The first time I heard about the new Ricoh MP C501SP was a pic that a Print4Pay Hotel member posted on this site. That pic came from the recent Ricoh Convergence in Las Vegas a few months ago.
I took a good long look at the device that's positioned as an 50 page per minute color A4 device. My first thoughts is well, it kinda looks too big, it looks very similar to another Ricoh device, and it looks like the MP C501SP has an A3 style document feeder. Alright, its just a pic, I'll just have to wait and see what's the deal behind this new color A4 50ppm device.
Yesterday I needed to create a configuration page from the Aficio League for a recent order. There it was, the configuration page for the new Ricoh MP C501SP. I then checked for the brochure, and the sales information guide. I was in luck both were posted up on the site. It was reading time!
What I found
- Document Feeder holds 220 sheets of paper
- Document Feeder is a single pass feeder capable of scanning @180 images per minute
- Document Feeder maximum paper size is 11x17
- Each Paper tray holds a max of 550 sheets of paper
- Tray one is dedicated letter
- Additional paper trays hold 550 sheets of paper and max out at legal size paper
- Optional 50 sheet stapler
- Weight of the device is 197lbs
Whoa, stop the presses! All of these specs are identical to the A3 color MFP's (MP C2004, 2504, 3004, 3504, 4504). The only difference is that the MP C501SP can't print ledger (11x17).
I checked out the pictures of the paper trays, and each of three optional paper trays seem to have a plastic insert/guide that does not allow for ledger size paper to be installed.
What is it?
What we have is an A3 MFP disguised as an A4 MFP. I'm okay with this since I can also sell the crap out of scanning 11x17 on an A4 print device. The color speed of 50ppm is also fantastic. As far as volume goes, the MP C501SP's sweet spot is between 5k-15K pages per month.
All is well and good with the features too. It also seems that the MP C501SP will be the first A4 device using the A3 cost per page model. That's a win, win also.
I'm trying to figure out how to put this with out offending some peeps. Many manufacturers now produce one color print engine that is capable of different speeds. It's the same box, the same print engine, the only difference is the speed and some options aka accessories. I'm in the camp that believes that the manufacturers should just give us one box and dealers can then purchase a speed license. Think of the time that's saved from ordering and how about the savings on parts, accessories and supplies.
The MP C501SP isn't going to be a game changer when it comes to the price of the hardware. But, it can make a big difference when you're comparing the TCO compared to traditional A4 MFP's. We will have the A3 cost per page model with an A4 MFP.
I'll be posting more in the upcoming days on this device.