Sharp MX-5500N Product specifications

Exceptional
Sharp MX-5500N
55 ppm Monochrome/41 ppm Colour
Print • Copy • Scan• Fax • Internet Fax
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL.
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through
the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
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Table of Contents
Introduction
Device Features Summary
4
4
Paper Handling: Input Features Summary
Reloading Paper Supplies
What We Liked/What We Would Like to See
6
7
7
Paper Handling: Paper Input
6
Paper Handling: Paper Output/Finishing
9
Paper Handling: Output/Finishing Features Summary
Finishing Options
Finishing Productivity
What We Liked/What We Would Like to See
9
9
10
11
Routine Maintenance
12
Maintenance Features Summary
What We Liked/What We Would Like to See
Paper Jam Removal
Toner Replacement Process
12
12
13
14
Status Monitoring
Job Queue Reporting
Security Settings
Address Book Management
Cost Control Reporting
Scan Templates
Email Notification Alerts
Job Log Management
What We Liked/What We Would Like to See
16
16
16
17
17
17
18
18
19
Security Features Summary
What We Liked/What We Would Like to See
20
21
15
Security
20
Exceptional
O FFIC E
Device Management
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
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Table of Contents
Accessibility
22
22
22
23
Copy Features Summary
Image Quality
What We Liked
What We Would Like to See
24
25
26
27
Document Filing
Accessing Document Filing Documents from Desktop
What We Liked/What We Would Like to See
31
32
33
Print Features Summary
Ease of Installation
Print Productivty
PCL6 Print Driver Functionality
Image Quality
What We Liked/What We Would Like to See
34
34
36
37
40
41
Scan Features Summary
Scan to Email
Scan Data Capture Accuracy
Scan Data Capture Accuracy Results
Scan Data Capture Productivity
Scan Data Capture Productivity Results
What We Liked/What We Would Like to See
42
43
45
46
47
47
48
Copy
24
Print on Demand
30
Print
34
Scan
42
O FFI C E
22
User Accessibility to Device Controls
User Accessibility for Paper Refilling
User Accessibility for Paper Jam Removal
What We Liked/What We Would Like to See
Summary 49
About BERTL 50
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
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Introduction
Device Features Summary
55 ppm
Colour Engine Speed
41 ppm
First Copy Out Mono
4.0 seconds
First Copy Out Colour 8.4 seconds
Warm Up Time
6 minutes
Maximum Monthly
Volume
Info Not
Available
Copy
Standard
Print
Standard
PSTN Fax
Optional
Internet/Network Fax
Optional
TWAIN Scan
Standard
Network Scan
Standard
BERTL analyst tests the Sharp MX-5500N
The MX-5500N boasts 55 ppm monochrome/41 ppm colour output and
the same finishing and media handling capabilities that have already made
Sharp’s monochrome departmental range a BERTL award winner. The Sharp
MX-5500N is fully equipped to handle the rigours of a busy department. Front
office users can handle a much wider range of colour jobs themselves with
the MX-5500N, jobs that previously would have been sent down to the CRD
(resulting in a time lag), or contracted out to a local print provider (at great
expense). The fast 55 ppm monochrome engine allows the device to handle
not only the colour workload—but for many—the entire monochrome workload
as well. The savings on hardware and leasing can make up for the higher click
charge compared to a dedicated monochrome alternative.
While Sharp may be marketing the MX-5500N as a departmental workhorse, there are some obvious indicators that Sharp has its sights on entering
the back office. The device supports 12" x 18" media in the main paper trays
and BERTL has heard rumours of a Fiery driven front end coming in the near
future. The quality of Sharp’s MX-5500N colour reproduction—an improvement
over previous Sharp colour products to the point of competing with graphicsoriented printer/copiers—will also attract the attention of the back office buyer.
On initial contact with the Sharp MX-5500N MFP, one can’t help but notice
the large, full-colour control panel, which sets the scene for what is one of the
easiest devices to use in the market today. The role of the user in the planning phase of this, and the other MX series devices, can not be overlooked.
Enhancements to this new generation of devices include features and design
elements for selection and data entry; the ability to use the USB port to print
hard copies and scan to email; and an improved colour palette with a wider
colour gamut as compared to the previous model.
Exceptional
Monochrome Engine
Speed
O FFIC E
The MX-5500N is a new
entry into Sharp’s
business color MX series,
which now ranges from 23
ppm to 70 ppm. Building
on the same administrative
and technology backbone
as the already launched
MX-2300N/2700N/3500N/
3501N/4500N/4501N
series, the MX-5500N and
its sister products, the
MX-6200N and MX-7000N,
extend Sharp’s business
colour offerings from the
workgroup into the heart of
a busy department—and
even the CRD or print
shop.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Introduction
Sharp Open Systems Architecture
Sharp’s Open Systems Architecture (Sharp OSA) is based on Microsoft
.NET environment, one of the popular building block frameworks for software
developers today. It allows independent software vendors (ISV), dealers, and
end users to develop specific applications that can be run through the touch
screen of the MFP.
The benefits of this Sharp OSA are multiple:
• The cost of implementing software applications is lower due to the reduction
in hardware components.
• The more efficient end-user experience delivers productivity benefits.
• Workflow processes can be streamlined in a single step.
Sharp stresses that its Sharp OSA will be user-friendly, allowing dealers and
end users—not just the software giants with large development budgets and
unlimited IT resources—to take advantage of the architecture.
BERTL analyst navigating the control panel.
This is so important as small- and medium-sized customers look for something more than a solution out of a box but do not want to spend exorbitant
amounts for special software. With Sharp OSA, dealers can give buyers the
customized and special treatment they desire without the pricey solution.
BERTL has already been privy to beta-level demonstrations of a multitude
of software applications running on Sharp OSA including cost control, scan
middleware routing, and document management applications. The Sharp OSA
is currently available for the MX series through local dealerships.
• A customisable user profile on the control panel that users can choose from up to
eight user workgroups
• Open Systems Architecture (OSA) to maximise small- to mid-sized companies business flows and customisation
• Expansive Pantone colour palette enhancement for more customized colour selection
• Support of heavy card stock and the ability to apply it to all paper trays, bypass tray
and document feeder
• An optional post-printing insertion process to set up professional presentation
materials.
• The ability to change colour toners on the fly
• Dual large-capacity black toners supplied and the ability to change toner
while printing.
At first, a user may find that the Sharp’s MX-5500N looks and feels similar to
the other products in the MX series. However, it’s larger and faster, much more
powerful, and has a number of improved features including a larger colour
touch screen. The device has earned BERTL’s Five-Star Exceptional rating.
Exceptional
O FFI C E
The Sharp MX-5500N comes with an expansive list of features with multiple
improvements and enhancements:
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
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Paper Handling: Paper Input
Weight
The majority of paper used in the general office is graded between 20 lb.
bond/80gsm and 28 lb. bond/105gsm. If a device cannot handle these
weights through the main paper sources, users are forced to use the low
capacity bypass tray, resulting in a higher user intervention rate.
The straight paper path of the bypass tray lets it handle heavier paper
stocks to create business cards, covers for reports, product brochures,
menus, tickets, programs, and other special documents. Paper weights
for this type of job usually start at 90 lb. index/163gsm with business card
stocks often higher at 110 lb. index/200gsm.
Capacity
Workgroup desktop printers commonly start with either a 500- or 1,000sheet capacity plus a bypass tray. Workgroup MFPs usually start with
capacities over 1,000 sheets.
Paper comes in reams of 500 sheets. A growing trend is paper trays
with capacities greater than 500 sheets, which let users refill trays that are
almost empty with an entire ream of paper at a convenient time without
waste or risk of overfilling.
A device’s maximum capacity (without increasing the device footprint)
depends upon the paper source configuration. Standard paper trays typically are universal or adjustable trays that can accommodate a wide range
of paper supplies. Paper upgrade options on some devices include additional universal trays or a high-capacity tandem drawer.
A tandem drawer maximizes letter/A4 capacity by accommodating dual
stacks of paper side by side. However, larger-sized paper supplies cannot
be loaded. To raise capacity even further, some units can be equipped with
a side-mounted large capacity unit. These trays are also limited to letter/A4
size paper supplies only.
Size
Letter/A4 size paper is used in the majority of day-to-day business operations. Legal and financial documents often are printed on the longer legal
(8.5" x 14") stock size. As a result, many desktop printers, and some entrylevel MFPs reduce production costs by restricting the maximum paper
dimensions to legal size.
However, some environments also rely heavily on the larger ledger/A3
sizes for printing spreadsheets, schematics, design layouts, plans, and for
copying books or magazines.
Exceptional
Paper Handling:
Input Features Summary
Standard Paper
Capacity
Optional Paper
Capacity
Maximum Paper
Capacity
1 x 2000sheet A4-size
cassette
2 x 500-sheet
universal
cassette
1 x 3500-sheet
A4-size LCT
1 x 3000-sheet
universal LCT
6,600 sheets
Bypass Tray Capacity 100 sheets
Maximum Paper Size
(bypass)
12" x 18"
Maximum Paper Size
(main trays)
12" x 18"
Maximum Paper
Weight (bypass)
140 lb. Index/
256 gsm
Maximum Paper
Weight (main trays)
O FFI C E
Paper handling is a core requirement of every device. If a
device cannot create documents a user wants on the paper they need, it does not matter how fast the print engine
is or how many pages it can produce in a month. Paper
handling comes down to three key attributes: weight, capacity, and size.
Trays 1 and 2:
28 lb. Bond/
105 gsm
Trays 3 and 4:
110 lb. Index/
200 gsm
Standard Legal
Capacity
1,100 sheets
Maximum Legal
Capacity
4,100 sheets
Standard Ledger
Capacity
1,100 sheets
Maximum Ledger
Capacity
4,100 sheets
Standard Paper
Sources
5
Maximum Paper
Sources
6
Post Process
Insertion (PPI)
Optional
PPI Capacity
100 sheets
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Paper Handling: Paper Input
Reloading Paper Supplies
Loading paper in the Sharp MX-5500N was a straightforward process. The paper levels on the main copy screen
indicated that the paper has been replenished. The standard tandem main paper tray allows 2,000 sheets of letter/A4 to be easily placed in the top drawer.
The colour-coded green brackets and sliding mechanism for the paper guides on the two 500-sheet universal
drawers, provide a sturdy feel and an easy way to adjust
page sizes with just one hand. Each time the paper size
is changed, the control panel automatically displays the
correct paper size and proper paper orientation (i.e., landscape or portrait). Instructions on adjusting the paper size
are conveniently provided.
In addition to the standard tandem large-capacity, main
paper tray and two universal paper trays (that can be adjusted to 12" x 18" paper size), two additional floor-mounted, large-capacity paper feeder cabinets (3,000 universal or
3,500 letter/A4) can be added, bringing the total capacity to
6,100 or 6,600 sheets for large volume jobs.
The bypass tray is located on the right of the main
engine unit and has a 100-sheet paper capacity, which can
accommodate address labels, transparencies, envelopes,
postcards, up to 12" x 18" paper size, and 140 lb. index/256
gsm.
The Sharp MX-5500N has two universal paper trays, which can be
adjusted up to 12"x18" paper.
WHAT WE LIKED
• The three main paper trays are very sturdy and are better
built to withstand the strain of office misuse than some
competing units. Reloading paper in the paper trays was
straightforward and easy. Instructions are conveniently
illustrated.
• The combined main paper tray supplies a hefty 2,000
sheet capacity (letter-size/A4 only), a valuable time- and
money- saver for business and corporate users who predominantly use letter size paper for their business needs.
The standard tandem main paper tray has a 2000-sheet letter/A4
capacity.
• The green paper adjustment slots, located near the
front of the device, are clearly marked and can be easily
moved with just one hand for easy changing of different
size paper.
• The touch screen displays a schematic of the unit on the
main copy screen with the paper trays clearly labeled
with the paper size and paper levels. This provides an
exceptional visual aid for the user.
• The automatic document feeder is durable and has the
ability to accept up to 150 sheets in a copy/print job.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Paper Handling: Paper Input
WHAT WE LIKED (continued)
• Flexible paper options allow users to add a large capacity
tray (LCT) to accommodate either letter-sized sheets or
up to 12"x 18" sheets, to gain maximum capacity for their
specific needs.
• The device handles high volumes of 12" x 18" paper for
long, uninterrupted print runs on full bleed ledger jobs, a
valuable attribute for CRDs or quick-print buyers.
• The MX-5500N’s 100-sheet capacity intelligent bypass
tray can accommodate up to 140 lb. Index/256 gsm.
• The ability to print tabs using indexed card stock saves
time and money, as some competing units do not provide
this feature.
The optional large capacity tray (LCT) holds 3,000-sheet universal
or 3,500-sheet letter/A4 capacity.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
• Although a paper jam encountered on the document
feeder displayed the location of the mis-feed on the touch
screen, documents may be difficult to remove due a
non-movable mechanism on initial input into the feeder.
BERTL would prefer to see a fully detachable mechanism
for easy access.
• Loading paper on the right side of the dual main paper
tray was easy. However, the left side has an over-thetop paper roller holder that is fixed, which makes loading
paper cumbersome. BERTL would like the ability to raise
the paper holder for easier paper loading as on the right
side.
• A paper tray handle that can be grasped from both the
top and bottom would be make loading paper easier. Currently, the user must reach the handle from the bottom
and pull the drawer out, which can be difficult for some
users. Drawer handles from both the top and bottom
would improve accessibility for users with disabilities.
• The two bottom paper trays are provided with 500-sheet
capacity. If the trays were equipped with a larger capacity, users could load a full ream of paper before the paper
supply is completely depleted.
• The MX-5500N currently displays the paper levels of
each paper tray on the control panel, however, a paper
level indicator on the front of the paper trays to display
the current level as the paper depletes is also desirable.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page • September 21, 2006
Paper Handling: Paper Output/Finishing
Stapling
Lower cost stapler units often have a 15- to 30-sheet maximum capacity
and are often limited to corner stapling. Floor-standing, higher cost finishers should offer 50-sheet capability and handle corner and double stapling.
Saddle stitching heads up the finishing capabilities, allowing users to create folded, center-stapled booklets. Some workgroup device saddle-stitch
finishers only handle 10 sheets (40-page booklets) with others handling up
to 15 sheets (60-page booklets).
Mail Bin Units and Offset Output
Many workgroup devices offer offset stacking (where each set is offset
from the next) to make it easier to separate jobs. Some offer physical mail
bin units allowing each user to send jobs to their own output area. Most
mail bin units limit delivery to unfinished jobs. A multi-tray finisher can also
offer some form of job separation, typically used to route different types of
job (fax, print, copy) for easier identification.
Finishing Options
The Sharp MX5500N has a variety
of finisher options.
The three position
finisher offers dual
output trays, corner
staples, side staples,
and two staples.
The saddle-stitch
finisher offers dual
output trays, a book
output tray, two
staples, and up to
15-sheet capacity
(60 page booklets)
saddle-stitch booklets. A paper pass unit All post-printing finishing tasks can be performed through the
inserter unit.
is required with the
above finishers. A hole
puncher unit which
offers 2/3 hole punch (2/4 in some markets) can be added to the above
finishers.
The floor-standing post-process insertion finisher, which is used to
impose finishing options onto post-printed pages without going through
the fuser unit, can be added to the device. It includes a 100-sheet capacity
output tray, multi-position stapling for up to 50 sheets, and an optional hole
punch.
Exceptional
Paper Handling:
Output/Finishing
Features Summary
Maximum
Output
Capacity
4,000 sheets:
2 trays w/finisher
100 sheets:
right output tray
Duplex
Capability
Standard
Maximum
Paper
Weight
Through
Duplex Unit
110 lb. Index/200gsm
Maximum
Stapling
Capacity
50 sheets
Maximum
Booklet/
Saddle-stitch
Capacity
15 sheets
(60-page booklet)
Hole Punch
Options
2/3 hole
(2/4 in some markets)
Physical Mail
Bin Option
Two output areas
via finisher or job
separator options
One right-side
output tray
OFFI CE
The paper output handling options on workgroup products
can range from duplex output to saddle-stitch booklet making capabilities. Many devices offer a choice of finishers
providing a low-cost, minimum footprint solution, or a high
capacity, fully-featured solution.
Folding Options
In booklet making
only
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
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page 10 • September 21, 2006
Paper Handling: Paper Output/Finishing
Finisher Productivity
To compare finishing results, BERTL analysts ran the same
job (10 sets of 12 originals) with various finishing options.
There was no reduction in speed when hole punching was
added. The addition of one staple, and then two staples
showed a small identical jump in both cases. As expected,
saddle-stitched booklet finishing added a significant jump
due to the initial imposition phase, which resulted in a longer first-time-out time.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 11 • September 21, 2006
Paper Handling: Paper Output/Finishing
WHAT WE LIKED
• The standard, right-side output tray of the device can be set up to receive
user specified copy/print jobs; or to separate faxes from the rest of copy/print
jobs, saving users from searching through a pile of printed copies. This feature is customisable by the administrator from the device management tool
or users at the walk-up panel.
• When the user selects finishing options such as, hole punch, corner staple,
two-staple, or saddle-stitched creased booklets, small icons appear on the
screen adjacent to the area of the device where the finishing option will be
performed. This provides a visual cue to the user of the options selected,
prior to printing the actual document.
• Heavy card stock support is provided throughout the device (duplex, paper
trays, and bypass unit). In addition, page inserts, cover pages, tabs or special media can be added, allowing users to produce professional presentation materials.
• Neat stacking of collated copies make the finishing options easy to use and
save time.
• The high stacking capacity of the output trays allow for long print runs with
versatile paper supplies. The high 12"x18" media capacity allows CRDs and
print shops to operate the device for approximately 2 hours for monochrome
prints and over 3.5 hours for colour prints without operator intervention.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
• The ability to create tri-folds on A4, 8.5" x 14", A3 sized paper for governmental, informational and business pamphlets would expand output options
for end users.
• The ability to provide a professional die punch unit which creates in-line
punches for producing professional presentations or large legal summations.
• An automatic jog unit at the end of the output tray would keep the printed
documents neatly stacked.
Exceptional
OFFI CE
• The device is equipped with a post-printing capability; previously copied/
printed or cover pages can be sent through the feeder and finished via stapling, hole punching, and creased booklet making. Normally, a user sets up
copy/print jobs with finishing options at the start of a job. However, on other
devices, if a user needs to add the finishing options at a later time, they usually have to start over again. This valuable feature saves the user resources,
time, and money.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 12 • September 21, 2006
Routine Maintenance
Workgroup devices sold through retail and traditional IT
distribution outlets usually are maintained by office workers changing the all-in-one cartridge units that encase the
entire imaging system. Units sold through the reseller/
dealer community are usually maintained by office workers
and trained service engineers. Separate long-life parts are
more complex to install, but offer lower running costs than
the low yield, all-in-one alternatives.
Toner Replacement
Changing the toner or imaging cartridge are necessary tasks that traditionally are avoided by some for fear of the black dust leaking on clothes or
hands. However, most units today offer clean replacement of toner supplies.
Clearing Paper Jams
The main device issue that office users attempt to remedy themselves is the
occasional paper jam. As a general rule, the faster the device engine, and
the more paper handling options, the more complex the process of removing paper jams. Common jam sources are the duplex unit and poor loading
of paper supplies. The position of the duplex unit can be a major factor in
the ease of paper jams. The method of loading paper supplies can be a factor in the overall number of jams that occur.
Maintenance Features Summary
K:
42,000 pages
Toner Yield
CMY:
32,000 pages
Drum Life
100,000 pages
Fuser Life
Info Not
Available
K:
100,000 pages
Developer Life
CMY:
300,000 pages
Toner Refill During
Printing
Yes
End-user replaceable
drum unit
No
End-user replaceable
fuser unit
No
WHAT WE LIKED
• The two black toners and all colour toners can be refilled on the fly, which
is especially useful during a print operation before the unit’s toner is completely depleted.
• Two black toner bottles are provided in the Sharp MX-5500N. Using one
toner as a back-up saves time, money, and user intervention time.
• The black and colour toners are easily replaced in their respective slots
thanks to special designs of the different toner bottles. This ensures that
the right colour toner will be placed back in the correct colour slot.
• Paper jams are easy to remove and straightforward.
• The duplex unit opens and pulls out in front of the unit allowing user easy
accessibility.
• The fuser unit on the right side of the machine is sturdy. It was easy to roll
out, remove paper jams, and replace the unit.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
• Although a paper jam encountered on the document feeder displayed the
location of the mis-feed on the touch screen, documents may be difficult
to remove due a non-movable mechanism on initial input into the feeder.
BERTL would prefer to see a fully detachable mechanism for easy access.
Exceptional
OFFI CE
• Changing the black and colour toner was mess-free and very
user-friendly.
BERTL analyst performs routine
maintenance on the Sharp MX-5500N.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 13 • September 21, 2006
Routine Maintenance
Paper Jam Removal
During Sharp MX-5500N testing, BERTL caused some
jams to see how the unit would react. When a jam occurs,
the machine displays a message on the touch screen
indicating a jam has occurred. The control panel provides
step-by-step animated illustrations to guide users through
clearing paper jams.
The area in front of the paper transport path is open and
fully exposed, which gives users easy access to majority of
jams encountered. This innovative solution is beneficial for
users with large hands, who may have a difficult time removing jams in very tight spaces, as on other manufacturers’ devices. Jams are simple to remove if done correctly.
The on-screen illustration indicates that the right side of the unit must be opened first. The metal ball-bearing rail rolls out
horizontally enabling users to access a large portion of the fuser unit. Paper jams are accessible and are easy to pull out.
The screen prompts the user through the next step. A knob must be rotated to remove the paper.
The fuser area is independent of the large capacity tray and finisher units. When paper jams occurs in the fuser area, the
trays and finisher do not need to be moved in order to clear the paper jams, like some competing units.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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page 14 • September 21, 2006
Routine Maintenance
Toner Replacement Process
The overall maintenance of the Sharp MX-5500N is
straightforward and simple. Most users will find the directions easy to use. The toner bottle design ensures that
the toner cannot be placed in the incorrect slot. Both the
high-capacity tandem black toner and colour toners can be
replaced while the device is still printing. When a toner level
is low, a warning message appears on the touch screen.
The user can change the toner at this point or wait until the
toner is empty to replace it.
Refilling the toner is extremely simple and clean. The
colour toner and two black toner bottles are located in the
front main door, which opens down (Figure 1).
The bottles are horizontally spaced across the front of
the device. Each bottle is equal in size and has a colourcoded top. (Figure 2)
To change the toner, the empty bottle is pulled out. To
replace the toner, the user lines up the arrow on the top of
the bottle, pulls off the adhesive strip, and then replaces the
toner into its correct slot (Figure 3).
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 15 • September 21, 2006
Device Management
An efficient device management backbone is needed
to take maximum advantage of the feature set within a
device, be it a printer, fax, scanner, or multi-functional
product.
Device management is commonly-supported through
a Web server on the device controller. This Web server is accessed using
any desktop Internet browser. The user simply enters the IP address of the
device into the URL address line.
Administrators and office users have different management and monitoring needs.
General Office Users
End users want to know if a device is capable of handling a job. Supply
levels and a list of jobs already committed to print are important.
Administrators
An office or network manager looks for greater control over the device
functionality and setup without leaving their desk. They may be looking to
manage network set up, establish security for IP filter ranges, apply cost
control measures, check supply levels, and set up
automated email alerts to different staff members
when problems occur.
Due to the nature of the Web server, this capability is usually limited to an individual device.
Many manufacturers also include a network
device management fleet tool which allows for the
monitoring and management of multiple devices
around the network concurrently. Many also
provide plug-ins to the most popular IT device
management utilities to ensure that the maximum
amount of information can be relayed from their
device to the third-party application.
Exceptional
O FFI CE
For MFPs with document storage and communications capabilities, end
users also need desktop management of print on demand, stored document viewing (to check print-on-demand files or incoming faxes) and, for
the more advanced, the creation of scan-to-email or scan-to-file destination
templates.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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page 16 • September 21, 2006
Device Management
Status Monitoring
The Device Status screen provides a quick view of current
operations including paper tray conditions and availability.
Job Queue Reporting
On other devices, job queue reporting generally provides
a status of where jobs are positioned and the print/copy
order. A job that has not been produced can be deleted if
desired.
BERTL did not see a job queue reporting function and
concludes that Sharp does not have this feature, or the
ability to delete, promote, or pause jobs in queue. However,
BERTL analysts were informed that a job log of all previously copied, printed, and scanned jobs is available.
Security Settings
From Sharpdesk, administrators can set up authorized
users and users lists, IP filters to limit access to the device
to specific PC address ranges, and MAC filters, which
provides more security measures. Administrators can also
establish automatic routing of incoming faxes to lockable
mailboxes or folder destinations.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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page 17 • September 21, 2006
Device Management
Address Book Management
Users and administrators can set up email, Internet fax,
and fax addresses for local storage on the device. Addresses can be gathered into groups for simple one-touch
distribution purposes. Addresses can also be created
individually to send to an FTP address, file server, email
address, Fax and Desktop.
Cost Control Reporting
The Sharp MX-5500N does not come with job accounting
capabilities as standard. It can be added through third-party
cost recovery suppliers and optionally through Sharp’s accounting fleet management software.
The enhanced user control administration system allows
administrators to set up user accounts and groups on a
user-by-user basis. This feature offers very extensive control capabilities over the device. Administrators can specify
authority groups, operation levels and page limits for each
user (can be split-out between monochrome and colour
limits).
Scan Templates
With Sharpdesk, users can easily set up scan templates
from the desktop. These templates will translate to a onetouch scan button on the unit’s control panel. Instructions
walk users through the process. Even multi-step functions
were relatively simple to follow without a manual or online
help.
Templates can be stored in a quick or main folder or
other custom folders created by the user. Each user can
have a private folder locked with a PIN, so they can store
scan to email, fax, or folder templates in their own folder for
fast retrieval rather than filtering through the shared address book.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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page 18 • September 21, 2006
Device Management
Email Notification Alerts
A user can set up unlimited email addresses to route specific notifications, which supports up to 200 characters per
email address. This unlimited email address option provides more addresses than most competing manufacturers;
some manufacturers set limits at three email addresses.
The administrator can set up a local office contact for
easy fixes such as paper and toner refill. More complex
technical issues can be routed to tech support. Emails can
automatically be sent to the dealer for tasks like imaging
drum replacement.
Job Log Management
Users can view each job that has been produced on the
Sharp MX-5500N whether it is a print, scan, or simple copy
job. The log can be exported to the desktop for further interrogation by Excel or cost accounting applications.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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page 19 • September 21, 2006
Device Management
WHAT WE LIKED
• Sharp’s Sharpdesk device management is consistent across the board and
is very user-friendly. There is a low learning curve for those familiar with
Sharp products.
• The device management tool is very intuitive and easy for newcomers to use
and migrate to Sharp products.
• The ability to route faxes to a user’s desktop, to a specific folder, or to an
individual’s email address addresses security issues for those workers who
are out of office. It eliminates the fear of lost or misplaced faxes and is very
secure for proprietary and confidential information.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
• Users should be able to manage, prioritize, pause, or cancel printing jobs
that are currently set up in the job queue.
OFFI CE
• The main touch screen panel should be populated with the status of paper
trays, paper sizes, and toner levels for easy viewing.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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page 20 • September 21, 2006
Security
Security Features Summary
Safeguarding Data
Most MFPs now offer a standard or optional hard drive. Any company
dealing in critical, sensitive information should determine if it needs a data
overwrite capability that has passed Common Criteria (CC) certification.
Data overwrite deletes information on the hard drive by writing a series
of random ones and zeros over the sectors storing data, usually multiple
times. The CC test relates to how data is deleted from a device’s hard drive
after being used. CC certification carried out by a government-approved
test facility. Many manufacturers get CC certification to satisfy government
security requirements and it is a requisite for many government agencies
and contractors. Most MFP devices pass evaluation assurance level (EAL)
2, with some aiming higher at EAL 3. The higher the level, the more extensive the testing, and the more secure the hard drive is deemed.
Controlling Access
One of the keys to security is limiting the initial access to the device, both
remotely and at the device itself. TCP/IP and MAC filtering allow the administrator to limit remote access the device. MAC filtering is more secure; the
TCP/IP address can be copied, but the MAC address is a fixed specification that can not be changed.
IPv6 is now becoming commonplace on network devices. IPv6 makes
it harder to crack or hack into a PC address range by making the address
more complex.
Network authentication is now available on nearly every MFP and
printer, forcing users to enter a user name and password before access to
the device is granted. Most devices can verify a user by linking to Windows
Exchange user lists, Novell network user lists, and LDAP server lists.
There should also be password encryption at the point of the login process through SSL or other encryption or other security technology (such as
Kerberos), preventing hackers from watching and capturing user names
and IDs as they travel over the network.
Exceptional
Hard Drive Overwrite
Optional
Removable Hard Drive
No
Private Print
Standard
Encrypted Print
Yes
Secure Fax
Yes
Encrypted PDF Send
Yes
Network Authentication
Yes
LDAP Authentication
Yes
Kerberos Authentication
Yes
SNMP v3.0
Yes
IPv6
No
SSL
Yes
IP Filtering
Yes
MAC Filtering
Yes
OFFI CE
High-tech security is never out of the news, with reports
of information theft and hacking making headlines. By the
very nature of their development, network printers and
MFPs are security risks if not managed correctly.
Advanced network connectivity options open ports to
hackers. Industry-standard Java and Web browser design
elements are vulnerable to virus attack. Large hard drives store a latent
copy of every document flowing through the device data for years. Devices
link directly to core network components such as the LDAP address list or
the central file server. Plus, fast communication options let insiders send
information to the outside with no method of being traced.
Security and data compliance buzzwords and regulations such as Common Criteria certification, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, Gramm Leach Bliley,
FERPA, SEC, FSMA, and the Patriot Act look to safeguard information
and force companies to conform to best practices in document and data
security management.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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page 21 • September 21, 2006
Security
Secure Transmissions
The hard drive (if not equipped with a data overwrite capability) provides the
ability to create secure repositories for incoming print and fax jobs. Instead of
being printed upon delivery, print jobs and faxes can be stored on the device
and printed only after a PIN has been entered by the authorized user. IPv6
makes it harder to crack or hack into a PC address range by making the address more complex.
WHAT WE LIKED
• The secure print process is very safe with login and password entry.
• Security measures are provided on multiple levels at the copier, desktop and
scan screen. For example, users can set up their personal settings that need
to be entered on entry into secure print, on printing at the copier, and when
saving to a secure folder. Keeping the same password for each logon entry
is an advantage.
• The function to lock/secure print jobs is easy to locate and use on both drivers. Users and administrators can set up security measures to be scalable
and flexible for most users, groups, and folders at multiple levels.
• Incoming faxes can be routed to secure destinations such as PIN-protected
internal document filing folders, limited-access network folders, or email addresses, ensuring that sensitive information does not sit in the output tray of
the device.
• Right side exit allows incoming faxes to be output face down, separated from
the main copy / print output stack, which is delivered to the left side finishing
trays.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
• While a very secure environment exist for the Sharp MX-5500N with up
to three levels of security, it is possible that so much security can be time
consuming. While IT managers set up the security, it would be nice for users
to be able to link a login/password to a customized folder so that multiple
entries can be eliminated or shortened (such as a single sign on or an
assigned logout (a message that will logoff user in 15 seconds if inactivity is
detected).
Exceptional
OFFI CE
• Users can use the touch screen QWERTY keyboard or the hard button numeric keypad interchangeably, for versatile data entry.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 22 • September 21, 2006
Accessibility
In the U.S., Section 508 legislation prohibits government
agencies from purchasing devices that are not accessible
to those with physical impairments. For this reason—and
the corporate world’s increased focus on delivering a
better work environment for all—user-friendly features for
physically-impaired users are considered more often.
Common design features include tilting control panels which give wheelchair-bound users a better view of the screen and larger display options for
those with impaired vision. Voice navigation and Braille also are becoming
increasingly popular. Easy access to the paper path for jam removal or
front access to toner supplies make a device more user-friendly to all.
The Sharp MX-5500N control panel in standard
configuration.
User Accessibility to Device Controls
The Sharp MX-5500N control panel consists of a neutral tilting angle touch
screen as well as concave hard key buttons. The controls are accessible
from a wheelchair and the tilt help to minimize overhead lighting glares.
The document feeder, the standard height of most machines in the industry, can be grasped, opened, and closed from a wheelchair. When fully
raised, the document feeder may be difficult for wheelchair-bound users to
reach. Users will have adequate accessibility to make copies on the platen
when the feeder is raised up six inches.
The top drawer of the Sharp MX-5500N can be refilled easily from a wheelchair; the second drawer and those below may be somewhat more difficult.
Disabled users may struggle to reach below the desired drawer to grab the
handle. Once open, they must then reach deep inside the drawer to get
to the lock lever to change supply sizes (if required). The L-bracket paper
guide that adjusts the paper from the left is difficult to grasp.
User Accessibility for Paper Jam Removal
Disabled users can view the tilted control panel screen to inspect the location of a paper jam. Due to the vertical alignment of the paper path, the
side panel slides out and is fully exposed when opened, allowing paper
jams to be removed easily. The duplex unit on the Sharp MX-5500N was
easily accessible from a wheelchair without the need to move the finisher
away, as found on some rival devices. The finisher opens at the front of the
machine, which provides clean access.
Exceptional
A top view of the touch screen panel.
OFFI CE
User Accessibility for Paper Refilling
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 23 • September 21, 2006
Accessibility
WHAT WE LIKED
• The control panel is at a neutral tilted angle and is accessible to wheelchair
bound users. The tilt also helps to minimize glare from overhead lighting giving greater visibility to disabled users.
• The touch screen is very large, easy to navigate, and is very user-friendly.
The contrast slide on the touch screen enables users to adjust the brightness to their own comfort level.
• The touchable parts are within reach and are colour-coded green. All colour
toners, black toners and the duplex area are easily accessible and located
at the front of the device, reachable by those with physical disabilities.
• Concave buttons are used on the numeric keypad and the number 5 button
has a raised feel which accommodates the visually impaired and is wheelchair accessible.
• Replacing staples and hole punch refills is easy and is performed at eye
level of a person in a wheelchair. After opening the finisher, the staple cassette can be pulled out and refilled.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
• The paper drawers would be easier to open if they could be pulled from both
the top and the bottom. Currently the drawers must be grasped from below
making it more difficult for disabled users. A handle on the top will allow
disabled users to reach more drawers.
O FFI CE
• Although the two top drawers were accessible, the bottom drawer was far
from ideal. Changing paper also required reaching far inside the drawer to
release the locking lever.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 24 • September 21, 2006
Copy
Small, Simple Jobs
Despite the wealth of features that MFPs offer today, most users will not be
prepared to wade through countless screen menus to get to the point where
they can press the Start button. Think in terms of human productivity, not
device productivity. Reporting the productivity of the device from the moment the green start button is pressed until the final page comes out does
not consider the most costly element in the copying process: the user’s
time.
Large, Complex Jobs
Even for big jobs—where you may think engine speed plays a larger role—
the simple start-key-to-finish-line productivity measurement approach again
disregards the user. The user is less likely to wait at the copier for larger and
more complex jobs. They will look for features such as a quick and easy job
setup menu; fast scanning (so they can return to their desk with the originals
faster); email notification when the job has finished (eliminating the guesswork of when to return to the device to collect the job); or the ability to build
a job using a mix of pages scanned from the document feeder and platen.
Features or Benefits?
Many copy features that are overlooked by the masses are critical time
savers in niche workflow environments. For example, medical offices or car
dealerships need to copy insurance and license cards. A card copy feature
allows the user to scan the first side of the card, turn the card over, scan the
second page, and produce a single-sided copy with both sides of the card
on the single sheet. This saves 50 percent on paper and the print click-cost
charged by the dealer.
Copier Concurrency
Concurrency, the ability to handle multiple tasks at the same time, varies
greatly in workgroup devices. Some devices can not accept a copy job while
a print or copy job is in progress. If a connected MFP is carrying out either
job, a walk-up user must wait for the job to finish before they can scan in
their copy job.
My Copier
MFP design is moving away from proprietary, closed systems and embracing open architecture and IT standards like .NET and Java. This opens the
door to greater flexibility in the way the walk-up experience can be tailored
to each user. Coupled to this ability is the growing need to account for all
device usage for security, compliance or cost considerations. These two
trends can result in a “My Copier”-type experience where each user is greeted with their favorite settings when logging in.
Exceptional
Copy Features Summary
Maximum Copy
Speed
First Copy Out
Time
Monochrome: 55 ppm
Colour: 41 ppm
Monochrome: 4.0
seconds
Colour: 8.4 seconds
Document
Feeder Type
Standard Duplex
Single Pass
Document Feeder
(DSPF)
Document
Feeder
Capacity
150 pages
Job Build
Yes (Platen and ADF)
Job Build
Combining
Platen and
Document
Feeder Scans
Yes
Scan Ahead
Copy
Memories
Unlimited
No. of Copy
Job Programs
Info Not Available
Customisable
One-touch
Buttons on
Home Screen
Yes
OFFI CE
Copying is the standard feature on every MFP on the market and is increasingly being offered either as an option or
a separate model within network printer product ranges.
Before being wowed by headline speeds and advanced
features, consider that the most common copy job is a
single set of a simplex document that is five pages or less
with no finishing and no changes to image quality default
settings.
Min/Max
Zoom Ratio
25% to 400% in 1%
increments
Cover Insertion
Yes
Sheet Insertion
Yes
Page Stamp
Options
Yes
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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page 25 • September 21, 2006
Copy
Image Quality
With the Sharp MX-5500N, users can select from three
modes: Colour, Monochrome, or Auto Colour.
The default Auto Colour mode identifies whether the
original is full colour or black and white. BERTL ran a variety of originals and the machine picked the correct mode
each time. This function is important for cost savings. While
colour click charges have come down in price, there is still
a big difference between black and white and colour click
charges. Picking the wrong mode could result in an additional expense for the end user.
The device comes with Text, Text/Photo, and Photo
modes to allow the user to capture and reproduce different image types. BERTL’s testing included all three modes
with a wide range of copy originals to look for the device’s
strengths and weaknesses.
The monochrome mode reproduced images and halftones very well and reproduced text accurately, consistent
with Sharp’s monochrome MFP line.
In monochrome Text mode, text was sharp down to 6
points. Images had increased contrast, but still reproduced
well.
In monochrome Text/Photo mode (typically the default
mode), text and lines reproduced well with accurate reproduction down to 6 points. Images were recognizable and
reproduced with less contrast, creating a more pleasing
reproduction for images.
The monochrome Photo mode uses a halftone rendering
algorithm that produces high quality reproduction of photographs. In Photo mode, text did not reproduce as well.
Photo images reproduced very well.
Overall the Sharp MX-5500N has an excellent rating and
performed better than the norm. This business colour MFP
could even compete on many levels with a graphics colour
device.
It appears that Sharp’s switch to laser technology, as opposed to LED, has made a big impact in quality for the best
with its MX line.
Results of colour reproduction in Text, Text/Photo, and
Photo appear on the next page.
Reproduction in
monochrome Text
mode
Reproduction in
monochrome Text/
Photo mode
Reproductions in
monochrome Photo
mode
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 26 • September 21, 2006
Copy
Image Quality (continued)
Text Mode: Reproduction of fine lines and text was acceptable in most areas of the map. There is some blurriness in areas with fine lines over
coloured background, making the map hard to read. A lot of fine detail is lost in the photograph in areas such as the foliage and roof tiling where shade
reproduction is essential.
Text/Photo: Some detailing in the map is lost, especially in fine lines on coloured background; overall, the map appears rather hazy. The property photo
reproduction is acceptable.
Photo Mode: A lot of detail is lost on the map image reproduction, with hazy appearance and some blurring of fine lines and fonts. The graphic
reproduction of photos appears in proper context with good reproduction of fine details such as tiling and foliage.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 27 • September 21, 2006
Copy
Image Quality (continued)
The full-colour nature photo is not a typical representation
of general office documents and would be difficult for even
graphic-oriented machines to reproduce. However, the
Sharp MX-5500N had no problem reproducing this picture
in colour. The monochrome mode reproduced particularly
well. Although access to colour adjustments was available,
BERTL analysts did not make any. Colour was reproduced
accurately and was a great improvement from the quality
from the device’s predecessors.
The default Auto Colour setting is best for general use;
many photographs, portraits and landscape images will
reproduce well.
In Auto Monochrome mode, the photo images will have
greater depth and contrast. The Sharp MX-5500N reproduced this complex document well in monochrome photo
mode.
Original
Composite Grays (CMYK) reproduced well in all densities, which is not an easy task for any colour device. This
output was very impressive and shows the versatility of the
device.
Reproduced in Default Colour, Auto,
Photo mode
Reproduced in Monochrome Auto, Photo
mode
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 28 • September 21, 2006
Copy
WHAT WE LIKED
• Choosing Colour and Monochrome is easy with two
separate buttons for colour or black/white copies. The
guesswork is taken out of selecting colour or black/white
copies with one button.
• The user-friendly control panel is in colour and is the
largest BERTL has encountered. The home screen
clearly identifies the paper trays, paper levels, and size
of paper in each tray. The control panel is intuitive and
easy to navigate. It is well designed, provides a large
picture with lots of details, and is very visual.
• Users are able to customize their own user profiles on
the user group screen, choosing from up to eight user
groups. They can customize their screen to look and feel
a certain way and to perform specific functions such as
one-touch functions.
Touch Screen Selections Required
for Commonly-used Copy Functions
Corner Staple
Two steps
Hole Punch
Two steps
Enlarge to 200%
Two steps
(incremental setting)
2:02
Two steps
Photo Mode
Two steps
Mixed Original
0 (defaulted)
Cover mode
(printed front cover on bypass
supply)
Four steps
• With a 150-sheet capacity document feeder (more than
most competing units), large jobs can be created without
the need for job build steps, reducing user intervention
times.
• When copying monochrome originals in Auto colour mode,
the device automatically detects the colour and copies it
accordingly, saving on clicks.
• Most common copy functions are within one or two selections of the home screen, limiting menu-mining and keeping
user time to a minimum.
• The control panel is at a neutral, tilted angle, accessible to
wheelchair-bound and able-bodied users as well. This tilted
angle also helps to minimize glare from overhead lighting.
• If a user places a copy job on the automatic feeder while
another document is on the platen, the unit’s auto-detect
intelligence adjusts to print the copy from the document
feeder. This essential attribute saves time and waste of
resources.
The control panel on the Sharp MX-5500N is the largest BERTL
has seen.
• The Cardshot feature saves time and resources for medical offices or car
dealerships that need to copy both sides of medical ID cards or driver’s
licenses on a regular basis.
• The touch screen control panel displays the functions that users select on
the home copy screen. Complex projects require various tabs to be selected; these functions are displayed as a reminder, reducing operator risk
and time. Multi-featured tasks such as booklet making or enlargements have
specific tab selections that are displayed throughout the process.
• The user can customize the interface display in several different languages,
which is beneficial for bilingual or international companies.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 29 • September 21, 2006
Copy
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE
TO SEE
• Although a paper jam
encountered on the document feeder displayed the
mis-feed location on the
touch screen, this is problematic for documents
that are difficult to remove due a non-movable
mechanism on initial input
into the feeder. BERTL
would prefer to see a fully
detachable mechanism for
easy access or a rotating
wheel to back the paper
out of the feeder.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
Office
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 30 • September 21, 2006
Print on Demand
Ever since MFPs started including hard drives, manufacturers have looked for ways to offer more and more ondemand document facilities. The most basic is the ability
to store a document on the device for instant reprinting
from the walk-up interface. Virtually all manufacturers offer this level of print-on-demand capability. Most allow users to store, copy, and print. Some also include scan and fax documents
into the mix.
Are All Documents the Same?
The way different document function types are stored and the way in
which they can be reused at a later date create some issues due to the
file format in which the function operates. Copy is usually done in a compressed proprietary format, fax in TIFF, and scan in TIFF/PDF or JPEG as
selected by the user.
When users look to reuse the files they are often limited to the same function as it was created in.
Areas of differentiation include the range of finishing or output control
the user can place upon a reprint-on-demand job; whether more than one
stored job can be combined and treated as a single print file; the ability to
view, manage and share stored documents using desktop applications;
the complexity of the filing system in place; and the ease at which users
can search for documents.
The Future
Increasing security concerns may result in more companies using data
overwrite kits. This would put an end to the print on demand capability of
such devices. For those still looking for a fast reprint capability, the answer
may be external media ports such as USB memory sticks, digital camera
SD cards, or volatile memory storage.
Exceptional
OFFI CE
Do All Devices Offer the Same Capabilities?
There is much differentiation between products and manufacturers in this
area. Those interested in print on demand should look carefully at the
functionality offered by each manufacturer.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 31 • September 21, 2006
Print on Demand
The Sharp MX-5500N offers several print on demand options.
With Document Filing, the job is stored on the hard drive of the
device where it can be accessed and reprinted at a later stage
either from the desktop or from the control panel of the device. Users can choose to deposit documents into a general folder or into a
specific folder of their choosing, which can be protected with a PIN.
In Hold Only, a print job is sent to the queue of the device, where
it is held until the user releases the job from the touch screen control panel. This allows the user to avoid documents being removed
in error by other users. Documents can be safeguarded with the
addition of a PIN, preventing other users from being able to release
the job from the queue. This is an essential feature for devices
that are out of the line of sight in companies needing to comply
with government data legislation acts such as HIPAA and GrammLeach-Bliley.
In Hold after Print, a job is printed, but holds the file is held in the
memory of the device instead of being deleted immediately. This
allows the user to reprint the file again if required from the device.
Sample Print is useful when producing long print runs of large
complex documents. The printer outputs a single copy of the document, allowing the user to check if the document has printed correctly. If correct, the user can release the remainder of the print run
without having to resubmit the job to print.
Storing a Job Into Document Filing
First, the user selects the Document Filing tab at the top of the
menu screen (Figure 4). Users then select Scan-to-HDD to scan
or copy a file into storage (Figure 5). Users can choose to copy the
document and save a copy for reuse, or simply store the document
with no output. The user enters the necessary information pertaining to the file being stored.
Users must set up a user name and password in order to use
secure printing, to hold the file in memory, or to store files to be
reprinted at a later time (Figure 6). This user name/password is
needed the each time a user retrieves a document or if security is
set up at the folder level.
They also must select a unique and recognizable filename and
choose a folder (Quick, Main or Custom) to store the document in.
The user can customize a folder for a group or a specific purpose.
In Figure 7, BERTL placed the file in a newly-created folder.
When the user wants to retrieve this document for printing, they
must login with the user name and password and select the folder
the document resides in. If the user does not know the folder details, they can select a folder and browse the folder’s contents.
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Figure 7
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 32 • September 21, 2006
Print on Demand
Accessing Document Filing Documents from Desktop
From the desktop, the user selects Document Filing from
the main menu. The user enters their user name, the name
of the folder, and the folder password. They then enter
the file name and the password for the file. Or they can
browse a specific folder and view all stored documents.
In the example, BERTL analysts created a custom folder
called BERTL where two documents, Contract and BERTL
Contract, are stored. These files are displayed as a standard list.
Users can choose to print or email a document, move
them to new folders or pull them back to the desktop for
further revisions. Each file has the associated document
details displayed.
The user can scroll down past the document details
and see a full size version of the document ( a nice visual
presentation), enabling the user to determine if this is the
correct document. When a single document is selected for
print, the user has a wide range of finishing and document
production options available.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 33 • September 21, 2006
Print on Demand
WHAT WE LIKED
• Users familiar with Sharp and its products will require no adjustment or
learning curve with Document Filing on the Sharp MX-5500N
• The Quick (public), Main, and Customized (private) folders offer users additional options. Multiple users can access and print the same file through the
Quick folder, which can be optionally set to be password protected. Customized folders, which are password-protected, allow only specific users access
and provide faster access to documents than the public alternative offered
by some competitors.
• Printing directly from USB memory stick avoids network bandwith and
provides greater POD flexibility
• Print on demand functions reduce network traffic that otherwise would have
been created if the users had to re-send the complete document data to the
printing device—a strong argument for network administrators.
• Extensive document production and finishing options are available when
submitting the document to print. Some alternatives only allow a simple
instruction on the number of sets.
• Documents can be scanned to the hard drive from the desktop.
• Up to three levels of security are available: at the entry level, folder level,
and at the document level.
• Users can view a full version of the document before printing it at the control
panel.
• While users can queue up copy, print, and scan jobs at the copier, performing batch printing at the control panel with the same secure login and password is desirable.
• The ability to view thumbnails of scanned or e-filed documents prior to printing is helpful when searching for a specific document. This would provide
easier recognition. Currently, users have to search and open each document
in print preview mode.
• Currently, Sharp’s print preview attribute on the desktop allows user to view
documents before printing from the desktop. The same print preview, perhaps thumbnails using low resolution jpeg files, at the control panel would
bring this benefit to the device level.
• Batch printing at the control panel would let users select multiple documents,
assign print and finishing options, and print all documents as one job.
Exceptional
OFFI CE
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 34 • September 21, 2006
Print
Connectivity
The vast majority of devices include Ethernet and USB connectivity out of
the box; some include parallel connections. In addition, most devices offer
a selection of optional connectivity choices like Wireless 802.11b or g (g is
the faster, preferred standard.), Bluetooth for connection to cell phones or
PDAs, and FireWire for high-speed local connectivity.
PDLs
PCL is the de facto printer description language (PDL) of choice provided
by all suppliers. Some bundle in PostScript (PS), while others charge for an
upgrade. A few manufacturers also include their own PDL which is based
loosely on the Windows/GDI printing technology of old. These Windows or
GDI drivers often offer significant productivity advantages over traditional
PCL/PS drivers since the bulk of the processing is handled by the more
powerful desktop PC rather than the less well-equipped printer processor
itself.
Productivity
Judging print productivity is an inexact science at best or misleading at
worst. Factors such as processor power, memory capabilities, spool and
RIPping efficiency, engine throughput speed, RIP while printing capabilities, and more all play a major part. Most devices fair better is some of
these factors than others, and different workflows benefit from one factor
more than another.
It is easy to play judge and pronounce what determines productivity. But,
it will have little merit when evaluating print performance for an end-user
environment. Device A may print Document 1 faster than Device B. But,
Device B may print Document 2 faster. You cannot determine which document is the best measure of productivity.
The same is true of network traffic tests where multiple jobs are submitted at once. By rearranging the order of the jobs, the productivity of Device
A and Device B could easily be reversed.
BERTL does not restrict its evaluation of print performance to such tests.
It provides information on how jobs are treated across the various PDLs
offered, thus allowing users to get the best out of the device.
Ease of Installation
The Sharp MX-5500N drivers are available on CDs with the hardware or
can be located on the Sharp Web site. Both PCL and PostScript drivers
were installed without problems. The wizard-based installation process
found the device, set up the port, and updated the driver with the installed
features on the device with no user intervention. BERTL especially like this
for users who do not have the IT savvy to install drivers correctly on a MFP
and may not have access to IT support staff.
Exceptional
Print Features Summary
CPU
1GHz (Shared for all
imaging functions)
RAM
Main Memory:
1 GB (copies)
896MB (Printer/
network scanning)
Hard Drive
80 GB HDD
Operating
Platforms
Supported
Netware 3.x, 4.x, 5.x
Windows 98/ME/XP,
Windows NT 4.0,
Server 2003 Novell
Oracle
Citrix
Linux
MAC OS 9, OSX
Printer Drivers
PCL6
PCL5c
Optional PostScript 3
Network
Protocols
IPX/SPX
TCP/IP
Ethertalk
Interfaces/
Standard
10BaseT
100BaseTX Ethernet
USB 2.0
Interfaces/
Options
Info Not Available
Client Software
Sharpdesk
Std PCL Fonts
Supported
80
Std PS Fonts
Supported
Info Not Available
OFFI CE
Print passed copy as the primary method of creating output years ago. To limit costs and raise integration between
functions, more multifunction products use a single processor board for copy, print, and scan functions.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 35 • September 21, 2006
Print
Secure Print
The user initiates secure print from the desktop through
the Job Handling tab of the PCL6 driver (Figure 8). They
enter a user name and password and locate the file to
be printed. From the Select File screen (Figure 9), the
user can print, send, move, or delete a file.
After the file is sent to print, the user goes to the
device to release the file for printing. At the control panel,
they select the folder for the file (Figure 10), searching
the Quick, Main, and Private folders if necessary. In the
example, BERTL locate a 38-page Word file to print in
the Main folder (Figure 11).
The user is prompted to enter their user name and
password at the folder level and again at the file level.
The password entry is blocked out for added security
(Figure 12).
The Job Settings screen displays the details of the file
to print. The user selects the print button (Figure 13).
On the Job Setting/Print screen, the user can set the
number of copies, simplex or duplex mode, the desired
output tray, and finishing options (Figure 14). After the
document prints, the user can save the file on the hard
drive or delete the file.
Figure 8
Figure 9
Figure 10
Figure 11
Figure 13
Figure 14
Exceptional
Figure 12
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 36 • September 21, 2006
Print
Print Productivity
Bandwidth Comparison
The design of the PCL and PostScript drivers is very similar, allowing users to easily switch from one to the other
without confusion. While many users will never veer away
from PCL—and many IT managers will not give them the
option—those that do will reap benefits in bandwidth and
productivity.
For smaller file sizes, the PostScript driver required less
bandwidth overall than the PCL, although most differences
were not significant. However, the majority of the documents BERTL tested (see chart), did show a substantial
gap in favor of PostScript.
The output speed time results were similar. The largest difference was in favor of PostScript with the 16-page
magazine in PDF document, the 32-page text-based
PowerPoint document and the 69-page graphic-intensive
PowerPoint document. Other than that, each output was
very close.
Exceptional
PCL
PostScript
50-page text based PDF
(monochrome)
521 KB
1.26 MB
16-page magazine in PDF
(colour)
10 MB
2.71 MB
6-page medium resolution
graphic PDF (colour)
6.71 MB
1.20 MB
2-page high resolution PDF
(colour)
15.4 MB
6.50 MB
32-page text-based
PowerPoint (colour)
5.04 MB
1.87 MB
69-page graphic intensive
PowerPoint (colour)
31.9 MB
13.0 MB
38-page form- intensive
Word document
(mostly monochrome with
some colour pages)
8.06 MB
3.87 MB
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 37 • September 21, 2006
Print
PCL6 Print Driver Functionality
On the Sharp MX-5500N the PCL6 driver is provided
as standard and the PostScript driver can be optionally
purchased. Both drivers have very similar features and attributes.
The PCL6 driver can be accessed from the Properties
menu. The PCL driver has five tabs available to users:
Main, Paper, Advanced, Job Handling, Watermarks and
Colour which will be discussed in detail below.
The Main tab on the PCL6 driver provides a thorough
overview of the print capabilities. The default user setting is
set to Normal Print (the factory default); a print job will be
spooled immediately with the appropriate page and type
settings. The user can also set their own user-preferred
settings and save the file with their most frequently-used
settings.
Users have the option to set the document styles (onesided, two-sided booklet, or tablet), printing up to 16 pages
on one sheet, selecting finishes (different binding edges,
staples, hole punching), page orientation or black/white
print.
A status box on the upper left corner indicates the current user-selected functions in graphic form. This feature
provides the user with a visual presentation of the attributes
(staples, hole punch, booklet making, output tray selection)
selected for printing documents. This status box is carried
throughout the PCL driver tabs, where the user selected
attributes can be viewed.
The Paper tab relates to the source and output of the
document. From this tab, users can select the media type,
paper size, source, zoom settings, tray status, and paper
output. A poster mode setting allows users to print multiple
pages to create a large poster. Special options that users can set up include: inserting divider pages between
chapters, creating multi-coloured carbon copies (useful for
multi-part form workflow conversion), or printing tabs from
universal trays.
From the Tray Status screen users can view the paper
size, type, and paper levels for each paper tray, which is
useful for monitoring and ordering supplies.
Main tab
Paper tab
Tray Status
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 38 • September 21, 2006
Print
Print Driver Functionality (continued)
The Advanced tab provides some advance printing options including resolution settings, graphics mode, bitmap
compression, and print overlays.
The Tab paper settings provide an image shift to where
tabs will print. Tab sheets must be loaded correctly in the
universal tray.
The Job Handling tab provides many of the security
features for printing documents. It allow users to release,
hold or print documents (retention settings), supply folder
designation (document filing settings), set up login and
passwords for users and groups (user authentication), and
set up user names and job names (Default Job IDs).
With user authentication, the Secure Print feature stores
the document on the Sharp MX-5500N hard drive and allows printing only after a personalized security code has
been entered. When Secure Print is selected, the grayed
out areas are active to allow custom alpha-numeric pass
codes to be entered by the user. When retrieving jobs, both
the QWERTY touch keypad and hard number keys can be
used for entering pass codes. The driver can be set so that
all jobs are sent in secure mode using a user name and
password. All secure jobs sent by a user can be released at
once, instead of releasing one job at a time.
Main tab
Tab Settings
Job Handling Tab
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 39 • September 21, 2006
Print
Print Driver Functionality (continued)
The Watermarks tab provides the user with a list of
commonly-used watermarks. The user can create a customized watermark or customize the phrasing to support a
particular requirement. The watermark can be integrated
with any size image (letterhead or company logo) and
placed anywhere on the page. The overlay, which is frequently found on the same tab as the watermark is located
on the Advanced tab and might cause some confusion.
The Colour setting tab lets users select colour modes
(auto colour, colour, black/white), image types, advanced
colour selection, and colour adjustments. In Colour Adjustment, the user can change the mood and tone of a colour
image with a sliding scale adjustment mechanism to suit
their needs, including adjustments for brightness, contrast,
saturation, and RGB colours.
Watermark tab
Colour tab
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 40 • September 21, 2006
Print
Image Quality
Overall, the image quality has a very high rating across
the entire range of document and image types as compared to similar devices.
The Sharp MX-5500N prints colour images that defaults
to a 1-bit setting, which can also be set to a higher 4-bit
resolution. The 1-bit colour setting produces adequate colour output, which should be acceptable for most business
colour settings. The 4-bit colour setting produces a better
graphic intensive output; the differences are very visible.
The graphic-intensive grape image pulled from a menu
shows a much deeper and more pixilated purple image.
The shading is far more superior with the 4-bit setting.
The photographic reproduction of the tiger, the darker
green foliage in the background, and cast stone statue
monument in the foreground shows a great deal of improvement from the 1 bit setting to the 4 bit. The 4-bit
colour mode provides a much crisper and denser image.
The four-colour band test with the coloured text printed
within the bands show much improvement when viewing
the 4-bit green and blue bands closely. The bands shows
signs of graininess and the text is not crisp or sharp at the
1-bit level. The 4-bit images are by far richer and deeper in
colour and density, when compared to the 1-bit setting.
Default 1-bit colour setting
High resolution 4-bit colour setting
Default 1-bit colour setting
Colour prints with text test patterns in 1-bit setting
(above) and 4-bit setting (below)
High resolution 4-bit colour setting
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 41 • September 21, 2006
Print
WHAT WE LIKED
• The upper left hand window on each driver has a status box option that can
be viewed in graphic mode. As a job develops, the current selections can be
viewed to ensure that the correct feature sets are chosen for the current run.
The graphic selection supports more visually-oriented users who prefer to
see how the job will be laid out.
• The PostScript and the PCL drivers for the Sharp products are very similar
in the layout and overall appearance. This similarity allows users to jump
from one driver to the next without issue.
• The print quality was very good. Clear, crisp lines and graphic reproduction were apparent across a variety of different resolution settings. Different
types of jobs will run very well on this unit.
• Complex operations such as cover insertion and page insertion, printing tabs
and multi-coloured carbon paper were user-friendly, intuitive processes.
• Carbon copy mode allows companies to move away from multi-part media
supplies.
• Tab printing on the fly was easy to set up.
• The ability to view the status of all paper trays (paper size, type and paper levels) is an easy way for users to see if there are sufficient resources
available before releasing print jobs. The Tray Status screen (below) can be
accessed through the driver’s main screen.
• Administrators and users should be able to manage, view, delete, promote,
or pause print jobs that are currently in queue. They also need to move a job
ahead of another in the print queue to manage priority jobs.
• The overlay function should be located on the same tab as the watermark
function.
Exceptional
OFFI CE
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 42 • September 21, 2006
Scan
Address Book Integration
Integration into central corporate address books on LDAP or NT servers
is the de facto standard today, as is the ability to force-populate outgoing
email with sender information through an enforced login process. This way,
outgoing communications from the remote MFP can be traced back to the
user and audited for compliance purposes.
Destinations
Scan-to destinations include email, SMB (Windows desktop locations),
FTP, and Internet fax. In some instances, the scan goes directly to the
hard drive; an email is sent to the recipient with a URL link so they can
quickly download the scan file from the device hard drive location. A growing number of devices are starting to include external media ports to allow
scanning directly to USB memory sticks or digital camera SD chips. BERTL
expects this to be commonplace over the next year.
Security
Security is another hot point in scanning. Several devices now include the
capability to send scan messages using encrypted PDF or other secure
transfer medium. This can be an important factor in many industries sensitive to data theft or misuse.
Integration with Third-Party Applications
The big buzz in the MFP industry is the move toward open architecture,
where the firmware backbone of the device is based on an industry standard like Java or .NET rather than a proprietary systems. This opens great
opportunities for far greater MFP integration with other software applications through third-party applications created with software developer kits
(SDK).
Through these partnerships, scanning from the MFP can take on a new
life, doing more than just routing files from the MFP to an email or folder.
Now, information can be directed into a sophisticated workflow complete
with metadata, billing information, image enhancement, and other functions, all from the initial scanning action rather than the multi-stage process
used previously.
Currently, there is great differentiation in the field of scanning as manufacturers continue to develop this aspect of the device. Watch for more
image enhancement and workflow capabilities to become commonplace as
scanning continues to pick up the pace as a dominant factor.
Exceptional
Scan Features Summary
Maximum Scan
Speed (Mono)
65 opm with
two-sided
black and
white
Maximum, Scan
Speed (Colour)
35 opm
Document Feeder
Capacity
150 sheets
Connectivity Options
10/100BaseT
Ethernet
USB 2.0
Scan to email
Yes
Scan to SMB
Yes
Scan to FTP
Yes
Scan to HDD
Yes
Scan to URL
Yes
Scan to Internet Fax
Yes
TWAIN Scanning
No
Scan to External
Memory Source
(USB card)
Yes
Network
Authentication
Yes
LDAP Authentication
Yes
File Formats
Supported
TIFF
PDF
JPEG
Encrypted PDF
Format
Yes
Resolution Options
100 dp
200 dpi
300 dpi
400 dpi
600 dpi
Ad hoc
Subject Line Entry
Yes
Ad hoc
Message Line Entry
Yes
Ad hoc
File Name Entry
Yes
OFFI CE
In just a few years, network scanning has moved from a
luxury item to one of the most important functions on many
MFPs. Virtually all MFPs offer standard or optional network
scanning. Document feeder design is now a major focus
with users looking for higher speed, low resolution capabilities, more versatile scan functions, and even colour
scanning on devices only equipped with monochrome
marking engines.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 43 • September 21, 2006
Scan
Scan to Email
From the Document Filing tab, the user selects scan to
email to view all options. Both grayscale and colour scanning are available with the Sharp MX-5500N. Users can
scan to TIFF, PDF, and JPEG formats. Colour options are
black, grayscale, full colour, and auto colour. Available
modes are Text, Text/Photo, and Photo. Resolutions can be
set at 100 dpi, 200 dpi, 300 dpi, 400 dpi, and 600 dpi.
The user enters the name of the recipient in the “To”
field. Any email addresses that has been set up can be
queried from the scan screen. The device supports LDAP
directory browsing of corporate centralized address books
on the server. If a recipient has not been set up, the email
address can be entered from the QWERTY keyboard.
From the Send Settings screen, a subject line, a file
reference, a reply to email address and a message can
be entered as well. The file name and format can also be
changed.
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 44 • September 21, 2006
Scan
Scan to Email (continued)
To enter or change any text, users can use the QWERTY
keyboard which fills the top part of the screen. Users can
use both the QWERTY keyboard and hard button numeric
keypad to enter numbers.
The QWERTY keyboard is easy to use and supports
many languages along with specialized symbols. As illustrated, the user is entering a message informing the recipient of the attached contents.
As the body message extends beyond a few lines, a full
screen is displayed giving the user more space for messaging. The user clicks the ok button when finished with the
message.
The Send Settings screen is populated with the information entered. At any time, the user can add, change, or delete the information. The user presses ok to send the email.
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Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 45 • September 21, 2006
Scan
Scan Data Capture Accuracy
One of the fastest growing needs for high-speed scanning
is the conversion of legacy hard copy documents into an
electronic format for better information sharing, reduced
storage space, and easier search and data retrieval.
Exceptional
Above is a portion of BERTL’s OCR test chart
scanned at 200 dpi (top), 300 dpi (middle) and
600 dpi (bottom) in text format and saved as a
PDF file. The image has been zoomed to 400
percent in Adobe Acrobat and screen-captured
for display.
The top line is 4 point, the middle line is 6
point, and the bottom line 8 point.
OFFI CE
A scan converts a page into an image that is not very
manageable. Most companies use optical character recognition (OCR)
software to convert the images into editable text, which can then be
searched, changed, or incorporated into a new document as required.
The OCR engine recognizes individual images on the page, converting
them into letters, numbers, and other symbols. The OCR engine then runs
complex analysis on the text in conjunction with spell checkers, technical
dictionaries, and other data sources before offering up its best conversion
into electronic format.
This stage can be very time-consuming, especially if the quality of the
scanned data is poor leading to character recognition errors.
To look into this important workflow issue, BERTL ran a series of standard test patterns with multiple font types, sizes, and colours capturing the
data at various resolutions using both text and text/photo settings. Text is
the default setting for most OCR work due to its 2-bit format, which tends to
produce the best text reproduction.
However, as more documents incorporate images and colour elements,
text/photo, which operates in 8-bit and reproduces gray shades for better
reproduction of images and coloured text elements, is also being used.
After scanning each page of its test originals, BERTL analysts then ran
the scanned files through ABBYY FineReader 8.0, in default configuration.
The impact of the accuracy of the scanning process at the various resolutions and settings is reflected in the number of manual confirmations that
the OCR application demands before the document is deemed clean and
ready to use.
The higher the human intervention rate, the higher the cost of carrying
out the action. As expected, the greatest difficulty in OCR recognition is
found on the smallest 4 point text sections of the test documents.
The choice of OCR application will also have a dramatic effect on the
level of human intervention that is required after the initial scanning has
taken place. For that reason, we have standardized on ABBYY, a well-respected leading OCR software developer.
Our tests are run using the latest level of ABBYY’s FineReader 8.0
software in default modes. Through fine tuning of the rich feature set in
ABBYY, an additional portion of the manual intervention could be removed.
However, to maintain benchmark comparison procedures, default settings
were selected.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 46 • September 21, 2006
Scan
Scan Data Capture Accuracy Results
The device fared very
well on eight point and 10
point type, which is standard in most documents.
Four point text, which will
be processed on diagram
labels, and terms and
conditions on contracts,
did not fair as well with a
very low recognition rate
at 300 dpi, even on the
bold black font.
200 dpi vs.
300 dpi Output
The graph below clearly
illustrates the advantage
of fewer uncertain characters resulting reduced
user intervention when
scanning for OCR workflow is switched from 200
dpi to 300 dpi.
The increase in
bandwidth and the slight
additional delay before the larger 300 dpi scanned file can be accessed by the
desktop operator are more than offset by the greater accuracy of character
recognition.
Text vs. Text/Photo
There was also a clear differentiation between the recognition of Text and
Text/Photo scanning modes. While the algorithm used in Text/Photo mode
may result in better looking output of images and photographs, it resulted in
less clear character capture which again results in increased user intervention
rates. Users should look carefully at the types of document they are scanning
before choosing the scanning method.
Exceptional
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 47 • September 21, 2006
Scan
Scan Data Capture Productivity
Judging scan productivity is another difficult task. The
impact of the user on the overall process will be largely
determined by the amount of work required at the initial
scan operation. In other words, if the scan operator is
expected to enter copious amounts of metadata using
the device touch screen interface before hitting the scan
start button, then the overall productivity is going to be governed more by
the user-friendliness of the interface rather than the scanner technology or
transfer rate.
However, if the user is merely scanning a file to a preconfigured location, then the scan productivity can be measured looking at two aspects:
the time the user must wait until they can return to their desk with originals
in hand, and the time they must wait before the files can be accessed.
BERTL looks at both of these factors across a selection of scanning settings. Scanning time is only one part of the time required to support image
creation. Getting it to your destination is another. The chart below shows
the scanning time but also reflects something just as, if not more important:
the time it takes to actually use this image. This is a frequently overlooked
aspect of scanning. There are differing time elements in the actual scan
side of the operation but also in the time to desktop.
BERTL’s test included different resolution settings (200 dpi and 300
dpi) text only and text/photo, as well as different capture levels.
Scanning time is only one part of
the time required to support image
creation. Getting it to your destination
is another. The charts show the scanning time but also reflects something
just as, if not more important: the time
it takes to actually use the image.
This is a frequently overlooked aspect of scanning. There are differing
time elements in the actual scan side
of the operation but also in the time to
desktop.
BERTL’s test included different
resolution settings (200 dpi and 300
dpi) as well as different capture levels: Text only and Text/Photo. As the
chart shows, there is no difference
in scan time between the different
modes and resolutions. There was
a difference between monochrome and colour. The monochrome samples
were scanned in 26 seconds, the colour in 45 seconds.
Users will delight in the ease of use and quick turnaround time for a
MFP scan as they find more and more reasons to scan their documents
and support requirements ranging from knowledge sharing to records
management.
Exceptional
OFFI CE
Scan Data Capture Productivity
Results
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 48 • September 21, 2006
Scan
WHAT WE LIKED
• The scan template creation process is easy for novice users.
• The 150-sheet, 65-opm scanner allows for fast original handling, minimizing
user intervention time.
• JPEG file creation is offered in addition to the standard PDF and TIFF, providing a low- bandwidth image file creation option that some environments
demand.
• The touch screen layout is a big plus, which also provides a nice snapshot of
the device’s scanning capabilities.
• Data entry via the QWERTY keyboard was very efficient with the QWERTY
design taking up the full width of the large touch screen. With the 10.4"
touch screen, each key is larger and easier to press than most rival devices.
• Users can convert hard copy documents to electronic files and by scanning
them on the device and transferring them directly to a USB flash drive, without going through the desktop.
• Single-pass duplex scanner raised productivity on double-sided jobs, reduced wear and tear on originals, and has the potential for fewer jams.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE
• The quality of scanned documents would improve if advanced image enhancer options including colour dropout, de-speckle, de-skew, and multiscanning were available. These features are routinely found on scan-centric
products.
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OFFI CE
• Viewing documents from the touch screen before sending to a scan destination would ensure that the proper document is sent.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 49 • September 21, 2006
Summary
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BERTL analyst inspects the optional LCT on
the Sharp MX-5500N.
O FFI CE
BERTL has already praised Sharp for its rise from business colour laggard to
innovator in the space of one generation of product. With the introduction of
the departmental MX-series, Sharp has now rounded out its line and has the
first line to ever achieve a BERTL 5-Star status throughout.
This achievement should not to be taken lightly in a climate where new,
innovative colour devices arrive on the market every month. Sharp does lack
some novel features found on rival devices, such as colour dropout and scan
preview. However, the overall productivity, ease of use, document production,
customization, and management capabilities make the device a true innovator
and one that will be tough to beat in the market.
The Sharp MX-5500N has made great strides to provide user-friendly enhancements and functionalities with the following features:
• Customisable user profiles with up to eight user groups to choose from
• The ability to reload colour and black/white toner on the fly while printing
• Fewer toner reloads are needed with the large-capacity dual black toner
• The 150-sheet capacity single-pass duplexing document feeder that can
reduce operator time at the device when handling double-sided documents
• A large number of security features with up to three levels of security to
view and print secure documents on file
• The ability to scan-to-USB or to scan to a number of destinations (email,
fax, ftp, file server, desktop via SMB, internet fax)
• Internet faxes can be routed to the user’s personal folder, email address, or
to a designated person who can route them to additional personnel
• A large colour control panel and enhanced touch screen layout
• A roll-out metal rail allows greater access to the fuser unit area for jam
removal
• A double exposure feature that saves time and resources for copying insurance cards
Although the Sharp MX-5500N has numerous high-quality features and
functionalities, there are a few things that BERTL would like to see added or
improved upon in the near future:
• The ability to view, manage, pause, delete, or prioritize jobs that are in the
job queue
• Accessibility features, such as a tilting control panel, and a remote copy/
scan control mechanism for physically-challenged users
• Cost accounting as a standard device management tool
• Additional scan workflow functionality built into the firmware such as colour
dropout, de-skew and de-speckle, so the device can be used as a decentralized scanning resource
• Scan preview before printing/sending the document from the touch screen
control panel.
As the front office becomes increasingly motivated to convert hard copy
into intelligent softcopy the scan-friendly platform upon which Sharp has built
its MX-series will put it at an advantage against many of its rivals that need to
make the transition from age-old, copier-scanning technology to the new era
of scanning. With more attention to the scanning workflow aspects which have
made the likes of Kodak and Fujitsu major players in the document processing
industry, Sharp stands to take its next generation of products into new territory
again.
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
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Sharp MX-5500N
page 50 • September 21, 2006
About BERTL
About BERTL
The success of an organization depends on its ability to manage its information and assets. An effective workflow process requires the complex integration of information, devices, software, and people.
IT managers, office managers, and other knowledge management professionals need to know which digital imaging devices would best serve their specialized workflow processes.
BERTL’s services are designed around this real-world framework, delivering
business consumers the independent analysis and insight they need to make
critical decisions about digital imaging’s role in their organization.
Independent Analysis and Insight
BERTL’s reports, comparative data, and strategic guides look at digital imaging through the eyes of the business user. The research examines not only the
technical features, but also vertical market applications, and business benefits. The impact on worker productivity is a primary concern.
BERTL is 100 percent independent. It receives no funding from manufacturers, and all product evaluations and reports are published at BERTL’s own
expense for its subscribers. Business users worldwide trust BERTL for objective, unbiased analysis of digital imaging systems.
Reports and Star Ratings
BERTL analysts provide detailed reports of the technical and practical benefits
of thousands colour and monochrome workgroup, office, graphic arts, and
production devices.
Product Specifications
DataCheck Gen II provides the most current competitive data on printers,
copiers, MFPs, fax devices, wide format printers, scanners and more.
News, Interviews, and Analysis
The ITchat online magazine provides insight into the dynamics and trends of
the digital imaging marketplace through interviews, feature articles, and software reviews
BERTL Awards
BERTL analysts recognize the leading devices and software solutions in the
annual BERTL’s Best awards. BERTL also honors the performance of manufacturers in the annual Readers’ Choice selections.
Contact BERTL
200 Craig Road
Manalapan, NJ 07726 USA
Tel 1.732.761.2311 • Fax 1.732.761.2312
Email: info@bertl.com • www.BERTL.com
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OFFI CE
BERTL Services
Copyright © 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL. All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any
portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is
strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.