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PRINTERS ARE fast, produce beautiful output, and are cheaper to operate than inkjets of any competing technologies. The big obstacles to their wider use have been cost and the complexity of feeding them with multiple toners, developers, and other supplies.

With both barriers coming down fast, color lasers are becoming practical for use outside of corporate graphics departments. Minolta (201 825-4000) has become the first to break the $3,000 barrier with Color PageWorks printer, its initial entry into the market. While its 600-dot-per-inch resolution is coarser than some competitors, PageWorks is speedy and costs nearly $1,000 less than any rival. It turns out 12 black-and-white or 3 color pages per minute.

Where PageWorks shines on price, the $3,995 Phaser 560 from Tektronix (503 682-3411) provides convenience and performance. It offers resolution of 1,200 dots per inch and output of 14 monochrome or 5 color pages per minute. The printer produces excellent results on plain paper at a typical cost, according to Tektronix, of 2 cents for a black-and-white page and 8 cents for color.

The Phaser 560's best feature is its easy maintenance. The only components needing regular service are the four toner cartridges, and they're as easy to replace as the black toner in a standard laser printer.


PHOTO: Tektronix Phaser 560 Printer


Updated Sept. 4, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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