16th Sep 2009
printer survey to collect information that will go into a Business Buyer’s Guide to Printers due to be published early next month. In common with our successful Software Satisfaction Awards, the survey asks participants to rate their systems in four categories: print quality, speed, reliability and value for money. This feedback ensures our commentary and recommendations are based on evidence from frontline users. The user ratings will include users’ own estimates of their per page costs, which will be compared with data from the manufacturers themselves. The Business Buyer’s Guides will be published for four separate sectors, covering desktops, workgroup, networked and enterprise-level machines. Each volume will put forward a selection of different types of printer (inkjet, mono laser, colour laser and multifunction) that have achieved the best ratings from our members. As the count now stands, HP remains the market leader with around 20% of the total sample share. Canon is the next biggest supplier, with a 17% share. The top two boast a respectable 3.31 satisfaction rating out of 4. Only Brother, third in the market share stakes with 8% of the total sample, has a higher satisfaction rating of 3.50. HP’s performance counteracts criticisms from some users (including the Sift Media technology editor) who have complained about a decline in the quality of its products and their software drivers. However, many of the better performing models from different manufacturers are no longer commercially available. A closer examination of the detailed ratings will focus on the user scores and running costs of currently available models to help us refine the final shortlists. The final reckoning will be published in October’s Business Buyers’ Guides. If you think other people would benefit from using a similar printer to yours (or you want to warn them away), please take a minute or two to add your observations via our online printer questionnaire.