Is Monochrome Printing Dead?

Today we can witness how more and more color laser printer become available at low price. Some are even approaching the prices of their monochrome counterparts. Does that mean black-and-white laser printer are about to extinct anytime soon?

ARN interviewed the leading printer vendors on the color versus mono printing debate. Here we provided some excerpts from their responses.


According to market development manager printing group, Irma van Leeuwen, the focus for HP is balance; using both mono and colour devices.

“We definitely don’t think mono is dead. We think color will keep growing and mono will stabilize in this growth. But we believe there will be a mix of devices on most business floors,” van Leeuwen said. “It’s all about what the customer wants rather than pushing towards a certain direction.”


Brand and marketing manager IT and office products, Heidi Webster, claimed mono will continue to be a printing stalwart.

“Certainly in the short to medium term we don’t think mono will be overtaken by color,” she said. “The mono market at the moment is still about four times larger so there is a big gap for color to overtake. But in terms of the mono printing market at the moment there are numerous reasons why color couldn’t overtake it.”

Fuji Xerox

Fuji Xerox marketing manager A/NZ, Tom Lewis, claimed it is not a choice between color or mono but more a question of finding the right balance in a business’ printing strategy.

“I would say color is not going to overtake mono printing for at least the next three or four years,” he said.


“People are quickly understanding the advantage that a splash of color or a color logo can do as far as a document is concerned when it comes to differentiating themselves,” Epson marketing communications director, Mike Pleasants, said.

“Color will still be coming down and squeeze on black and white until we reach the point that most people will say, ‘for an extra ten or twenty bucks I will have a color machine’. Then the switchover will happen quite quickly,” he claimed.


In the MFP space color has already overtaken mono, according to Canon marketing manager enterprise solutions, Kevin Ferrari. Canon’s research indicated that in the MFP space there are more color pages printed now than mono.

“The color shift, as we would generally term this, has been driven by the falling average selling price. The output costs are also in rapid decline… and other things along the lines of image quality, output speeds in terms of parity with monochrome and the business impact of clarity of documents,” Ferrari said.

As you can see, most printer industry professionals agree that while mono laser printers are withdrawing their positions, they are still alive and kicking.

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