Making Sense of PageSense
PC Magazine frequently reviews the latest printers and MFPs and uses QualityLogic’s PageSense hardware and software to measure and report throughput speed. PageSense is well known by printer companies and analysts that cover the industry, but consumers may not know what this tool is and why so many companies use it to measure and report print speed.
QualityLogic shipped our first version of PageSense in the late 1990’s, and the basic premise of the product is still the same today. We provide a series of real-world test pages from popular Windows applications, automated test scripts to launch the application and test pages, and send them through a printer driver to a printer. Then, using an optical sensor pointed at the output tray of the printer, we measure the throughput speed of the files sent. This data is then returned to our application where we provide a series of charts and graphs showing the performance of the printers tested.
While the premise of PageSense remains the same as it was almost 15 years ago, the product itself has gone through many improvements. We originally supported Windows 95 and now support Windows 7. Obviously all the applications have been upgraded, as well. When VisualTest was discontinued by IBM after their purchase of Rational Software, we switched to TestComplete from SmartBear. Finally, as most printers are now MFP’s of some sort, we have added scanning, copying, and fax performance capabilities.
Like the ISO standards for yield, PageSense provides printer companies and reviewers a standard platform for repeatable testing. Unlike ISO, we do not provide a single test target, but rather a series of test files from many applications so customers can create a suite that is relevant to the market for their printer.
Check out PC Magazine’s use of PageSense for their printer comparisons.