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-- by Art Brieva, Cheryl Dominianni and James Alan Miller
Despite its sluggish name, Hewlett-Packard's Mopier is a speedy, efficient machine. What's a Mopier? It's a combination network printer and copier that lets you make Multiple Original Prints (MOPies), collated and stapled all in one operation. While it's not a replacement for the office copier, it can save time and money in a large networked office.
Indeed, letting a single machine print and copy is more cost-effective than having a worker pick up pages at a printer, then run them through the copier.
The Mopier even looks like a full-featured office copier, given its size-40.25 by 42.5 by 22.25 inches-and 185-pound weight. A 24-page-per-minute, 300/600-dot-per-inch printer, it has a rated duty cycle of 100,000 pages per month-enterprise-sized-and comes equipped with a mailbox that offers five addressable output sources, a sixth bin for stapling letter-size documents and a seventh bin for standard output. Users can pick a specific output source so that all output goes to one location. Four paper input sources provide a total capacity of 3,100 sheets. The Mopier handles letter, legal, A3, A4, B4, B5 and 11-by-17-inch paper sizes as well as #10 Monarch, DL, B5 and C5 envelopes. The toner cartridge is estimated to last for 15,000 copies at 5 percent coverage, so the Mopier will cost your company somewhere around 5.5 cents per page.
The Mopier comes with 12MB of memory (expandable to 76MB) and also employs Memory Enhancement technology, which allows it to print complex pages. The device supports HP's PCL5e printer control language and Adobe PostScript Level 2. Most routine printer options are manipulated through a user's application dialog box-you'll find a setup dialog for stapling options, a destination control to select the output source and an accessories box to tell you which options are installed.
For more complex jobs, the Mopier offers two control utilities, DocWise and Toolbox. DocWise alerts you to your print jobs' status, including error messages. It also provides relevant troubleshooting help as well as general print tips. Toolbox, accessed by clicking on the printer's icon in the taskbar, is so information-rich it's almost like having a virtual Mopier on your desktop. It gives a graphical representation of the unit, viewable from several angles, and even provides a view of the control panel showing the printer status and a comprehensive listing of printer hardware characteristics, such as paper supply status.
The Mopier uses HP's Transmit Once feature to receive and store print data internally on a disk drive (420MB capacity). Since page data is sent over the network only once, overall network traffic is reduced. We tested it by sending several copies of a 10-page document, instructing the printer to produce multiple stapled, collated copies. The Mopier performed flawlessly.
The Mopier comes with Hewlett-Packard's JetDirect network interface and JetAdmin administration application, which has always been the top gun of network printing. JetAdmin greatly simplifies configuring and monitoring the Mopier on a large network, since it uses a single tool for all aspects of printing.
The Mopier lived up to its 24ppm rating, printing a 100-page, multifont Word document completely in 4 minutes, 8 seconds after a 43-second wait time.
A full-page JPEG image printed in 40 seconds, and a 15-page PowerPoint presentation finished in 4 minutes, 55 seconds.
We found the Mopier print quality to be excellent; it reproduced well-defined shadows and crisp shades of gray. Edges were sharply defined and curves smoothly rounded. Text was crisp, dark and very legible even in tiny typefaces.
The Mopier performed without a hitch on our test NT 4.0, NetWare 3.11 and Macintosh networks. JetDirect had no trouble administering all available network protocols at the same time, although it was disappointing to discover it couldn't handle installation or management of an NT print server from Windows 95. We had no better luck trying to manage NetWare servers with JetAdmin for NT. That's a pity, because a single, unified administration utility can save multi-NOS enterprise managers considerable time.
Even so, HP's Mopier is in a class by itself. No other printer offers the same combination of raw power, print quality and paper-handling ability. It's a little pricey, but in a large enterprise network, you'll find its labor savings quite possibly will pay for the device.
The Mopier's appeal lies in its print speed, paper-handling ability and copier-like versatility.