Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi. Ford vs. GM. Netflix vs. Hulu.
Brand competition formulates and fosters the marketplace consumers navigate for their goods and services in everyday life. When talking about common commodities, like a soda or a car, the differences are readily apparent.
But when it comes to a more unfamiliar industry, like printers, brand comparisons may seem more irrelevant.
“Does it really matter which brand of printer I purchase? I mean, it’s just a printer?”
That bit of logic is outdated, and as a local print vendor that partners with Xerox and has seen the technological advancement of printers firsthand, choosing the right brand to satisfy your office equipment goals can make or break your investment.
That’s because each major printer brand offers something different, and it’s not just in how the machine looks.
There are key differences in the variety of printers a brand sells, their features, supplies and all the additional print services that are offered that can help better not only your print environment but your overall work environment, as well.
Today, we’re going to be looking at two of the major printer brands in the industry, Xerox and Lexmark.
Now, we already said we sell Xerox products, so we’ll be gearing our content toward trying to get you to buy Xerox products, right?
Wrong. Not only are we going to use our industry knowledge to compose a fair comparison, but we’re going to highlight when Lexmark would be a better fit---because, the truth is, it might be the better brand to go with for your situation.
With that context out of the way, let’s get into the comparison, starting with a brief overview of each company before diving into the similarities and differences between the two.
Overview of Xerox
Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York, and is credited with being the first printing company to manufacture and sell xerographic plain-paper copiers.
Today, Xerox has over 13,000 active patents for innovation, and its products reach 160 countries worldwide.
Xerox is currently run by CEO John Visentin and is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Overview of Lexmark
Lexmark is a relatively new company, founded in 1991, with the goal of accelerating “business transformation, turning information into insights, data into decisions and analytics into action,” according to their website.
Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, their global reach spans over 170 countries worldwide and they are currently led by CEO Allen Waugerman.
To learn more about the top brands in the industry, read our blog listing the five best printer manufacturers in the world today.
2 Similarities Between Xerox and Lexmark
Now that you have an overview of each company, let’s get into what really matters: their products, features and services.
Let’s start by going over three similarities between the two brands:
An Array of Office Printer Options
Both Xerox and Lexmark have extensive office printer options, both single-function (print-only) and multifunction (print, copy, scan and fax) for small, medium and some large-sized businesses.
The options for small workgroups include machines that are best suited for workgroups of up to 10 daily users with a capacity to print up to 800-12,000 pages per month. Examples of single-function devices from both brands for small workgroups include the Xerox VersaLink B400 and Lexmark MX431ADN.
Medium workgroup options include printers that can meet the needs of workgroups with up to 20 daily users that print at a volume somewhere in the 1,500-15,000 pages per month range. Examples include the VersaLink C605 and Lexmark CX625ADE, both of which are color printers.
Finally, both brands have options for large workgroups, which can be defined as workgroups with more than 20 daily users and a print volume of over 10,000-75,000 pages per month. Examples in the large workgroup category include the AltaLink B8155 and the Lexmark MX911DTE.
Check out Lexmark’s Printer Finder and read the Xerox review blogs below to learn more about each brand’s office printer options:
Managed Print Services
Xerox and Lexmark each offer comprehensive managed print services (MPS) that can achieve many of the same goals. These include:
Cutting costs by offering a one-source solution for supplies and on-site service.
Freeing up time for IT and other staff to focus on more business-critical tasks.
Optimizing your print environment with product lifecycle management.
Reducing energy usage and waste through device consolidation and timely supplies delivery.
Managed print services are broad and differ from provider to provider. The same is true for Xerox and Lexmark: Both companies offer managed print options, but some services and how they’re carried out will be different.
Managed print is an optional service you can implement into your workplace if you meet the criteria and have a general need for its benefits.
For more information on managed print, read these blogs:
2 Differences Between Xerox and Lexmark
Now that the similarities are out of the way, let’s dive into the differences between the two brands:
Range of Print Solutions
While Xerox and Lexmark have numerous office printers for small-to-medium-sized workgroups, Xerox has more print solutions for larger businesses and workgroups that need a unique printing solution.
Xerox has more A3 machines, which are larger units that print the standard media types, as well as special media types, such as tabloid paper (11 x 17 in).
Lexmark specializes in smaller, black-and-white, A4 machines that you will normally find in basic office settings and print on letter/legal-sized paper (8 ½ by 11 or 14 in)
Another key difference between each company’s print solutions is that Xerox offers more specialty options than Lexmark does.
For instance, Xerox has multiple entry-level and advanced production printing options, including the PrimeLink C9070 and the Xerox Versant Digital Presses, while Lexmark does not currently sell production machines.
Furthermore, Xerox has a separate category of scanners for consumers that just need a scanning solution, and Lexmark currently does not.
Most of the time, customers in the market for a printer will be looking at the office printers previously discussed in the “Similarities” section of this blog.
But if you’re looking for a special type of printing solution, like production machines or scanners, you’ll only be able to find them in Xerox’s catalog.
Printer Media Types
The number one thing Lexmark is known for in the industry is being the leader in printing labels.
Producing high-quality labels is Lexmark’s trademark attribute as a brand, so if you’re a doctor’s office or pharmaceutical company that needs the ability to print labels efficiently and effectively, Xerox can do it, but Lexmark machines are better equipped to handle a large label-printing volume.
On the other hand, if you need to make prints larger than letter/legal-sized paper, Xerox has more options and would be the better choice in this department.
Going over the types of prints you will need to make before purchasing is crucial to determining which brand to go with, especially in the case of Xerox and Lexmark since they differ widely in media types.
Which Brand Has the Best Prices?
You can’t have a comparison article without addressing arguably the most pressing question when it comes to choosing who to purchase from: Who offers the best price?
Well, since this is a fully transparent article, here’s the unequivocal answer: Lexmark, but because of a very clear reason.
As mentioned previously, Lexmark specializes in smaller machines, so their overall product catalog price is going to be lower than Xerox, which has machines in their catalog that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But let’s step back from the overall price range and give you an example of cost with a model comparison to help you better understand price differences between the two brands:
A Printer Model Comparison
To show a practical example of cost, let’s compare two similar printer models from Xerox and Lexmark.
The current street price of the Xerox VersaLink B605S, a black-and-white multifunction printer for a medium-sized workgroup, is $2,399.
According to bliQ, a similar black-and-white multifunction printer from Lexmark, the MX622ade model, has a street price of $1,629.
The street prices for the example models, VersaLink B605S and the MX622ade, show that the Lexmark multifunction printer is the cheaper option.
Does that automatically mean you should go with the Lexmark device? No, because a deep dive into the machines’ respective features shows efficiency differences, as well as added security features through external partnerships with McAfee and Cisco that could factor into your decision.
The Xerox machine prints faster by eight pages per minute (ppm), has a higher max paper capacity (3,250 sheets to 2,300 sheets) and has a significantly higher color scan speed (55 images per minute vs. 32 images per minute), which makes the machine more efficient than its counterpart---and thus, more expensive.
However, the Lexmark machine is the cheaper and smaller option, and if you align more with Lexmark’s greatest attribute, label-making, then it would be the better fit for you.
What this example represents is why it’s so critical to view your long-term printer purchase through the lens of finding the best option for you, rather than automatically purchasing the cheapest one.
Because if you’re investing in a permanent printing solution, buying the cheapest option should not be the only factor you consider—especially when you look at cost in monthly payments (leasing), rather than paying for it outright.
For more information on the cost of a printer read these blogs:
Which Printer Brand Is Right for Me?
You can summarize just by reading this article how much goes into the purchase of a long-term print solution for your workplace.
Xerox has more variety in the types of machines they offer, which means they can offer robust solutions for multiple work environments, from desktop printers to production presses. Their printers also tend to be more efficient than Lexmark’s machines and have a greater security profile, which means Xerox’s printers will be priced slightly higher.
Lexmark has the advantage in one key area: label-making, which means they will be well-equipped to meet the needs of workgroups that print labels at a high volume. Since Lexmark predominantly specializes in smaller, black-and-white machines, their printers will be slightly cheaper but generally less efficient than Xerox.
Xerox and Lexmark both manufacture quality office machines but differ in some of the features and services that they offer. Determining which brand is right for you is going to fully depend on your situation and goals.
What do you desire in your ideal printer? Which features would help your workgroup the most? Are there any additional services or special offerings that you would want to opt into?
Take these questions and assess the other important factors of your situation, including your monthly print volume and budget, and use that to narrow down which brand can best meet your situation.
As a long-time print vendor, we know just how paramount it is to be as educated as possible when going through the research process on the way toward your ideal printing solution.
Read our blog comparing Xerox and another one of its competitors, Konica Minolta, to further educate yourself on the different printer brands and find out which one is right for you.