Oki Printers chose Prague as the location for the launch of its C5000 series of colour printers for the SME (small and medium enterprise) market.

On launch the company stressed its commitment to bringing colour printing to small companies at a price they could afford — something it feels other manufacturers have not yet achieved.

"The option of colour is something which many companies have ruled out simply due to cost. But we are targeting our range at SMEs with a budget of around £1,000 and we have not compromised on speed or performance," said European marketing manager Tony Lock.

Figures from Gartner Research revealed most businesses are spending between $300 (£188) and $850 (£535) per user per year on printing, copying and faxing.

"Bringing business card and brochure printing in-house could save companies thousands each year, but perhaps most importantly allow them to print things out as and when needed, rather than ordering in bulk," said Lock.

But the company also recognises that many companies do not take into account the cost of consumables when purchasing printers. Its machines feature separate drum and toner components which can be changed separately, saving money.

"So many machines require both components to be changed when one runs out, meaning you are throwing away half-full cartridges and drums in working order," added Lock.

Both the C5100n and the C5300n use the same components as the company’s C9000 range, aimed at corporate clients, but with a much smaller footprint. The machines use a straight paper path which helps optimise speed as documents do not have to pass through a complicated path before printing.

The 5300n features an internal hard drive for storing print out information. Both models boast print speeds of up to12ppm (pages per minute) in colour and 20ppm in mono.