Sunday 22 September 2019
DataMaster Labs : The Test Lab

We test so that
you can tell the

DataMaster is the only objective and independent test lab in the world for :
  • Office and Production toner-technology hard-copy output machines
  • Software Solutions from the Office and Production marketplaces (document capture, workflow apps, print accounting, content management systems, device management apps, etc. etc.).
From our decades of experience of the market and from testing machines of every brand we can tell you without any doubt:

There have NEVER been more differences between machines than there is at present!

Compound this with the plethora of software compatibility requirements, and you will start to understand why the entire world of office and production sales and marketing needs DataMaster!  We test machines in their software context.
All our test work is designed to help you select the right machine for the job!

Machine Productivity Testing

DataMaster Labs' Test Team carries out a standard set of tests in Copy, Print and Scan modes on every machine we test.  Further specific tests are designed for Production machines.

These tests are designed to reflect the real world in which business hard-copy output machines are to be found.  The DataMaster Labs' Test Suite goes much further than simply testing the speed of a machine against the spec for A4!  

Our productivity tests adhere to ISO/IEC 24734:2014 (print mode) and 24735:2009 (copy mode), and deliver the same results - FSOT, EFTP/ESAT - plus a lot more besides.    The ISO Productivity test standards are rudimentary, and do not cover feature tests.  The impact on productivity of different options and features makes all the difference to sales people and buyers - and this is why we do them!

The results are very revealing

  • Booklets with 160gsm covers – we see which machines’ productivity COLLAPSES due to time lost changing fuser unit temperatures, and the effect of finishing requirements ...
  • A4R and A3 – hard to believe, but some machines print A4R at the same speed as they print A3!
  • Originals with different sizes – to reveal processing problems, such as when a machine slavishly rezooms originals for each and every copy ....
  • Simultaneity – after running print and scan tests we run them together to see if the machine can handle the requirements of a busy office.  Many machines’ productivity falls dramatically when you stress them.
  • Intelligent Print Queue – if there’s no A3 in the tray, can you still print to A4?  Or does the machine lock up – for all users?
  • Flux of jobs – chucking 15 print jobs at the machine at once – does it still run as fast as it should?  Very few do, and some handle this real-world scenario A LOT worse than others.
  • Test Engineers’ comments – these are vital to our overall assessment, and in the attribution of pros and cons in DataMaster’s +/- sales arguments sections.  How many finger strokes are required for an A4R booklet?  Between 3 and 19!  A mammoth difference in machine USABILITY.
These are just some of the tests we carry out.  Our test tools allow us to certify RIP times, first copy out, specs for all paper sizes, the effect of different finishing options – and many more – and to COMPARE a machine’s results against its predecessors’ and competitors’.

Software Solutions

Buyers usually select apps on the basis of colorful websites and lists of functions.

The DataMaster Lab has applications and content servers, and a complex set of virtual machines designed to test real-world scenarios for the breadth of software Solutions we test.  We analyze usability (ease of use and ease of installation), detailed machine compatibility, process quality and many other aspects.  Only DataMaster can properly certify your Solutions because we are experts in:
  1. Machines AND Solutions – and the interaction between the two
  2. Technical aspects AND customer requirements
  3. Functionality AND usability

This helps with product selection for buyers (by putting DMO Solutions in the hands of resellers) and we also contribute to software development with our test clients by providing them with expert feedback both technical and marketing.

Print Quality

Identical documents printed on identical highest-quality stock are the basis of the DataMaster print quality benchmarking. 

We look at gradients, solids, small characters, graphics and photographs, color registration and for resolution and contrast issues.  For Production machines we go further.

Quality benchmarks are set in the market context.  It is our job to highlight those low-end machines with surprisingly high quality output – and the expensive machines you should not try to sell to a marketing department.

As with our measurements of Productivity, our evaluations of print Quality adhere to the ISO approach as defined in ISO/IEC TS 24790 and 29186, but are focused on providing the means to differentiate between competing machines. 

Overall Evaluation

DataMaster Labs has all the information. 

We test, analyze and certify on Productivity, Quality, Usability, Flexibility, Functions and Environmental aspects.

Furthermore, we know how to present our results so you can easily digest them - and use them to make more sales, faster. 

Days and weeks of analysis can be summarized in the simplest graphical format – and this is why DataMaster’s Certificates, Rosettes and 6-point “Radar” presentations are fast becoming the basis for Machine and Solutions selection around the world.

We test so that you can tell the difference!