
One final note about Kyocera copier models is that they have the ability to “mimic” the color of machines from other major brands. So if you used to own a Sharp machine and liked the way it produced color copies, you can get comparable image reproduction from a Kyocera machine.
In Summary: Kyocera vs Xerox
I would be remiss to end this article without giving credit where it’s due— Xerox does have some redeeming qualities. Xerox excels when it comes to production equipment, which is why you’re most likely to see Xerox machines when you go to a print shop.
But in this article, we’re looking at Kyocera vs Xerox in terms of office equipment, not production equipment. For small, medium, and large office copiers Xerox does not compare to Kyocera.
In this installment of comparing major manufacturers of office equipment, we’re going to take a look at Sharp vs Xerox copiers. Having created the copier industry in the 1960s, Xerox is obviously one of the biggest names, if not the biggest.
Xerox is so well-known that it has even become synonymous with making photocopies. It has reached the level of brands like Thermos and Kleenex where people use the brand name interchangeably with the name of the product. I’m sure you’ve heard people say “Can you Xerox this for me?” instead of “can you copy this for me?” — maybe you’ve even said it yourself.
There is no brand which reaches that level of notoriety without producing a quality product, but the quality of Xerox machines has waned in recent years. In fact, I would even go as far as to say Xerox has fallen on hard times.
Xerox used to be known for being the best, and that’s not necessarily the case anymore. It has become a brand that rests on its laurels and continues to sell products based on the reputation it earned years ago.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Sharp, which is a brand you wouldn’t usually associate with multifunctional printers (MFPs). For that reason, I would say it is the most under-appreciated brand in the industry.
When you think of Sharp you probably think of TVs, washing machines, or even kitchen appliances before you think of office equipment. You may be surprised to learn that Sharp is actually responsible for developing the world’s first electronic copy machine. Sharp has been in the industry longer than most people realize.
Sharp launched the world’s first LSI-embedded copy machine, which made it possible to shrink the control board to fit onto a single printed circuit board. In doing so, Sharp also improved the reliability and lowered costs compared to other units.
That’s still the mantra that the company brings to Sharp MFP models today— reliability, efficiency, and low costs. This is especially true when you’re comparing Sharp vs Xerox, as Xerox charges a premium for its name despite its products not being as good. Sharp copier prices are generally hard to beat when put side-by-side with comparable models from other brands. Sharp copier maintenance is also less expensive.
Most of Xerox products aren’t even made in-house anymore. Xerox manufactures its really high-end products while outsourcing the other machines to third-party manufacturers.
As far as business-type copy machines go, whether color or black and white, I have no hesitation saying Sharp is the best in class.
In Summary: Sharp vs Xerox
There really is not much of a comparison between Sharp vs Xerox. For the money, Sharp machines will always come out well ahead. Compared to Xerox, Sharp machines are less expensive to own (or lease), less expensive to maintain, and built with more heavy duty materials. Moreover, unless you’re buying the highest end machine, you can’t be assured that a Xerox machine is actually manufactured by Xerox.
There you have it. Unlike many of the comparisons I’ve done thus far, Sharp vs Xerox has a clear winner. If you’re in the market for a new machine, whether Sharp or otherwise, please inquire about our competitive copier leasing options.
In our next installment of comparing office equipment manufacturers, we are looking at the differences between Konica Minolta vs Ricoh copiers. I can tell you right away that there is a greater difference between Konica vs Ricoh copiers than any of the other copier companies we have compared up to this point.
To be fair, there is a significant difference between Konica and any other photocopier brands because it uses expensive, proprietary parts. The upfront cost to buy or lease a Konica Minolta machine is comparable to other brands. Where the difference really comes into play is the cost of maintenance.
No one likes to consider the cost of maintenance on a new machine because no one wants to imagine their machine going down. A fact of life is that a machine with moving parts will inevitably require maintenance, and even the most well-made copier is no exception.
Maintenance must definitely be considered when buying or leasing a machine, and with Konica Minolta, you’ll be paying far more compared to maintenance on other brands. I’ll explain why.
Konica vs Ricoh — What Makes Konica So Expensive
Konica Minolta uses a proprietary piece of equipment in its machines called imaging units. If you’ve ever dealt with equipment that has proprietary parts before, think of Apple, for example, then you know how expensive they can be to fix or replace.
A Konica machine uses multiple imaging units, and each one costs about $500 to replace. Konica machines cannot run properly without all imaging units being functional, so there’s no choice but to replace an imaging unit if it’s not working.
Even if $500 doesn’t sound like a lot compared to your other business expenses, it’s going to add up to a lot more over time if multiple imaging units go down more than once. Not to mention Konica Minolta service providers capable of repairing or replacing imaging units are few and far between. With that in mind, you’re taking a real gamble if you buy or lease a Konica machine without a service contract.
The cost of maintenance on a Konica machine can be offset by a service contract, which will cover the cost of parts and maintenance for 3-5 years. For an affordable monthly price, you can ensure your Konica machine stays up and running, regardless of how many imaging units need to be replaced.
Make no mistake, Konica Minolta makes a reliable machine and I would never discourage a customer from leasing one as long as they know what they’re getting into. Since we’re comparing Konica vs Ricoh, I would be remiss not to mention the drastic differences in the cost of maintenance.
If you’re dead set on getting a Konica machine, then take my advice and don’t let it leave the dealership without a service contract.
Konica Minolta makes an excellent machine, though it is more expensive to maintain and the upfront cost is more when comparing Konica vs Ricoh. In the grand scheme of things, Konica may not be the best choice because of the cost of items that are required to maintain the machine over a period of time. Both will produce good copies, but Konica is always more expensive and Ricoh can be maintained very inexpensively. In my opinion, that is tough to beat.
For information about service contracts, please inquire about our affordable maintenance agreements.
In this next installment of comparing office equipment manufacturers, we are looking at Canon vs Ricoh. These are both major brands and both make good machines, though Canon has a bigger name in the industry due to how well recognized it has become.
Other brands are not far behind though, and working in the copier industry I can tell you that Ricoh is perhaps more ubiquitous than Canon. Personally, I’m partial to Ricoh because of how familiar I have become with its machines over the years.
Ricoh is one of the unsung heroes of the copier industry. More and more people are leasing Ricoh machines because they’re starting to understand they can get a fantastic multifunctional copier for less than the cost of the “big guys.” Parts and consumables for Ricoh machines can be very inexpensive as well— they’re the cheapest to run as far as toner goes.
With Canon, you end up paying more for the machine itself, as well as Canon copier repair service, because of the name. Canon feels it can command a higher price due to name recognition, not necessarily because it offers better products. However, there are certain use cases where spending the extra money for a Canon machine may be worth it to you.
Canon vs Ricoh: When A Canon Machine is Worth the Price
As far as color machines go, you simply cannot beat the quality of a Canon color copy. Canon is a company which has built its name off of producing high-quality images, and it really shows in its color copiers.
The average user will certainly be satisfied with the color copies from a Ricoh machine— but if your business needs to produce the absolute best color copies money can buy then you should look toward Canon.
Canon can also output your color copy jobs faster, with top speeds reaching up to 60 pages per minute. Comparing Canon vs Ricoh, a top-of-the-line Ricoh copier can output around 50 pages per minute. When it comes to mid-range commercial machines the difference is less noticeable, with Canon outputting around 22 color pages per minute compared to Ricoh’s 20 pages per minute.
If you’re in the market for a strictly black and white machine then there is even less difference between Canon vs Ricoh, besides cost. You can safely choose between either Canon or Ricoh and be assured you’re getting a reliable, efficient machine.
On the other hand, if you need the highest quality color reproduction, and have a larger budget to work with, then Canon is the best choice.
In Summary: Canon vs Ricoh
With Canon, you are getting an industry-leading product, one that has the best color copy output in the industry. Canon commands more money for its machines and Canon repair, though you don’t necessarily need to pay that money depending on your needs. Other machines, like Ricoh, are so close in terms of quality that it might not be worth extra money.
To extend the life of your copier when you buy or lease your next machine, please inquire about our copier maintenance contracts.
Kyocera and Ricoh are both considered to be among the top manufacturers of office equipment. They both make excellent machines, but Kyocera is just slightly more premium.
It’s difficult to compare any brand to Kyocera because, in my educated opinion, it is the premier product out right now. It may even be the biggest copier company in the world at this point.
Between Kyocera vs Ricoh, the former is superior in terms of ease-of-use, reliability, and cost of ownership. It’s the easiest machine to maintain. In addition, the company is always innovating, releasing new products on a regular basis.
So if you’re looking for a short answer to which is the best between Kyocera and Ricoh— the answer is Kyocera. If you’re looking for a more detailed breakdown of the difference between the two brands, then keep reading.
Comparing Kyocera vs Ricoh
Kyocera and Ricoh are both major manufacturers of office equipment so they have similar product offerings. Ricoh has slightly more selection since it also offers specialty models for wide format printing.
Kyocera machines are better suited for higher volume users because they’re more economical to run and hardly ever go down. We get the least amount of service calls for Kyocera machines compared to other brands, and customers report that they save money on supplies after switching to Kyocera.
The fact that Kyocera is less expensive to run compared to Ricoh is a considerable achievement– Ricoh is often commended for its inexpensive operating costs. That’s what I mean when I say they both make great products, but Kyocera has a slight edge.
If you’re a low volume user the difference between Kyocera vs Ricoh could come down to personal preference, or whatever fits in your budget. Naturally, using a machine less will lead to lower costs and reduced downtime. So low volume users may not benefit as greatly from the low operating costs of a Kyocera machine. Moreover, like I said before, Ricoh machines are very affordable to run in their own right.
Kyocera and Ricoh are what I like to consider as hidden gems. They’re not talked about much, and they tend to go under-appreciated because they don’t have the name recognition of brands like Canon, Xerox, and Sharp. That might sound bad, but it’s actually a good thing for businesses.
Brands with greater name recognition feel like they can charge more for products. That could lead to people spending more money on a lesser machine. With Kyocera and Ricoh you can oftentimes get a machine that’s better than the “bigger” brands for less money. Any parts needed for a Kyocera or Ricoh machine will also be less expensive than parts for the big name brands.
So if you’re comparing prices don’t be fooled when you see a Kyocera or Ricoh copier being sold for less than a Canon, for example. As with most things in life, the highest price does not always equal the highest performance.
In summary– in comparing Kyocera vs Ricoh I would give the nod to Kyocera for higher volume users. Lower volume users should certainly be pleased with either brand. As one of the leading Kyocera copier dealers in NJ, you can turn to us for sales, leasing, or Kyocera copier repair service.
Although it’s the most reliable machine on the market, it helps to have coverage when you need it. Ensure you’ll always have the Kyocera copier service you need with a copier maintenance agreement. To learn more about how to care for a copier, please see our article on proper copier handling.
Over the years, Dean Office Solutions has been involved in servicing equipment from all major brands out there. We’ve been able to compare different brands of office equipment, experiencing their strengths and weaknesses first hand.
As a service company, we can get parts and supplies for every manufacturer. Throughout our decades in business, parts, and supplies from all the top brands have been in and out of our warehouse.
With such extensive experience, customers often turn to us when trying to decide on one brand over another. In an ongoing effort to assist customers, this will be the first in a series of articles where I will compare the major office equipment manufacturers. In the end, I will give you my educated opinion on who makes the better machine.
Comparing Sharp vs Ricoh Copiers
When comparing the brands, Sharp vs Ricoh, it’s important to note that both are considered to be among the top manufacturers of office equipment. To me, “top manufacturer” refers to a brand that offers office equipment as a key component of their product line. In contrast, there are brands like Panasonic that make copiers as a side business.
Individual units from Sharp and Ricoh have strong and less strong points. They both put out a good product, and I certainly couldn’t say either one of them is “bad.” However, there are things that one brand does better than the other. So deciding between Sharp vs Ricoh really comes down to what type of copier you’re looking for. Here is a comparison of the color and black & white machines from both companies.
Black & White
As far as the black & white machines go, Sharp and Ricoh are very similar in terms of reliability, ease of use, and copier features and options. Both make good black and white copiers. In the black & white copying and printing market, Ricoh and Sharp are neck and neck. I honestly wouldn’t pick one over the other because you can’t go wrong with either of them.
When it comes to color copiers they both make a good machine but Sharp excels at making a terrific Commercial Color Copier. If you’re outputting more than 1,000 color copies per month then you will find Sharp to be more reliable. Consumables last longer, and there’s just a little less downtime. Ricoh still makes a very good color machine, but I have to give Sharp the nod primarily because of its outstanding reliability. Sharp makes the most reliable color copier in the industry, and Sharp copier service calls are less frequent compared to Ricoh.
If you’re comparing copiers and trying to decide between Sharp vs Ricoh, then you’ve narrowed it down to two top-of-the-line brands. What it really comes down to is how you plan to use the machine. If you are looking for a commercial color copier then there’s no better option than Sharp. If you’re looking to print in black & white, or a low volume of color prints, then you can feel confident about having either a Sharp or Ricoh machine.
No matter which option you choose, regardless of how reliable a machine is, I would always recommend getting a copier maintenance contract. In addition to parts and repairs, a maintenance contract will cover all of your supplies for years to come.