Many brands make up the printer industry, but Xerox and Canon stand as two of the most recognizable by consumers.
So, what are the differences between the two? What are the similarities? Who offers the better price?
A major takeaway from our time in the industry (over 35 years) is that consumers in the market for a printer/copier are aware of the different printer brands but can’t usually distinguish what makes one brand better than the other beyond the look and logo.
As a print vendor that partners with Xerox, it is our job to know not only the brand of products we sell but also the products that they compete with.
But it is not our job to say that one brand is better than the other. Sure, we can highlight where Xerox or Canon may have an advantage, but it is ultimately your decision with whom to purchase from.
What we can do is use our industry expertise and access to exclusive resources to give you a fair and honest comparison between two of the major manufacturers that comprise the industry. And let you decide for yourself which one would be the better fit for you.
As a consumer seeking to be informed by a trustworthy source, you’ve come to the right place. We believe in dealing with the truth, and not some fabricated reality that would be advantageous to our selling goals.
With that being said, let’s get into the comparison, starting with a brief overview of each company before diving into the main similarities between the two brands.
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, which include print solutions for several workplaces, have reached 160 countries worldwide.
Headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, Xerox concentrates on selling office equipment such as single-function (print only), multifunction (print, copy, scan and fax) and production printers for a wide array of workgroups.
Overview of Canon
Canon’s origins date back to the 1930s in Japan, but the company became fully entrenched in the United States with the establishment of its New York branch in 1955.
They sell many kinds of technology but specialize in cameras and office equipment, specifically. On the printing side, Canon has an abundance of solutions for office, personal, large format and production printing, while also providing professional and cloud-based print services.
Canon is currently headquartered in Long Island, New York and is led by Chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai.
3 Similarities Between Xerox and Canon
Xerox and Canon have quite a bit of overlap in what they offer, but to narrow it down, let’s go over the three most noteworthy similarities between the two manufacturers:
Range of Office Printing Solutions
Both Xerox and Canon have a wide range of selections when it comes to single-function (print-only) and multifunction (print, copy, scan and fax) printers for small, medium and large-sized workgroups.
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 Canon imageClass LBP214dw printers, which print at speeds between 40-49 pages per minute (ppm).
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 Xerox VersaLink B610 and Canon imageClass LBP352, both of which are black-and-white printers that print over 60 ppm.
Both brands also 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 Xerox AltaLink C8170 and the Canon imageRunner Advance DX C7765i, which are color multifunction printers with speeds of over 60 ppm.
In addition to the print solutions for the workgroups discussed above, Xerox and Canon have a variety of specialty office equipment options, such as production printers, personal office printers and scanners.
Check out Canon’s “Office Solutions” page and read the Xerox review blogs below to learn more about each brand’s office printer options:
Commitment to Printer Security
Xerox and Canon are alike in that they take a strong approach to security, which has become an increasingly important issue to consumers.
They both partner with security software company McAfee to enhance their overall security profile, and there is a significant overlap in the types of security features the brands offer.
Some of these security features include Card Reader Authentication, Disk Overwrite, Whitelisting and Firmware Verification.
Printer security has developed into a central concern for companies that use modern technology in the workplace. Read our blog on the 4 ways to protect your printer from cyberattacks to learn more about the steps you can take to make your print environment more secure.
Strong Infrastructure for Support
Another notable similarity between the two companies is they have a solid support foundation across the country.
This means that they have their own branded and trained service technicians that specialize in servicing machines from the manufacturer with which they work for.
If you have a service or repair issue with your printer, Xerox and Canon cast a wide net in the number of technicians they have at their disposal throughout the United States.
3 Differences Between Xerox and Canon
We’ve looked over the main similarities between Xerox and Canon, but how do they differ from each other?
Below are three prominent differences between the two brands:
Printer Customization and Personalization
Arguably the most discernable disparity between Xerox and Canon is in their customization and personalization options.
Both brands have a touchscreen interface with navigational mechanisms, but Xerox has a bit more individual personalization options than its competitor, particularly regarding the use of applications.
Printer apps have become a popular choice for print consumers that want to automate basic office tasks and increase productivity in the workplace.
Xerox has its own App Gallery, with over 70 apps currently available, and you can create and write your own printer apps via the Xerox Personalized Application Builder Program. You can also customize the feature lists for each app and tailor the home screen of the machine by each individual user with authentication credentials.
While Canon has its own list of apps, like the Canon Ink & Toner Finder and Canon Message In Print, they do not contain as many options as the Xerox App Gallery does.
For examples of the different user interfaces, see the images below:
Xerox User Interface
Canon User Interface
Print Management Software Supported
Another distinction to note between Xerox and Canon is that they differ in the types of print management software that are compatible with their machines.
Print management software, among other things, lets you monitor usage to cut back on printing/copying costs. More advanced print management software can even track or limit function usage, such as prints or copies, as a more controlled way of managing printing habits.
Each brand has its own print management software, Xerox’s being Xerox Standard Accounting and Canon’s being uniFLOW. But if you want to enable external print management software on your devices, like Y-Soft, it may not be compatible with Canon’s machines.
Xerox tends to be a little more versatile in the types of compatible print management software they offer, which serves as a major difference for companies that actively use advanced print management software.
Standard Document Repository Software
The last major difference to note between the two brands involves the types of document repository software that come standard with each company’s machines.
Many businesses choose to store their documents in what’s called a document management platform. Its primary purpose is to serve as a medium for your workgroup to store, access and transfer documents to their preferred destinations.
Canon partners with Laserfiche, which is a popular enterprise content management system that serves as a repository to digitize documents. On Canon’s machines, Laserfiche’s app connector comes standard with the device, which allows you to connect to your previously purchased Laserfiche account.
Xerox doesn’t include Laserfiche connection as a standard feature—meaning you would have to buy and download the app to access it on a Xerox printer.
Xerox’s document management software, DocuShare, also has a free app connector that will allow you to connect your device to your DocuShare account.
Which Printer Brand Has the Best Prices?
Inevitably, a comparison between two products will largely come down to pricing: Which brand will net you the best price?
In the case of Xerox and Canon, there is no massive price difference between their competing products. Prices may differ slightly depending on the type of printer and where you purchased it from, but their product catalogs are priced similarly to one another.
So, if the price of products isn’t a defining factor, then what is? How do these machines differ in basic specifications, like print speed, and size?
To give you an accurate answer to this question, let’s take a look at two similar color multifunction printer options from Xerox and Canon’s catalogs:
A Printer Model Comparison
The current street price for the VersaLink C7130 is $12,020, while the street price for the Canon iRA DX C3830i is $13,008.
In this comparison, the Canon iRA DX C3830i is more expensive than the VersaLink C7130. Why is that? Let’s take a look at a couple of the differences:
Xerox VersaLink C7130
Canon iRA DX C3830i
Difference #1: Size of Printer
An easily distinguishable difference between the two models is in their size and dimensions.
The Canon iRA DX C3830i is larger (about 35” x 22” x 28 ½”) and weighs more (185 pounds to 138 pounds) than the Xerox VersaLink C7130, which means more room will need to be made if purchasing the Canon machine.
Size is a crucial factor to consider before purchasing to ensure that your office can properly house the machine. Read our blog on why printer space and electrical requirements are important to learn more.
Difference #2: First Page-Out-Time
The Xerox VersaLink C7130 has a faster first copy-out-time (6.7 seconds/color, 4.4 seconds/black-and-white) than Canon’s multifunction printer (8.4 seconds/color, 6.1 seconds/black-and-white).
Xerox’s machine also has an efficient first print-out time (7.0 seconds/color, 5.4 seconds black-and-white). Canon’s first print-out-time is not currently listed in the resources used for this story.
Which Printer Model Is Better?
In this scenario, which machine should you go with—the Canon iRA DX C3830i or the Xerox VersaLink C7130?
The answer depends on your goals and which company’s features you align with, but both machines are solid long-term printing solutions.
They each print at speeds of up to 30 ppm with similar print resolutions, meaning the efficiency and overall aesthetic of the final print will be mostly the same.
So, it comes down to which company features and specifications you align with more: Which ones fit with your printing requirements?
They are similar models, so it will come down to who you trust to purchase from. If you have a vendor or provider that you know is trustworthy, go with whichever brand they're offering at that time—because you can’t go wrong with either Xerox or Canon in this case.
The major takeaway you can glean from this model comparison is that a lot goes into researching different printer models. And buying the cheapest option may not always be the best option.
It’s also important to consider your total cost of ownership when buying a machine, which includes the cost of the printer itself as well as maintenance, supplies and usage charges.
Assess your goals, find the brand that you most align with and then start researching which model would be best suited to meet those aforementioned printing goals.
For more information on how to choose the right printer, read these blogs:
Which Printer Brand Is Right for Me?
Xerox and Canon are two of the top brands in the industry for a reason: Both have a variety of quality, sturdy machines for a wide array of workgroups that generally receive positive reviews from customers.
Xerox has more customization options, especially when it comes to applications, while Canon has specific platforms, such as Laserfiche and Uniflow, that come standard with their machines.
But if you want the full truth, there is a lot of company overlap between Canon and Xerox, and you can’t really go wrong with either brand.
Brand comparisons are a strenuous task to undertake. There are so many variables that come into play, especially when it comes to brands that sell office equipment.
Our years in the industry have led us to conclude that the right brand for you will entirely depend on your situation, and what you require in an office printer/copier.
Because of our insistence on maintaining neutrality and objectivity, we’re not going to say Xerox is the better brand because that will not always be the case. It’s up to you to decide which brand you want to go with.
We’ve covered only two of the major manufacturers that make up the printer industry; there are many other competing brands that might be a better fit for you.
Read our blog comparing Xerox with another printer manufacturing giant, Brother, to see a different brand comparison as you look to purchase your next machine.