SpencerLab Printer Test Suite, Version 4 Now Available: Printing Industry de facto Standard for Print/Image Quality Analysis Enhanced with Printer/Copier Industry Sponsorship

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The SpencerLab Digital Color Laboratory has announced release of Version 4 of the SpencerLab Printer Test Suite.

We are extremely proud of this product launch. It is the culmination of years of development, with feedback and input from top color experts in the industry

    Assisted by over a dozen key industry sponsors, SpencerLab has applied its expertise in testing of Throughput Speed Performance and Cost-per-Print as well as Print Quality, to develop an expanded suite of standard test documents. For the first time, users and vendors have a precision tool to allow real-world "apples-to-apples" comparisons.

The SpencerLab Printer Test Suite, consisting of over 50 test files (in over 180 adaptations, printing about 400 pages), covers the full breadth of markets, including photographic, consumer, office/enterprise, commercial/graphic, and large format markets - and works in Mac OS as well as Windows environments. Files include monochrome and color; CMYK and RGB; PostScript, PDF, and applications. Output sizes range from 4x6" and 8x10" through A, A4, B, A3, and large format, for domestic U.S. and international markets.

Since its 1990 introduction, the prior CHQF Test Files had become generally accepted as a de facto standard to facilitate the evaluation of Print Quality. This success also made it clear that the need had become acute for a broader standard to identify continuing innovation in improving Throughput Speed Performance and Cost-per-Print. Test files in the SpencerLab Printer Test Suite complement recent and forthcoming ISO/IEC standards (SpencerLab has been a continuing participant in their development).

"We are extremely proud of this product launch. It is the culmination of years of development, with feedback and input from top color experts in the industry," said Catherine Fiasconaro, SpencerLab Operations VP and Director of the Laboratory. "Our technical team's diligent efforts have resulted in an innovative and reliable test tool. This software has been thoroughly tested in real-world applications, both in our own Lab and by many of our sponsors - and is currently in use by major printer manufacturers and testing publications. With the public release, it's now a viable tool for a variety of users, including manufacturers, resellers, and consumers as a one-of-a-kind test device."

More than a dozen firms sponsored development of the suite, including Adobe (ADBE), Canon (CAJ), Eastman Kodak (EK), EFI (EFII), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Konica Minolta (KNCAF), Lexmark (LXK), Oce (OCE), Okidata (OKIEF), Toshiba (TOSBF), Xerox (XRX), and Ziff Davis Enterprise (ZFDH). Sponsorship of the development of the SpencerLab Printer Test Suite does not require sponsoring firms to use SpencerLab testing services or methodology. These firms sponsored the development so that others, as well as themselves, could have more meaningful measurement tools and standards.

A color and imaging architect from one sponsor, a large laser printer manufacturer, commented, "Developing printer test suites is difficult because of all the variables that need to be accounted for. The SpencerLab test suite is helpful because it distills down the variables to best practices for different OS and application environments while keeping the user's target document type in mind. This is a good way to go for unbiased printer testing and test support."

Version 4 of the SpencerLab Printer Test Suite is available for immediate licensing. For a sample test file and additional information, please visit http://www.spencerlab.com.

ABOUT the SpencerLab Digital Color Laboratory

With nearly 20 years in the industry, Spencer & Associates Publishing, Ltd. has earned an international reputation for expertise in the areas of Color Print Quality and Consumable Yield. SpencerLab Digital Color Laboratory, an independent testing division of Spencer & Associates Publishing, Ltd., is recognized as a leader in unbiased, third-party digital color printer/MFP testing. SpencerLab provides leadership in quantitative and qualitative product comparisons - test and evaluation services and compliance certifications, benchmark test software/hardware, and focus group management. Leading vendors have relied on SpencerLab to provide Color Print Quality, Cost-per-Print, Throughput Speed, and Usability benchmarking for a variety of printing technologies - inkjet, laser, solid inkjet, LED, dye sublimation, and many others.

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