The manufacturer of chips

Going by the catchy name of ISO/IEC 24734, the new test can be used on any A4 printer and must be carried out at the printer's standard default settings. It times how long it takes to output PDF, Word and Excel documents with varying levels of graphical complexity.
We'll start referring to and explaining the new figures in our printer reviews, although our main tables will continue to refer to manufacturers' quoted ppm until the new standard has been more widely adopted.

The standard has been developed through combined efforts of all the major printer manufacturers. Canon's European product manager, Graham Browne, told us that the company has been an early adopter because it feels confident in the quality of its products, as well as the new standard, which will "make it easy for end users to compare like for like".

A new industry standard could eliminate wildly inaccurate manufacturers' print speed estimates. Until now, manufacturers have calculated their own print speeds using some tweaks to improve performance, including discounting the time to first page, using custom-made documents and using draft-quality text, which is quick but sometimes unreadable.

We agree and look forward to a more honest and level playing field. So far, Canon is the only manufacturer to publish results. You can see the images per minute figures for Canon's new Pixma MX860 and you'll be able to read our review of the printer in Shopper 256.

Computer Shopper will still continue to test printers using our own range of tests, so that you can continue to compare performance of models across every issue of the magazine.
The new test documents include pages of graphics, tables, and formal letters and guarantees that every printer will have been tested in the same way. We're all used to seeing rather unlikely quoted print speeds for even the cheapest inkjet printers and MFPs. For example, Brother quotes a maximum print speed of 30 pages per minute (ppm) for its MFC-290C,but only mustered a maximum of 9.8ppm in Shopper's fastest draft mono text print test.

The only bad news is that we'll have to get used to some extra jargon to go with the new measurements. Rather than using ppm, print speeds will be quoted in images per minute (ipm)

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and will be based on Estimated Saturated Throughput: the rate at which pages are printed after the first set of four has allowed the printer to get up to speed.

The tests also refer to First Set Out Time, which is the amount of time it takes to print four pages from clicking print button on your PC; and Effective Throughput Time, which is the average speed of the entire job, including processing time.

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