Oki's new printers wow visitors

Oki brings a whole range of new printers to Gitex; considers opening an office in the Middle East.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  October 3, 2004

For this year’s Gitex, print giant Oki is promising to deliver a strong line-up of colour and black and white digital LED (light emitting diode) printers, including its C3100 colour desktop machine. The C3100 impressed the editorial team at the Gitex Preview’s sister magazine, Windows Middle East, so much that the printer scooped the coveted Editor’s Choice award for September 2004. The C3100 features single pass mono and colour printing capability, a feature previously only found in high-end machines. A single pass printer is essentially able to get the print job done with the paper making only a single pass through the print mechanism, helping to speed up print times. The C3100 printer is now being shipped to the region, at a price just above US$700. "As the key exhibition in the region, Gitex attracts buyers from all over the Gulf and beyond. Consequently, it is a major part of our advertising and promotional spend for the year and has proven to be a source of quality leads and ultimate business," says John Ross, general manager for Oki Middle East & South East Europe. By appearing at the show, Oki can ‘support its distributor channel across the region, introduce its product range to potential new customers and demonstrate to the business user that there is a viable alternative to the brand that they would probably buy,’ Ross adds. Seeing that the Middle East is a very important region, Oki is not just keen to increase the number of products and services it offers here; it is also considering establishing a direct presence in the Middle East, according to Terry Laidlaw, regional VP, Eastern Region at Oki EMEA. "My personal view is that we are overdue to have a base on the ground. We are the only principal printer manufacturer that does not have a local presence and such a move would substantially improve the awareness of Oki in the region. We have reached a plateau operating from Europe due to time and cultural differences. This would be a logical move for us to make and is under active consideration," he adds. Gitex 2004 itself will see Oki display several new black and white models such as the B4100, B4250 and B4350 printers, and colour printers like the C5200/5400, the C7000 series and the C9000. This series is network-ready and comes with multiple functionality. Oki sees these products as offering exceptionally low running costs for business users as well as providing excellent print quality. The vendor provides a lifetime warranty on its digital LED imaging system and has a c ouple of printers targeted specifically at the small and medium business enterprise (SME) sector. "The new C5000 Series represents OKI’s commitment as printer specialists to continue to bring better colour printing to SMEs," says Ross. "The improvements that the C5200 and C5400 will bring to small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will see them benefit even more from the ability to print effective business communications inhouse."

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