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With the introduction of the Maxify range of business focused printers in South Africa, TechSmart sat down to chat with Lee-Anne Letcher, Inkjet Printer and Scanner Product Manager at Canon South Africa, about all things printing-related. 

TechSmart: For which target market did Canon developed the new Maxify range of business inkjet printers?

Lee-Anne Letcher: The Maxify range has me very excited, since it’s meant for a market we’ve never played in: the business user. Traditionally, Canon had the Pixma range, which is more for the home or small office user. The Maxify range offers the business user greater connectivity options; bigger paper supplies and bigger cartridges which means a lower cost per copy.  You also have better printing speed, in the range of 23 page per minute, which you will not get on the Canon Pixma range.

With the Maxify range, we’ve achieved the market share we actually wanted to capture by the end of the year, during the first half of the year already. It’s doing extremely well.


The Canon Maxify MB2040

What office size would you typically recommend the Maxify range for?

It all depends on volume, but typically for offices with about ten users. The recommended monthly volume is about a 1000 pages on the entry level Maxify, and 1500 on the higher end unit.

Is the Maxify range still focused on photos?

There’s quite a big difference between the two ranges in the sense that Pixma printers still use a combination of pigment and dye inks. Dye inks are what give you exceptional photo quality. The Maxify range uses pigment inks which is ideal for document printing.  

For consumers who want to print both documents and photos, the Pixma range would be more suitable.

Obviously the Pixma range is not just for photos.

We have a wide range of Pixma printers, suitable for the consumer that wants to print both documentation and photos of exceptional quality.  The Pixma range also includes the Pro Series – which includes an 8, 10 and 12 ink system. This is for ideal for CAD users, Graphic designers, Architects, Photographic hobbyists as well as professional photographers who want to sell their images.

The software that comes standard with the printers helps the consumer create greeting cards, collages, and fun things for kids to do on a rainy day. Printing photos is made easy seeing that the only thing the consumer needs to do, is select the images and the layout, and the software will do the rest.

Is printing photos still popular?

Feedback received from the printers shows that most users print on average 25 - 30 photos a month. Due to the growth of social media, consumers tend to save and share photos on social media platforms rather than printing their images.  


A very good reason to consider printing your photos

What about scrapbooking?

It’s not as big as it used to be four years ago. When the economy dropped a lot of places closed and it is definitely seen as a luxury item. But there are still a lot of stores around. I still scrap and print most of my images as I love going through all my albums.

What role does connectivity play these days when selecting a printer?

I think it plays a big role. The majority of youngsters spend their pocket money/earnings on technology.  It is mind blowing to see the amount of youngsters with smart devices. Also, with schools moving towards tablets, there’s no point of doing your projects and homework on a tablet and not being able to print it out. You can connect the majority of Canon’s printing products, and we’re seeing a big trend towards anyone who has a smartphone or smart device to do their printing through there.

Also the way we do business has changed. I don’t go to see customers with my notebook anymore, I take my tablet. Because everything is saved to the cloud, you can just grab what you need from there and print to a wireless printer. So it saves you so much time and it’s convenient, and I think that is what technology is all about.

So with that come apps off course.

On the printer side Canon has developed a range of apps to help you print a lot easier, especially since images are so important. For example, if you print a photo off your smart device, you can add text, or add little designs before printing it directly from your phone. You can even create a birthday card on your smart device.

pixma 7
The Canon Pixma MG7540

Let’s talk about printer recommendations for different scenarios. What printer would you recommend for:

1. SOHO who prints a fair amount daily, and requires smart connectivity and good quality prints.

If they want to print in colour, then the Pixma MG5540 is a good option. It has full connectivity and single ink cartridges, which provides a lower cost per copy than tri-cartridges.

If colour is not really a concern, then the Pixma MG2940 is a good choice. It’s really entry level, but includes wireless connectivity. The ink-system is tri-cartridge, so it’s not really ideal for people who want to do a lot of photo printing, as your cost per copy will be higher.

2. A family who will be using the printer at home for school projects, plus the odd print by mom or dad, and the occasional photo print.

I would recommend the Pixma MG7540. Although it’s quite high-end, what is nice is that it contains a touchscreen, uses a 6 ink system which includes a grey cartridge giving you a larger colour gamut. It has all the bells and whistle on the connectivity front, and includes two paper trays: one for photos and one for A4 pages so you don’t need to switch trays.

3. A small office where at least five staff require a printer that can provide for daily office activities and fast printing required at times.

Definitely the Maxify range, either the MB2040 or MB2340 if printing less than 1000 pages per month. Due to the larger cartridges, the cost per copy is more cost effective.  If speed is essential then the MB2340 is slightly faster with 23 pages vs. 16 pages per minute. It also has a paper tray holding 500 sheets of paper vs. 250 pages, so refilling the paper is less of a bother.

Maxify MB2340
The Canon Maxify MB2340

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