Konica Minolta Named BLI’s A3 MFP Line of the Year for Unprecedented Fourth Straight Year

January 21, 2014 – Hong Kong (HK) – For the first time in the decades-long history of BLI's awards, a manufacturer has won the A3 MFP Line of the Year award for a fourth consecutive year. The most coveted honour bestowed by Buyers Lab, the world’s leading authority on document imaging devices and solutions, Line of the Year is awarded once a year to the vendors whose products are determined to be the best in their respective categories of models tested in BLI’s rigorous two-month laboratory evaluation.

For 2014, as it has every year since 2011, that prestigious title goes to Konica Minolta, Inc.

"What Konica Minolta has achieved with a fourth consecutive Line of the Year win is unprecedented," said BLI Managing Editor Daria Hoffman. "The fact that year after year Konica Minolta continues to surpass the competition is a testament to the sustained quality of its A3 line."

"What it boils down to with Konica Minolta is consistency," said George Mikolay, BLI's senior product editor for A3/Copier MFPs. "Whereas competing lines may stand out in certain speed bands, or in either colour or black, Konica Minolta's engines stand out across the board—in reliability, ease of use and image quality—in virtually all speed bands in both colour and black. No other vendor brings the same quality of performance across its product line to the same degree."

Remarkable Reliability
Remarkable Reliability Reliability has proven to be the quality most important to buyers, and Konica Minolta’s product line has proven its mettle in this regard. Its current A3 products have logged more than 1.5 million impressions in BLI’s lab with consistently reliable performance. "In fact," said Mikolay, "at real-world monthly usage volumes, it would take five Konica Minolta devices before users would experience even a single misfeed a month among them." BLI Manager of Laboratory Testing Pete Emory added, "The reliability Konica Minolta devices have consistently shown, from the low end to the high end, truly separates its line from others we have tested." And the fact that Konica Minolta’s devices have user-replaceable colour drums means that, unlike with many competitive devices, a service call is not required to replace them—a design that maxmises uptime.

Highly Productive and Standout Image Quality
"The colour engines were found to quickly process and output users’ jobs not only in BLI's real-world job stream test, but also when printing sets and producing booklets, and scan speeds are the fastest or among the fastest in their respective groups," said Mikolay.
"All of Konica Minolta’s tested colour devices received high marks for both business graphics and photographic images, producing bright, saturated colour, natural flesh tones and smooth overall output." Konica Minolta's monochrome engines tested this year also earned high marks for printed image quality. "Even in copy mode, text was sharp, fine lines were consistent and halftone levels were distinct across all levels."

Excellent Ease of Use and Robust Scan Functionality
Always easy to use, Konica Minolta’s excellent user interface, which allows users to easily switch among three different interfaces, has been further enhanced this past year with support for dragging and dropping and pinch-to-zoom, as well as the ability to rotate pages in a scan preview. The control panel also enables users to drag and drop files in a User Box to perform certain functions and rearrange pages in edit mode. Also contributing to Konica Minolta’s A3 MFP Line of the Year accolade is the line's robust scan functionality, which includes the ability to scan documents in PowerPoint format and optional searchable and encrypted PDF.

Solutions and More
Further enhancing this outstanding line is bizhub Extended Solution Technology (bEST), which enables integration of Konica Minolta devices with a range of applications that can help to control costs, heighten security and ease burdens associated with document capture, routing and management. Named BLI’s 2012 MFP Solutions Line of the Year, Konica Minolta now supports the bizhub MarketPlace—downloadable apps that allow users to display corporate announcements on their control panel, and to access a library of business forms and templates, check security settings, scan to Microsoft SharePoint and even order recycling boxes and print shipping labels.

Current Lineup
Konica Minolta’s currently available A3 business colour models include the “Pick”-winning bizhub C364e and bizhub C454e; the Highly Recommended bizhub C224e, bizhub C284e and bizhub C554e; and the bizhub C654e and bizhub C754e. Konica Minolta’s currently available A3 monochrome models include the “Pick”-winning bizhub 554e, and the Highly Recommended bizhub 284e and bizhub 364e, as well as the bizhub 654e and bizhub 754e, which are enhanced versions of predecessor models that earned Highly Recommended ratings. The monochrome line also includes the Recommended bizhub 215, and the bizhub 224e and 454e, which were not tested. Though they are not included in the A3 MFP Line of the Year award, Konica Minolta also offers production devices, including the PRO-Award winning bizhub PRESS C7000 and bizhub PRESS 1250/1250P, which further add to the scope and breadth of Konica Minolta’s offerings.

"Receiving 'Pick' awards from BLI, as well as the 2014 A3 Line of the Year Award, further supports the leading innovation and proven performance of bizhub MFP solutions," said Jonathan Yeo, general manager, regional headquarters, of Konica Minolta Business Solutions Asia Pte Ltd. "We are honoured to receive these awards and are committed to providing even more powerful solutions to our customers in 2014."