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A college needs to print multitudes of documents in a Mac environment. They get quotes for similar devices from two network digital copier competitors - one boasts an Adobe PostScript 3 print driver, the other has a PS3 driver which turns out to be an emulation. Is there likely to be any downside?

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Speaking as a recently-former College print-administrator, I'd take the native PS3 support over the emulation. It comes down to trust. I'd rather have end-to-end Postscript, which Mac-products provide, than introduce multiple translation layers.

Being a college, chances are good that some PCs will need to print to those printers once in a while (perhaps there is that one annoying app that only works on Winodws). The quality of the Windows driver needs attention, though it is pure PS3 you can get documents out the other side reliably with the default Postscript driver.

The one monkey-wrench in this is the document handling parts of the driver. Things that specify page size, collation, duplex/simplex, 4-up, zoom, watermarks, mailbox trays, input trays, and all of those other add-ons to simple ink on a page. Depending on what you're printing to (100% 8.5x11 is one thing, a mix of 8.5x11, A5, 17x11, and legal is something else) and how it comes out of the printer (mailboxes, staples, folds, alternate output trays) can have a real impact to driver reliability.

In the end, if the emulated driver ends up working more reliably in my printing environment I'll pick that one over the native PS support. But, based on nothing but the printer's spec-sheet, I'll pick the native support.

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It would be interesting to know the brands you managed on campus. Ricoh have the Adobe PS3 driver and Konica Minolta the emulation. Both are very reputable brands, hence the difficulty in deciding between them. – AndyB Jul 18 '11 at 2:22
Thanks for that sysadmin. It would be useful to know which supplier you worked with on campus. In this instance, Ricoh has the Adobe PS3 driver and Konica Minolta the emulation; both are very reputable suppliers and hence the difficulty in deciding. – AndyB Jul 18 '11 at 2:30
Déjà vu anyone? – Chris S Jul 18 '11 at 3:07
@AndyB We had both, but then our printing needs didn't depend on PS3 in specific, only in general. – sysadmin1138 Jul 18 '11 at 12:19

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