Advanced UK Review the Xerox AltaLink C8100
Is this the best office printer on the market in 2021?
Imagine a device that can scan typed and handwritten documents, translate them into 40+ languages, plug directly into popular apps including Google Drive, Dropbox, DocuSign and more. The new Xerox AltaLink C8100/B8100 Series multi-function printers can do it all, powered by Xerox ConnectKey technology and apps.
Certainly, the C8110 is already proving to become the most successful high-end A3 colour or mono office print workhorse, but what makes it stand out? In this extended review Advanced UK’s Humperdinck Jackman explores this machine’s key features.
Office Print and your Digital Transformation Strategy
The “New Normal” work environment calls for accelerating your organisations’ digital transformation as the shift from paper to digital processes gathers pace. We have seen that the pandemic caused a permanent shift in overall working practises, and so the drive continues to automate document centric workflows to improve efficiency and flexibility.
The Cloud is King. Long Live the Cloud!
You have seen almost all key solutions move to the Cloud, and with this has come the benefit of gaining ease of access to core content and solutions. Combined with flexible working, this 24/7, ‘always on’ approach demands a secure and collaborative work environment. The result? a seamless work experience wherever people are working, whether in the office, home or ‘on the go’.
The Impact of Flexible Working
This year’s published research by ‘MarketWorkplaceAnalytics’ indicates that 25-30% of the workforce will continue to work from home on multiple days per week. See our report on Managing a Hybrid Workforce for more insight. This matches the capabilities of the industry’s most successful and versatile office printer, the C8100. Available in both mono and colour configurations, you discover a secure and versatile platform which has become more than a printer: it’s a digital workplace assistant designed to cope with the new demands of a changed workforce.
The AltaLink bridges the digital and physical worlds
The AltaLink C8100 was designed from the ground up to become your organisation’s bridge between the digital and physical worlds in which your staff operate. With the fully integrated ConnectKey busines app ecosystem, this is the printer which improves collaboration, productivity, and IT security.
The Advanced UK Detailed Review of the C8100
This is a relatively non-technical review aimed at the print equipment buyer seeking to modernise the office and reduce the cost of print. Given that one third of readers will be looking to replace their printers within twelve months, and this is a top-selling printer, it seems.
I have put the C8100 through its paces for three months, making it the central printer in a busy office of more than 30 staff. The experience was trouble-free, even with the optional folding unit and other nice-to-have features which make this a terrific all-rounder.
Does the C8100 Have the BEST User Interface?
The first thing you’ll notice about the Xerox C8100 is the huge 10.1-inch intuitive tablet-like touchscreen user interface which features advanced personalisation options and one-touch shortcuts. It’s so easy to configure to the needs of each user, that acceptance by your staff is all but assured.
How Versatile is the C8100?
Modern office users want to be able to access the print productivity features which expedite their work, such as being able to have finishing options to produce booklets, as well as bi-fold and tri-fold jobs.
What about marketing and producing special reports for clients? Well, the C8100 enables users to print anything from A5 up to long banners. On media weights which range from 52 to 300 gsm. Simply add the optional EFI controller and your print quality is as perfect as outsourcing to a commercial facility, while saving you time and expense.
What About Speed and Productivity?
We’ve seen some great office printers before, but the C8100 truly speeds up workplace digitization as you can scan up to 270 images per minute, and use ‘scan preview’ to avoid errors. When it comes to delivering your print job, its fast print speeds of up to 72/70 ppm (mono and colour mean this is a printer which can keep pace in a busy office.
Productivity is boosted further with the C8100’s high-capacity toner, drums and waste toner bottles which mean less waste and fewer interruptions for your staff. Adding the optional high-capacity feeder extends your printing duty cycle to 6,140 sheets of A4 without interruption, so it’s ideal for solicitors and accountancy firms too.
Are Mobile Workers Supported?
As we have seen, supporting mobile workers is of prime importance, and the Xerox MFD AltaLink C8100 series offers convenient connectivity via Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, and Bluetooth.
To minimise IT support, users can print from any device, such as their PCs, phone, tablet, or even Chromebook. Taking this a step further, Xerox also offer Cloud Printing via their globally successful print management suite, Intelligent Workplace Solutions (IWS).
For me, though, the best feature out of the box is the integrated QuickLink App which enables any user to connect and print without requiring any IT support.
Does this platform support Smart Apps?
There’s no equal to the Xerox printer line-up when it comes to the opportunity to automate cumbersome tasks. The embedded ConnectKey app library offers an interesting collection of apps out of the box. These many be supplemented with more than 85 additional productivity apps to save your staff time. Choose as many as you wish and it’s possible for your C8100 to translate, convert to multiple formats, auto-redact, and much more.
Designed as the office workhorse, when you load the C8100 with the specific apps, it can connect to the most-used ERP and finance applications, as well as those used for CRM and Content Management. You’ll even discover an array of apps for specific industries such as education, healthcare & legal.
Does this Printer Enhance my Network Security?
Cyberattacks are on the rise, and your office is only as secure as its weakest link. The Xerox approach to comprehensive security addresses prevention, detection, and protection and our own analysis is that the AltaLink C8100 is a winner.
In accordance with the guidance from the UKs National Cyber Security Centre, you can enable user authentication through multiple means, including smart cards, smartphones, and PIN protection, and you can go even further with the Xerox Intelligent Workplace Suite (IWS) for print management.
Xerox have partnered with McAfee and Cisco to ensure the highest levels of compliance and there’s built-in SIEM integration for reporting threat events via McAfee, ESM, LogRhythm, and Splunk.
What is the Environmental Impact of the Xerox C8100?
Regardless of the size of your organisation, you will be wanting technology which is good for the environment. With the C8100 you are assured of meeting or exceeding the requirements for internationally recognised certifications such as ENERGY STAR, EPEAT and Blue Angel.
I’m really impressed with the Smart Proximity Sensor which automatically wakes the MFP when a user walks up to the printer. Not only does this save electricity (and help to keep the office cooler), but it’s efficient too as there’s no need to manually wake the device.
C8100 Image Quality: the Final Test
I mentioned above that the print quality is exceptional, but why? Well, it comes down to the high-resolution 1200 x 2400 dpi output using best-in-class HD Super Fine EA Toner. This Xerox innovation delivers superior colour rendering for serious consistency and exceptional image quality.
Our C8100 Review Conclusions
Having tested the AltaLink C8100 for more than three months of rigorous use and subjected it to the demands of an intense sales and marketing team, there’s nothing but praise for this machine.
It has withstood the myriad of paper stocks I’ve thrown at it from a marketing perspective, and I’ve benefitted from the oversized page length support. Producing booklets is a breeze, especially when you have the folding option.
From a graphics perspective, it’s superb in its standard configuration but adding the EFI controller takes the print accuracy to professional results. If you want to enhance your corporate image without breaking the bank, this is the route to take.
I think the importance of providing offices with versatility means that one becomes more agile: just as pre-printed letterhead is something of yesteryear, so too are boxes of brochures which quickly become outdated. Print quality on demand is the way forward!
My verdict is that this is a CHAMPION PRINTER, and without stepping up to the so-called ‘Light Production’ machines such as the Xerox PrimeLink C9065, you can’t find a close match from any competitive badge.
Humperdinck Jackman – Marketing Director
Humperdinck has a 30-year career spanning Document Management Systems (DMS), data protection, Artificial Intelligence, Data Protection and Robotic Process Automation. With many articles published in print internationally, he believes the advances in office technology are such that we’re entering the 4th Industrial Revolution. Now Director of Marketing and Consulting Services at Advanced UK, he’s as active with clients as he is in endeavouring to write original blog articles.