Academic journal article Economic Quarterly - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Measuring Price/performance of Laser Printers

Academic journal article Economic Quarterly - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Measuring Price/performance of Laser Printers

Article excerpt

Next to the computer itself, the printer is the peripheral device with the greatest cost and impact on document quality in office automation. Therefore, it is important to know if the various features offered really have a significant impact on the price of the laser printer.

Researchers at Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) undertook a study to look at the cost-effectiveness of laser printers with respect to their prices to see if all the features included on many laser printers affected the price of the printer. To do this, features that determine the purchase price of laser printers were identified and analyzed. Second, a model was developed which related the purchase price of laser printers with the features identified. Then the model was used to determine the relative value, by predicting prices, of each printer used in the study.

If buyers can establish a relationship between the cost of a piece of equipment and its performance, then they will have a basis for making intelligent purchasing decisions. To investigate the price/performance relationship of laser printers, prices and features of 257 different laser printers were analyzed. The features that were used in the analysis included:

*Retail price

*Print speed (pages per minute)

*Interfaces supported

*Resolution (dots per inch)

*Printer emulations

*Random access memory included

*Maximum RAM possible

*Input/output capacity (sheets)

*Resident fonts available.

In order to determine the effects of various features on the price of laser printers, a model was developed that directly related retail price (measured in U.S. dollars) of a laser printer to the laser printer features mentioned above. The initial model included all of the laser printer features available. Using statistical procedures, the most significant features that seemed to influence laser printer prices were identified. …

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