There’s a good reason the Ricoh MP W8140 is the fastest wide-format printer on our lineup: It doesn’t print in color. Instead of using pigment-, dye- or solvent-based inks, the W8140 uses toner, the same stuff you can find in an office laser printer. Toner offers fantastic print speeds, but it’s limited to monochrome output and, in the case of the W8140, doesn’t print at the highest resolutions. This makes the W8140 something of a specialty device.
There are plenty of situations where the W8140’s speed and monochrome limitations could be viewed as a strength. Large corporations that process tons of internal publications, engineering or architectural firms that need to draw out technical schematics, or even a university that wants to print its own black-and-white college newspapers could get a lot of use out of a large-format printer like this one from Ricoh.
You should go into the purchase with reasonable expectations, of course. The printer outputs toner at just 600 x 600 dpi, one-eighth the density of our number one pick. It accepts rolls up to 36 inches wide and, being a toner-based device, can only print to a few types of media like bond paper, recycled paper or backlit film. It’s one of the three heaviest entries in our large-format printing comparison, weighing in at a sizable 649 pounds. And it doesn’t come with a manual sheet bypass by default, though you can upgrade your purchase to include one if you know you’ll need it.
There are some nice inclusions here as well. The printer can hold two rolls at once, which is great for extended print jobs or switching between different media. It has an integrated 1200 x 1200 dpi color scanner, perfect for capturing large sketches for later editing and reprinting. Most importantly, it’s unbelievably fast, able to reach speeds of 5,040 square feet per hour, or 84 square feet – over 9 yards of 36-inch-wide paper – every minute.
Whether you should buy Ricoh’s MP W8140 for your business very much depends on your needs. This particular entry in our wide-format comparison eschews color for reliable speed and efficient output, making it perfect for the AEC market – architecture, engineering and construction. For such companies, the W8140 may be just what the CEO ordered, because when it comes to speed, there’s no better option around.
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