Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet 10 Base-T/100 Base-TX, 1100 sheets, 35 ppm (color) print, Up to 35 ppm (mono) / up to 35 ppm (color) copy, Up to 600 x 600 dpi, 25.4 in x…
Users will find the MX-3501N similar yet far superior to its Sharp predecessors in many ways. The machine has much of the same feel as the AR-BC260 series with a different body and many new, enhanced features. With the business color market in full swing, Sharp positions the MX-3501N to do more than just replace black and white MFPs. At 35 ppm in both monochrome and color, the Sharp MX-3501N can handle those larger color jobs that traditionally have been too complex and lengthy for desktop color... Read more [ Report abuse or wrong photo | Share your Sharp MX-3501N photo ]
Sharp MX-3501N - Quick Start Printer, size: 4.9 MB
User reviews and opinions
|Lilap||11:44pm on Thursday, October 21st, 2010|
|I have had this model for the past year and have had noproblems. TTS is good and maps are acurate. GREAT PRODUCT|
|Quincysue||8:53pm on Thursday, September 16th, 2010|
|IT IS VERY ACCURATE, AND FAST TO RECALCULATE . THE VOLUME COULD BE IMPROVED A BIT.|
|Mr.P||1:59pm on Friday, July 2nd, 2010|
|price, effectiveness, ease of operation (especially suctioncup mount), carry case. Easy to install, easy to put in addresses, simple to follow. The screen is a little on the small side.|
|jonrobs||3:03am on Thursday, June 24th, 2010|
|speach I use this in my work since I visit 112 different stores in about 90 different towns in Maine.|
|dr_jumba||11:55pm on Saturday, June 19th, 2010|
|GPS locked on to satellites while I was in the house at my desk with one nearby window. I was amazed. GPS locked on to satellites while I was in the house at my desk with one nearby window. I was amazed.|
|Harold Herrera||2:29am on Wednesday, June 9th, 2010|
|Inexpensive, easy-use, Map & 1.6M POIs on 1GB SDcard, sturdy, portable, also charges via USB US Map only, upgrade support questionable.|
|hki||2:56am on Monday, May 17th, 2010|
|This GPS system is functional however it gives turn by turn directions and does not announce street names.|
|Julietaw||9:39am on Sunday, May 9th, 2010|
|I BOUGHT ONE OF THESE AT MY LOCAL K MART STORE AND THIS ITEM WORKED LIKE AN PRO AN IT DOES EVERYTHING TO IT HOLDS TONS OF MUSIC AND PICTURES AND ONE O...|
|mun||2:06am on Monday, May 3rd, 2010|
|this phone looks good in the pic, not bad for the price. the phone just made out of cheap materials.|
Comments posted on www.ps2netdrivers.net are solely the views and opinions of the people posting them and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of us.
Color at Work
100% Independent Analysis Sharp MX-3501N
35 ppm Color and Monochrome Copier - Printer - Scanner - Fax
Key Buyer Benefits
High-capacity, high-speed single pass document feeder reduces user time at device Well-designed user interface for both walk up and desktop users Customized walk up experience through the favorite templates feature in Web server Advanced permissioning and cost control management utility Encrypted PDF technology for more secure document storage and sending Innovative scan-to and print-from USB memory stick Wide range of security features including network authentication, MAC and IP filtering, good port management compliance, network authentication and LDAP integration
BERTL 5-Star Award Winner
tel. (1) 732-761-2311 fax. (1) 732-761-2312 info@BERTL.com
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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Product Dynamics...3 Sharp Open Systems Architecture...4 Device Management....5 Sharpdesk....14 Security.....16 Routine Maintenance...18 Accessibility....21 Paper Input....22 Paper Output/Finishing....23 Copy.....25 Ease of Use....25 Customized Walk-up Experience...25 Control Panel Functionality...25 Concurrency and Contention...26 Job Build....26 Covers and Insertion Pages...27 Productivity....27 Image Quality....28 Print....29 Direct PDF and TIFF Printing...29 Driver Layout....29 Job Handling....33 Productivity....34 Scan....35 Attachment Options....35 Job Build....35 Scan Data Capture Accuracy...dpi vs. 300 dpi Output...38 Text vs. Text/Photo....38 Scan to File Productivity....39 Scan to USB....40 Fax....40 Summing Up....41 Page 2
The MX-3501N is the first of a new series of color MFP products to come out of Sharp as the company reshapes its entire color MFP line up in 2006. While the MX3501N may, at first glance, have design similarities to its predecessors, the ARBC260 and AR-BC320, BERTL found that nothing could be further from the truth once we started using the device. All the weakness that had forced BERTL to not place the AR-BC260 and AR-BC320 on its recommended list have been replaced by innovative, cutting edge technology. These changes have put Sharp in a very strong position in this hard fought market sector and have warranted the rare and prestigious BERTL 5-Star Exceptional rating. Users will find the new MX-3501N similar yet far superior to its Sharp predecessors in many ways. The machine has much of the same feel as the AR-BC260 series with a different body and many new, enhanced features. With the business color market in full swing, Sharp positions the MX-3501N to do more than just replace black and white MFPs. At 35 ppm in both monochrome and color, the Sharp MX-3501N can handle those larger color jobs that traditionally have been too complex and lengthy for desktop color printers and instead have been sent down to the central reprographic department (CRD) or outsourced to a commercial print shop. Just like its competitive counterparts, the Sharp MX-3501N comes complete with copy, print, and scan right out of the box. Fax functionality is optional, as Sharp continues to stay consistent with rival MFPs in the marketplace. Before assessing a product such as the Sharp MX-3501N, it is important to have a clear understanding of the role the device has to play in the office and the types of environments and workflows that the device is going to have to handle. Designed to handle the role of overall workgroup or small department copy/print/scan (and possibly fax), the Sharp MX-3501N has a great deal of responsibilities. As the number of highspeed color printers increases, the need to be able to justify the extra expense of the scanner/copy module is becoming more pressing. Even though printing has become the dominant workflow requirement for most office environments, copying cannot be sold short. It is still considered a vital dayto-day activity and one which needs to be efficient, especially due to potential user dead time (employees waiting at the device, carrying out no other useful purpose).
BERTL analyst putting the Sharp MX-3501N through its paces
Another important issue when judging office color devices is image quality and what makes good and bad image quality for general office applications. When attending trade shows and manufacturer conventions, it is always interesting to see when a color product is unveiled that one of the first things that people do is slap a photo down on the glass and hit copy. They expect to see a beautiful reproduction of their loved one. In reality, the office color MFP is not, in a corporate setting, going to be called upon to carry out this task, which can prove a challenge even for dedicated high-end graphic devices. Instead, image quality should be looked upon in relation to its role in the general office that of message highlighter and image enhancer. The Sharp MX-3501N comes with an enviable list of high-tech features that aid every aspect of the device including: Scan-to and print-from USB memory stick drives Customized walk-up experience on a user-by-user basis MAC filtering ensuring maximum security lockdown Encrypted PDF workflow for both print on demand and scan users Open Systems Architecture for even greater customization The benefits of this Sharp OSA are multiple: a reduction in the cost of implementing software applications due to the reduction in hardware components a more efficient end user experience delivering productivity benefits the opportunity to streamline workflow processes in a single step Sharp is stressing 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. This is so important as small- and mediumsized 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 betalevel demonstrations of a multitude of software applications running on Sharp OSA including cost control, scan middleware routing, and document management applications. At the time of writing, Sharp OSA is not currently available to end users, but should be available shortly with a selection of software applications ready at or near time of launch.
Sharp Open Systems Architecture Sharps Open Systems Architecture (Sharp OSA) which is based on Microsoft.NET technology one of the popular building block frameworks for software developers today allows independent software vendors (ISV), dealers, and end users to develop specific applications that can be run through the touch screen of the MFP.
By simply opening a Web browser and typing in the Web address of any Sharp device, in this case the MX-3501N, a site specific to the machine pops up. The Top Page does not offer much more than the configuration of the machine in the picture, a menu, and the current status of the machine. But, this is just a home page or starting point for the site and device. Double click on the Current Status of the machine and the Device Status page opens. This is useful to monitor paper supplies; each paper tray, from tray 1 to 5 and the bypass tray is detailed. Users can see how much paper is in each drawer, the media size and paper type. Toner supply percentages also are displayed.
Individuals maintain custom folders.
Sharp also includes a sophisticated Search facility allowing users to look for files stored by user name, file name or password. This useful feature saves valuable time when a large number of documents are stored, especially in the shared Main or Quick folder locations. The only problem is, from the Search screen, the Quick File folder, Main folder and Custom folder management windows, users cannot select more than one job to print at a time. In order to print multiple jobs, users must go to the File Batch Print screen, select all desired jobs and input the password.
Users can search by user name.
Users can search by password.
One of the most innovative new aspects Sharp has added to its Web server is an enhanced user control administration system. After signing in, the administrator is greeted by a new menu that allows them to set up and manage user accounts. Setting up new users was easy and included a wide range of functionality and automated features designed to make the job as streamlined as possible. During the user setup process, the administrator enters all the usual personal information, login details, email address, and password similar to other devices. However, the system gets more interesting with the added ability to specify the user account into a preconfigured group of page limit, authority level and favorite operation settings profiles. The setting up of these profile groups was also easy to administer. Within the Page Limit group window, the administrator could assign a volume limit for each functionality component of the device.
A user can be set up by the administrator with group settings for page limits, authority level and favorite operations being applied
This limit could also be split out between monochrome and color, allowing a color device to be used by junior staff as a monochrome device only while maintaining color capability for senior staff. While this system offers very extensive control capabilities over the device, we would have liked to have seen the management carried out at a central network location. This would allow for the control and monitoring of users across a range of Sharp devices. For example, junior staff member X is assigned a limit of 50 color sheets per week within their profile. That profile has been downloaded onto four Sharp MFPs. There is nothing to stop the user carrying out 50 color prints on each of the four devices, thus creating 200 sheets. If the system were managed centrally, the 50-sheet limit would be hit regardless of the split in workload between the four devices.
Above: A detailed log of the device activity can be created and exported to the administrators PC for management reporting purposes.
Below: A back up data archive of system settings can be stored allowing for speedy disaster recovery in the event of device failure.
Sharp offers a suite of remote management software collectively called the Printer Administration Suite. Bundled with the network printing option, the Suite includes Image Home Page and Printer Administration Utility. The Printer Administration Utility (PAU) is a network tool designed to speed up the installation and configuration of all connected Sharp devices. It allows IT managers to manage both Sharp and nonSharp SNMP-compliant printers over the network right from their desktop. Integrated with this software is the Printer Alert Monitor. It allows the administrator or key operator to set up a notification system for whenever an error code is sent out from the device. Alerts can be set up as a sound alert or as a pop up. The administrator is able to choose which devices they want to monitor and for which alert actions to be notified. Sharp also provides a Remote E-mail Diagnostic (RED) that lets the administrator set up an automated email response to certain actions at the device. The dealer can also be kept in the loop now with emails being sent when toner gets low or service calls are imminent. Sharp also provides a LAN-based utility, called Printer Status Monitor which provides basic SNMP data on the device: its current status, paper, and other consumable levels. (See screens to the right for examples.)
The Print Status Monitor provides information relating to device status.
A one-user license for Sharpdesk is bundled with the Sharp MX-3501N. Sharpdesk is a document management tool with many features found in advanced enterprise-level products. It communicates with Sharp MFPs and scanners, letting console users scan images to the desktop. Its key features include: Indexing to create searchable files Desktop with thumbnail file viewing Integrated Document Composer for time-saving layout and printing Optical character recognition (OCR) to convert scanned pages into editable text Output Zones for distributing files to email, printers, PC Fax, Composer, and other user applications PDF creation tool allowing users to convert documents into this common portable document file format
During the installation of Sharpdesk, the Network Scanner Tool Setup creates four standard scan routes.
Sharpdesks search and indexing functions makes locating documents a fairly simple process. For supported text document types principally.doc,.html, and.pdf. the search function performs a keyword match on contents. This requires that the user first indexes all relevant files through the indexing function in order to create a keyword database. Indexing can then be scheduled to run periodically so that new files become automatically searchable. The search function is not restricted to text. Users can also search on file attributes such as name, type, path, size, and modified date. An advanced function lets users search on a limited amount of data as well. Sharpdesk can search on subject, author, keyword, title, and comment fields
associated with MS Office. This field data can be entered in the properties dialog box thats displayed (and modified) when you click on a document icon. The advanced search function works by performing a Boolean search of all file and document attributes along with the search word. Users therefore can focus the text search on only relevant files for speedier results.
Sharpdesks document manipulation function, called Composer, lets users assemble multiple documents into a single, custom job. To manipulate documents, users must first add them to the Composer work area. Users either drag existing icons from the thumbnail pane to the work pane or they can add new documents by printing from any application using the Composer driver. Once in the work area, page images can be recorded, duplicated, or deleted. Header, footer, page number, and text annotations can also be added. New in version 3.2 of Sharpdesk is an OCR engine. Users can OCR.bmp, dcx,.gif,.jpeg,.pcx,.pdf,.png, or. tif images into Word or PDF. In summary, the Sharpdesk offers many useful features that will let smaller offices experiment with document management, OCR, and layout functions and may let them postpone the purchase of more sophisticated software.
Users can modify pages in the Composer work area.
With data and network security on the Alist of most IT managers, Sharp looks well positioned to deliver a host of security options to cater to the needs of the security-conscious buyer. In addition to its already enviable list of security features, Sharp has added PDF encryption to the MX-3501N. Users are now able to enter a PIN when creating PDF documents for storage or external communication. This ensures that if a PDF file is intercepted, its contents cannot be read unless the recipient has the PIN that goes with the files. This PIN is encrypted using 128-bit security and requires nothing more than a standard Acrobat Reader, utilizing Adobes own security technology. To limit access to the device itself, Sharp has included both IP and MAC address filtering. MAC address filtering is an important step up from IP address filtering (which many competitors now have) because unlike IP addresses which can be changed should a hacker discover the range of approved IP addresses the MAC address of the network interface card cannot be changed. Sharp also includes a port lock down utility. This searches the device for any ports that are not being used and locks them down to prevent back door entrances for hackers into the network. Sharp offers a variety of methods of restricting user access to the functionality of the device. At the most basic level, the Sharp MX-3501N supports user and departmental codes, either through its own user code system or through third-party applications such as Equitrac. This is used to track activity at the device on a user-byuser basis, ultimately controlling which functions are available per user.
Administrators are able to apply IP and MAC filters using the Web server.
In addition, the device also supports network authentication with NTLM and LDAP servers. This forces users to enter their network username and password before they are granted access to the device. Passwords can be safeguarded while being sent across the network through the Sharps support for both Kerberos and Digest MD5 encryption. Once authenticated, the administrator can set up the From Form field within the send functions of the device to be forcepopulated with the login users details, thus providing an audit trail for communications. To safeguard documents being sent to, and those stored on the device, Sharp offers a range of solutions. For print and fax jobs arriving at the device, the Sharp MX-3501N supports secure print and F-code fax. These two functions allow users to send documents with PIN codes thus rendering the documents secure at the device until the authorized user enters the PIN to release the job. The same PIN protection can be applied to stored documents in the document filing area of the device. For maximum security environments, an additional Data Security Kit supports a second layer of security applied at the hard drive level. The Kit secures the device three ways. Privacy: 128-bit encryption ensures that all files stored on the hard disk remains a secret. Memory Clear: Internal memory can be automatically or manually cleared after each operation. Data Overwrite: Automatically overwrites ROM, RAM, and disk blocks with random data.
Above: Image Send communications can be secured using a password to encrypt PDF attachments.
Below: Secure print jobs can be listed and printed in a single step using the Batch print process.
The overall maintenance of the Sharp MX3501N is very straightforward and simple. Most users will find the directions easy to use. Refilling the toner extremely simple and clean. The toner is located inside of the front cover which opens down. Once open, the four toner cartridges are visible. Yellow, magenta, cyan, and black span across the top from left to right. Each cartridge is the same size and holds the same amount of toner. The cartridges are removed easily by lifting the colored tab and gently pulling the cartridge straight out. After removal, we noticed no mess whatsoever. We could not create a spill even after shaking and flipping the cartridge. The waste toner unit, a large black piece of plastic, sits below the toner cartridges. Users can remove it by pushing on the green plastic button above it. The waste toner unit opens down like the front cover did. The tray is pulled out in a flat position. The waste should be disposed of immediately. The tray should be held flat to reduce the chances of dropping lose toner around the office. Although the process was somewhat messy it is after all a toner waste unit we were very pleased with the cleanliness of the unit. The drum units can be replaced when the waste unit is out. While Sharp suggests users place a service call to replace these units, BERTL believes some advanced users can replace them by removing a few screws. When paper jams occur, even novice users would not have problems removing jams from this machine. The larger touch screen turns into an illustration which will guide users through the paper removal.
Sharp MX-3501N with all four universal drawers, bypass tray, and saddle-stitch finisher installed
The bypass tray handles oversized 12 x 18 paper stock. The capacity of 100 sheets is typical in this range. This allows for full bleed ledger/A3 documents to be produced on the oversized paper with the unprinted edges trimmed after printing The paper types fall below much of the competition but should be more than adequate when dealing with most offices. The adjustable paper drawers and LCT allow users to use up to 28 lb. Bond/105gsm (some competing units offer somewhat heavier weights). For thicker paper, users can turn to the bypass tray and use up to 56 lb. bond/256gsm. Once again this is somewhat below average but should be acceptable in most environments.
The first paper guide is a one handed change sliding along the length of the drawer. Unlike some rival units, the slide does not have a number of pre-cut sockets into which it must be inserted. This allows the Sharp MX-3501N user to use a wider selection of custom paper sizes. Squeezing these two handles together allows the paper guides to be adjusted with one hand.
The Sharp MX-3501N comes with a variety of finishing options and configurations. Sold as is, the paper will exit underneath the control panel from the right hand side. Users can choose to output each set rotating between a letter/A4 and letter R/A4R paper drawer. While this reduces productivity marginally due to the changing media supply, the user can quickly and easily divide up each set which are output at 90 degrees to each other. There are two finishers that are available, the internal finisher and the floor standing saddle stitch finisher. With the internal finisher, users retrieve the documents underneath the control panel, but from a tray and with a variety of more options. In order to sort, a shift tray will move front and back to ensure sets are separated. This finisher will staple up to 50 sheets at a time which is high for a internal finisher. Competitors usually max out at 30 sheets.
Above: Internal finisher Left: Floor standing saddle-stitch finisher
Up to 500 sheets can be stacked by the internal finisher which is again better than some competitors which have a 300 sheet limit in the internal finisher. Perhaps the most significant strength of the Sharps internal finisher versus competitors is the ability to add a two- and three-hole punch unit. Some competitors only offer this feature on floor-standing external finishers. This finishing unit will have a more attractive price tag than the saddle stitch unit and is
Covers and Insertion Pages Producing complex documents with different media supplies for cover and chapter/insertion pages was a simple, intuitive process. Different media supplies could be chosen for front cover, back cover, and two different insertion ranges in addition to the standard paper supply. The document production capabilities of the MX-3501N well above those of its workgroup rivals and more on a par with departmental devices. While this level of functionality may be beyond the day-to-day actions of the majority of users, it does allow those users who want to reduce cost and time delays to produce a wide range of documents without having to send jobs down to the CRD or outsource work to a commercial print shop. Productivity A major productivity-enhancing strength of the MX-3501N is its 150-sheet capacity single pass document feeder. As the table below illustrates, duplex scanning was actually faster than simplex on monochrome work, and was on a par during color work. This, coupled to the highest in class 150-sheet capacity, means that users will spend less time at the device during copy tasks.
Image Quality Image quality was to a good standard across most standard output. Fine lines were crisp and fonts could be read easily down to 4 point. Halftones reproduced well as were shades of grey in monochrome mode. There was a weakness when the device was tasked with reproducing grey shades when in full color mode with an assortment of shades with cyan, magenta or yellow creeping into the mix. This is due to inaccurate mixing of the four colors to create composite black. In monochrome mode, however, grey shades reproduced well as were representations of colors (as illustrated in the bottom two images.)
Above: Text could be read down to 4 point. Right: Fine lines reproduced well in greyscale mode.
Below: The device had a problem reproducing grey shades in full color mode, creating output with pronounced cyan, magenta and yellow areas within the shade spectrum
Below: Printed image copied in text/photo mode in full color and greyscale modes
The Sharp MX-3501Ns network printing is standard. Printing is powered by a 600MHz controller with 640MB RAM and a 80GB hard drive providing adequate memory for spooling and storing documents. Ethernet and USB 2.0 connectivity are included as standard. Within the standard printing package users receive PCL5c and PCL6, with PostScript available as an upgrade item. Direct PDF and TIFF Printing PDF and TIFF printing are available with the addition of the PostScript upgrade kit. Driver Layout We were pleased to see that layout of the PCL6 and PostScript drivers are nearly identical, with the addition of a few PostScript-specific features within the Advanced tab including the added ability to set screen frequency and angle, mirror image and job compression levels. The similar operation of the drivers means that users who switch between the two drivers should have no difficulty during the transition. Both drivers are laid out well with a geographical job summary on the left side of each tab.
BERTL has liked the Carbon Copy feature since its introduction on Sharp MFPs several years ago. The feature creates a second (carbon) copy of the document onto a different paper source. Companies that traditionally used two-piece forms can migrate away from dot matrix/ line printers to a laser- based alternative.
The Tab Paper Print function within the Special Options list on the main tab is another useful function. After choosing the type of tab, users can enter the text for each tab, choosing a font and orientation of each tab table.
Users can also stipulate a paper source for each page of the document. In the example to the right, the bypass tray has been selected for the covers and a separate stock chosen as chapter dividers on pages 20, 30 and 40.
We were pleased to see that Poster mode was included. This useful feature allows users to create large posters using the device. The device splits up the image into multiple pieces each blown up to fit the paper size. The user simply attaches the pieces together to create a large poster. This is useful for schools, churches, and small retailers who need large format imagery but cant afford a device or the expensive outsource fees.
As you would expect of Sharp, there is plenty of security in the driver, with network authentication, secure folder delivery, and private/hold print with PIN functionality.
The drivers also include both watermark and overlay capabilities. Users have the ability to incorporate image overlay files into a print file. This feature is most used as an entry level method of electronic form printing where a standard background form design is stored on the device. The raw data is sent as a print file and merged with the background data at the device level. This saves on network bandwidth and reduces processing time at the desktop. We would have liked to have seen a distribution numbering facility where each set is given its own unique numbering watermark. This would make tracking illegal distribution easier to track back to the original recipient.
The color settings tab includes a selection of preconfigured color curves designed to provide one-touch color capabilities for the novice or casual office color user. For those who want greater control there is also a custom color option which allows users to change specific color aspects to suit individual needs.
A variety of image quality settings can be changed using a sliding scale adjustment. We were pleased to see that a visual aid is provided to assist the user with the options and their likely effect on the printed output.
The advanced tab also includes the tandem print function. This allows users to split a job across two devices. The job is literally split at driver level with half the jobs sent to one printer on the network and the remainder to another. Job Handling Users are able to send jobs in a multitude of delivery formats. 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. We were impressed to find that the device includes a batch print process from the touch screen control panel. This allowed us to enter our PIN once which would then bring up all our secure jobs. We could then release all the jobs as a single operation rather than having to send each job individually. This allows users to build up a number of secure print jobs Hold Only: This sends a print job 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 out of the sight lines within companies needing to comply with government data legislation acts such as HIPAA and Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Hold After Print: This prints the job but holds the file in memory of the device rather than instantly deleting the file. This allows the user to reprint the file again if required from the device. Sample Print: This is a useful function 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. Job Notification: The Sharp MX-3501N driver includes the ability to send a job completion notification to the user. To take advantage of this feature users must have the printer status monitor installed on the desktop. If installed, users will receive a pop up message informing them that their job is completed and ready for collection.
The scan menu is easy to navigate, made even easier with one-touch favorites added as seen opposite
Destinations can be selected from the Frequent Use folder, the device address book or globally searched against the corporate LDAP database
In addition to preset destinations, users can also enter addresses ad hoc using the QWERTY keypad feature. We found the QWERTY keypad to be responsive and easy to use. The distance maintained between each letter reduced incidences of mistakes.
Emails could be personalized with Subject, message line, and file name to avoid deletion by the recipient.
While most rival devices offer a subject line feature, Sharp goes one step further and includes a message addition feature.
There are a wide range of attachment options available including multiple file types, compression levels, limit on size and, most importantly, encrypt PDF format allowing users to safeguard attachments from interception in transit.
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 information sharing, reduced storage space demands, and easier search and data retrieval. A scan only converts a page into an image which is not very manageable. For that reason, most companies use optical character recognition (OCR) software to convert the images into editable text which can then be searched, changed, incorporated into new document, etc., as required. The OCR engine recognizes individual images on the page converting them Portion of BERTL OCR test chart scanned at 200 dpi into letters, numbers, and other (top), 300 dpi (middle) and 600 dpi (bottom) in text forsymbols. The OCR engine then runs mat and saved as a PDF file. Image has been zoomed complex analysis on the text in to 400 percent in Adobe Acrobat before screen capconjunction with spellcheckers, technical tured for display. Top line is 4 point, middle is 6 point dictionaries, and other data sources originals, BERTL analysts then run the before offering up its best conversion into scanned files through ABBYY FineReader electronic format. 8.0, in default configuration. The impact of the accuracy of the scanning process at This stage can be very time-consuming, especially if the quality of the scanned data the various resolutions and settings is reflected in the number of manual is poor, leading to character recognition confirmations that the OCR application errors. demands before the OCRed document is deemed clean and ready to use. To look into this important workflow issue BERTL runs a series of standard test The higher the human intervention rate, patterns with multiple font types, sizes and the higher the cost to the company of colors through the device capturing the carrying out the action. data at various resolutions using both text and text/photo settings. Text is the default As expected, the greatest difficulty in OCR setting for most OCR work due to its 2-bit recognition was found on the smallest 4 format which tends to produce the best point text sections of the test documents. text reproduction. However, as more and more documents incorporate images and While the majority of documents may colored elements, text/photo which standardize on 8 or 10 point text for which operates in 8 grey shades for better the device fared very well, 4 point text will reproduction of images and colored text be processed on diagram labels, terms elements is also being used. and conditions on contracts, etc. Having scanned each page of its test The choice of OCR application will also
BERTL conducted a productivity test using a standard government tax application form as a template. The times were taken from the moment the scan was initiated until the final page exited the document feeder. The time was also taken to the point where the file could be opened from the desktop destination.
Scan to USB/Fax
Following closely in the footsteps of a major printer vendor, Sharp has introduced the ability to interact with USB memory sticks which are fast becoming the modus operandi for carrying electronic data. The Sharp MX-3501N has a USB port directly above the Ethernet port at the back of the device. This port can be used for both printing files directly from the memory stick, or as a destination for scanning documents.
Above: Users choosing to scan to USB
BERTL analysts found the function very easy to use with the only sticking Above: Users have extensive options available to them point being the position of the port; including resolution, file type, file naming, etc. located at the back of the device it may Below: The standard USB port is hidden be difficult for some users to access. at the back of the device. However, Sharp is launching in the without an external near future an additional hard key power supply which QWERTY keyboard unit that will be means that if the power attached at the front of the device. This fails first thing Monday keyboard will not only make the entry of morning before any staff metadata faster than the touch screen come in, any jobs still alternative, but will also include a USB port residing in the memory which will make the feature much more of the device will be accessible for all. safely stored pending the return of the main power. The addition of this capability is yet another differentiator between the Sharp Desktop users also have the ability to use MX-3501N and its closest rivals and the fax function on the Sharp MX-3501N highlights the attention to user friendliness from their desktops, using the Sharp LAN that has gone into the design of this unit. fax software utility. Fax Security is again accounted for, with the Sharp MX-3501N including F-Code The Sharp MX-3501N can be upgraded to transmission capability. F-Code works by include a fax function. The upgrade depositing faxes into an electronic folder includes a 33.6kbps modem and 8MB of with a PIN code, thus protecting the dedicated flash fax memory. JBIG, MMR, contents from unauthorized viewing. MR and MH compressions are all included as standard. The device made available to BERTL did not have fax enabled. We have tested The flash memory was a welcome addition many Sharp products before with fax providing a memory facility not susceptible capability and have yet to run into a to power failures or reliant upon a back up problem. battery. Flash memory is self-supporting
While Sharp may have been a late arrival onto the color MFP scene and has had to struggle playing catch-up, the Japanese giant is now well and truly in the market, with a range of color MFP products that will put up a worthy offense to the market leaders. BERTL was very impressed by the way in which Sharp has gone from so little to so much in one generation and has firmly laid down the gauntlet to others in terms of both user friendliness and overall functionality. The device is not perfect, with reproduction of greyscales in full color mode and the lack of a centralized cost accounting system being its major hurdles. However, the wide array of unique userfriendly features listed below makes the Sharp MX-3501N one of the easier 5-star grade decisions that BERTL has made over the past 12 months. Favorite groups allowing each login to customize the device to the person Scan to USB functionality for on-the-fly hard copy to soft copy conversion A plethora of security features that should make most CIOs sleep a little better at night A 150-sheet single pass duplexing document feeder to handle large jobs in a single visit Highly-featured printer drivers ensuring that desktop printing is made as efficient as possible
BERTL analyst impressed by the Sharp MX-3501N
We look forward to seeing how the departmental class color-enabled units fare and how the competition struggles to combat these new color MFP products. What we would like to see next: More attention to accessibility features such as either a tilting control panel or a remote copy/scan control mechanism Better queue viewing capabilities allowing desktop users to see the volume of copy jobs at the device More scan workflow functionality built into the firmware of the device such as color dropout, deskew, and despeckle which will further aid the device being used as a decentralized scanning resource. Scan preview from the touch screen control panel.
Buyers Laboratory INC.
BLI FIRST LOOK
Sharp MX-3501N Business Color Device
35 PPM Copy Print Scan Fax
A Buyers Laboratory Product Release Brief
MSRP: Base unit $16,465 Std/max paper capacity: 1,000/5,600 sheets Scalable security suite 30-GB document filing system
800-MHz multi-tasking controller Open Systems Architecture 150-sheet duplex single-pass feeder Advanced device management Fiery controller available later this year Larger control panel
Watch for upcoming Lab Test report on this product for thorough, hands-on analysis.
One of eight models in Sharps new MX series, which will range in speed up to 70 ppm later this year, the MX-3501N outputs at 35 ppm in both black and color. According to Shane Coffey, senior product manager, Sharp Document Solutions, the product differs from Sharps previous color products significantly. The MX-3501N is a flexible unit that, in addition to serving as a replacement for monochrome units in general office environments, can also be configured to meet more demanding color output needs. He added, historically, customers sacrificed features when they selected color-enabled products for use in graphic environments. However, by leveraging our economy of scale, the MX-3501N offers advanced features, such as standard network scanning, industry-leading security and USB functionality that users expect only in monochrome units.
Coffey told BLI that the MX-3501N competes against Canons Color imageRUNNER C3220, Konica Minoltas bizhub C350/C351 and Ricohs Aficio 3235C/3245C. Other competitors include the Toshiba e-STUDIO351c and the Xerox CopyCentre C3545.
In addition to the units new features, Sharp has changed the production process for the MX product line. Common core architecture and common design allow Sharp to bring new products to market more quickly, leveraging its resources across an entire product family, said Coffey. He explained that previously development teams worked independently with their own resources on different speed/market segments. In contrast, each group is now responsible for meeting customer requirements for certain sections of the unit, i.e., paper feed, controller, etc. As a result, products are developed economically, and scalable components can be used in each product across the entire line. According to Coffey, the new MX series represents a clean-sheet design for Sharp. For example, unlike its previous business color products, the MX-3501N uses a multi-tasking controller similar in concept to that used in Sharps award-winning AR-M550/M620/M700 monochrome IMAGERS, but with a faster (800-MHz) processor. This controller enables users to program multiple jobs (limited only by memory resources) ahead while other jobs are in progress for optimum productivity. Also unlike previous Sharp color products, the MX-3501N can automatically distinguish between black and
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color pages in an original and switch modes accordingly. In addition, the units 150-sheet, dual-scan-head document feeder allows scanning of both sides of a two-sided document in a single pass. This technology reduces the chance that misfeeds will occur and results in improved document feeder efficiency. Also, the unit boasts a larger control panel than previous models, providing users with easier navigation. Supporting Sharps Open Systems Architecture, MX series models equipped with the optional application integration module can communicate with various document management applications. In addition, the MX-3501N offers a document filing system with 30-GB hard drive capacity for storing frequently used files, such as forms and cover pages. Sharp is also offering advanced device management. Up to 1,000 user accounts can be assigned to up to eight different groups that can limit usage by page quantity or function (to prevent color output by certain groups, for example) and/or customize default settings and control panel selections. In addition, an EFI Fiery print controller will be available later in the year for users requiring increased color management capabilities. The MX-3501N, and other products in the MX line, also use a new version of Sharps micro-fine toner, which was developed specifically for these models. The toner is an environmentally friendly, long-life supply that results in better fill and definition, according to Sharp.
The MX-3501N supports standard PCL 5c/6 network printing, network scanning (35 ppm for color and 60 ppm for black) and optional PostScript 3 printing. For the base purchase price, users get standard copier memory of 768 MB, 640 MB of RAM for printing and scanning and a shared 80-GB hard drive. The unit also offers LDAP support, enabling users to access e-mail addresses on a mail server from the control panel. In addition, Unique File Naming enables users to enter specific file names with custom subject fields. With Direct USB printing, users can print color or B&W documents in a variety of popular formats directly from USB memory devices such as thumb drives. Also via USB, users can now clone device settings from one device to another and service can upgrade firmware.
Security & REGULATORY COMPLIANCE
The document administration mode of the MX-3501N forwards a blind copy of all communication to and from the unit to an administrator or an FTP site, which helps businesses to better track their financial statements and thereby comply with the regulatory requirements of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLB) and Sarbanes-Oxley. The confidential print feature satisfies HIPAA regulations as it restricts access to sensitive data, such as medical records and insurance policies. Standard security features include Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which encrypts data between the unit and a PC; IP/MAC address filtering, which restricts PC access to the device over the network; protocol enablement/disablement; and port management. User authentication requires users to log in at the device before they can search for an e-mail address or send an outbound e-mail. The optional Common Criteria Validated Data Security Kit first encrypts image data and then overwrites it on the hard drive (up to seven times) after each job is completed. Third-party auditing and document rights solutions include Equitracs Office and AirZips FileSECURE.
Other options for the unit include paper desks with one and two 500-sheet paper drawers, a rolling cabinet base and a 3,500-sheet LCT that can handle paper sizes up to 11" 17" (requires the purchase of one of the papers desks or the cabinet). Finishing options include the 500-sheet inner finisher with multi-position stapling of up to 50 sheets and a 1,000-sheet saddle-stitch finisher. A punching unit is available for both finishers. Other options include Internet and Super G3 fax, and a barcode font kit. An external USB keyboard for simplifying scanning tasks will be available soon.
Software and Solutions
Sharps standard administration utility suite provides device management for both administrators and users. Remote E-mail Diagnostics (RED) allows IT managers and authorized Sharp dealers to automatically receive diagnostic e-mail messages regarding device conditions, including meter reads; Printer Status Monitor enables users to check the status of the unit from their desktops before sending a job; and the Printer Administration Utility enables administrators to manage multiple Sharp and non-Sharp devices over the network. An embedded Web page enables authorized users to create and manage their own network scanning destinations, and administrators to access device settings, color control and security settings from their desktops. Further, Sharpdesk enables users to organize, edit and convert scanned files, and My Sharp is a dedicated customer training website customized for the unit, enabling users to locate resources and find information specific to the units configuration.
Users will find the MX-3501N similar yet far superior to its Sharp predecessors in many ways. The machine has much of the same feel as the AR-BC260 series with a different body and many new, enhanced features. With the business color market in full swing, Sharp positions the MX-3501N to do more than just replace black and white MFPs. At 35 ppm in both monochrome and color, the Sharp MX-3501N can handle those larger color jobs that traditionally have been too complex and lengthy for desktop color printers and instead have been sent down to the central reprographic department (CRD) or outsourced to a commercial print shop. Just like its competitive counterparts, the Sharp MX-3501N comes complete with copy, print, and scan right out of the box. Fax functionality is optional, as Sharp continues to stay consistent with rival MFPs in the marketplace. Before assessing a product such as the Sharp MX-3501N, it is important to have a clear understanding of the role the device has to play in the office and the types of environments and workflows that the device is going to have to handle. Designed to handle the role of overall workgroup or small department copy/print/scan (and possibly fax), the Sharp MX-3501N has a great deal of responsibilities. As the number of high speed color printers increases, the need to be able to justify the extra expense of the scanner/copy module is becoming more pressing.
|Device Type||Copier / printer|
|Printing Technology||Laser - color|
|Electronic Auditron||1000 accounts|
|Standard Memory||768 MB|
|Hard Disk Drive||80 GB|
|Max Copying Speed||Up to 35 ppm (mono) / up to 35 ppm (color)|
|Max Copying Resolution||Up to 600 dpi|
|Gray Scale Half-Tones||256|
|Max Document Enlargement||400%|
|Max Document Reduction||25%|
|Exposure Modes||Text, text and photo|
|Copying Features||2 on 1, 4 on 1, Mirror Copy|
|Max Printing Resolution||Up to 600 x 600 dpi|
|Max Printing Speed||35 ppm (color)|
|Printer Drivers / Emulations||PCL 5e, PCL 6|
|Document & Media Handling|
|Max Original Size||Ledger (11 in x 17 in)|
|Document Feeder Capacity||150 sheets|
|Min Copy Size||5 in x 8 in|
|Max Copy Size||Ledger (11 in x 17 in)|
|Supported Media Type||Plain paper|
|Standard Media Capacity||1100 sheets|
|Bypass Feeder Capacity||100 sheets|
|Document & Media Handling Details||Bypass tray - 100 sheets 2 x paper cassette - 500 sheets ADF - 150 sheets|
|Speed Details||Copying : up to 35 ppm ( Letter A ) - B/W Copying : up to 35 ppm ( Letter A ) - color|
|PC Connection Availability||Yes|
|PC Connection||Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet 10 Base-T/100 Base-TX|
|Network Protocols||TCP/IP, IPX/SPX|
|Operating System Support||MS Windows XP, MS Windows NT 4.0, MS Windows ME, MS Windows 98, Apple Mac OS 9, Apple Mac OS X, Novell NetWare 5.x, Novell NetWare 4.x, Novell NetWare 3.x, MS Windows Server 2003|
|Voltage Required||AC 110 V ( 60Hz )|
|Power Consumption Operational||1440 Watt|
|Power Consumption Sleep||13 Watt|
|Warm Up Time||240 sec|
|First Copy Out Time B/W||4.7 sec|
|First Copy Out Time Color||6.9 sec|
|Works with Windows Vista||Software and devices that carry the Works with Windows Vista logo have been tested for baseline compatibility with PC's running.|
|ENERGY STAR Qualified||Yes|
|Universal Product Identifiers|
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