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FP PostBase Series Review

PostBase mini

FP Mailing Solutions' PostBase mini is a newcomer to the FP lineup, having been introduced in April, 2015. While it's the smallest of the PostBase series thus far, its feature set is impressive. It handles 17 letters per minute -- perfect for small businesses, or those with a light volume of outgoing mail. It's also the first postage meter to meet the United States Postal Service's IMI (Intelligent Mail Indicia) criteria, and is proof positive that FP continues to look to the future.

PostBase 350

PostBase mini Features

The PostBase mini is unobtrusive in every way. Between its small footprint and quiet operation, you just might forget it's there. The 5 lb. scale -- which has a higher capacity than many of its closest competitors -- can be customized with a colored plate, or augmented with an external FP scale with a capacity of up to 70 lb. But the mini isn't just a pretty face; with its intuitive touchscreen interface, USPS-compliant IMI (Intelligent Mail Indicia) security, and 17 letters per minute imprint rate, the mini earns its keep.

PostBase mini Benefits

The PostBase mini puts all the benefits of metered postage within reach of small offices and home-based businesses that send mail in low volume. It's intuitive to use, and allows small businesses to leverage significant savings. It's flexible enough to handle both letters and packages, and with either the included RemoteOne software or upgraded ReportOne software, businesses have accounting and reporting features that keep you operating on time and within budget. Its quiet operation makes it a welcome and unobtrusive companion in your office.

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Our Verdict

The PostBase mini is a competent performer that crams a surprising amount of function into a very small package. On the one hand, users might miss the customization options that come with other PostBase products. On the other, when one takes into consideration the mini's intended user -- smaller businesses whose mail volume necessitates a meter, but doesn't call for the robust feature set of the line's flagship PostBase integra -- it's more than equal to the task. Perhaps best of all, it puts the cost benefits of metered postage within reach of one-person offices and smaller operations for whom a postage meter might otherwise have seemed an extravagance.

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PostBase econ

PostBase econ

The PostBase econ from FP Mailing Solutions was introduced a short time after the PostBase line was rolled out in 2012. It combines a compact size and stylish design with quiet performance. Capable of handling 20 letters per minute, it's a good fit for small businesses, home businesses, and nonprofits that handle a light volume of mail but desire the benefits and savings that come from metering postage.

PostBase econ Functionality

PostBase econ is the ideal office mate. It's unobtrusive, quiet, and highly efficient. It combines sharp esthetics with best-in-class function. Its touchscreen makes the PostBase econ as easy to use as an iPad. Postage can be ordered online via a standard Ethernet connection. Postage can be tracked and classified for up to five departments. For security, the postBase econ is USPS IBIP compliant. And the optional moistener means no more envelope aftertaste.

PostBase econ Advantages

The PostBase econ is equally at home in doctor's offices, home offices, small nonprofit organizations, or that one small patch of your workbench that's not already taken up by the tools of your landscaping business. Whether you're mailing bills, invoices, promotional mailers, or holiday cards, the PostBase econ is designed to adapt while integrating your mailings into your day-to-day workflow. It's easy to use, and the available software has business benefits that go far beyond postage.

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Review Conclusion

For small businesses sending a small-to-moderate volume of mail daily, the PostBase econ could be a welcome addition. Its compact size belies a healthy feature set that's easily expanded by both software and hardware. We're also impressed with FP's customer service, and a design ethos that prizes performance and esthetics equally.

PostBase semi

PostBase semi

FP Mailing Solutions introduced the PostBase mailing system, including the PostBase semi, in September, 2012. The PostBase series was intended to afford customers options not offered by the competition in the same segment. Three years on, the competition is still catching up and the PostBase semi -- with its combination of good looks and great performance -- has proven to be a valuable addition to many businesses.

PostBase semi Specification

The PostBase semi handles up to 45 letters per minute. A semi-automatic machine, it can accept an automatic feeder to speed processing. Its color touch screen will be comfortable to anyone who's used a smartphone or tablet, while the included software extends control, reporting and accounting capabilities.

The integrated ten-pound scale gives users the flexibility to handle small packages. Internet connectivity allows for rate change updates, postage replenishment, and operating system updates. Users can customize up to 12 indicia advertisements, up to eight text messages, and three presets. With six available cover colors and quiet operation, the PostBase semi is as stylish and unobtrusive as it is effective. You may also choose to add an optional moistener.

PostBase semi Benefits

A range of businesses take advantage of the feature set offered by the PostBase semi. Small accounting and tax prep businesses, medical practices, and even eBay sellers can send anything from newsletters to collections notices. The PostBase semi scales with your workflow and the seasonal ebb and flow of your business, saving you time and money.

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Our Conclusion

While the PostBase semi is aimed squarely at the middle of the small-to-medium business segment, its feature set and the volume it handles can afford your business or organization an efficiency boost that is more than sufficient to offset the cost of the system. We were impressed by its fast, quiet operation, and the included software that helps small businesses leverage significant savings on postage. While it's not quite as full-featured as its bigger brothers, the PostBase semi is nonetheless an excellent choice for organizations that need "just enough" from their postage meter.

PostBase auto

PostBase auto

Like its smaller counterparts, the PostBase auto blends quiet, efficient performance with a small footprint, but with a feature set that's intended for businesses that typically need more capacity than is offered by smaller models.

The PostBase auto is a bridge between FP's semi-automatic machines (the PostBase mini, econ and semi) and the fully-automatic PostBase integra. With the PostBase auto, the automatic feeder/sealer cuts higher mail volumes down to size.

PostBase auto Features

The specifications of the PostBase auto are practically identical to the PostBase semi, with one important difference: the semi is manually fed, while the auto includes a fully-automatic feeder/sealer, making it quite the workhorse.

The PostBase auto makes short work of 95 letters per minute, gives you a 10 lb capacity scale, and downloads postage and system updates via the internet. The auto allows users to take advantage of 10 custom text messages, 10 user presets, 20 custom indicia advertisements, and 20 standard accounts. With six custom color covers, the PostBase auto also blends in with your office's decor.

PostBase auto Convenience

The PostBase auto is ideal for three classes of business:

  • Small businesses that process a substantial but steady volume of mail, but would benefit from the ability to take on larger projects
  • New and growing businesses that place a premium on time, and require a solution that can scale with their needs
  • Shipping/ecommerce businesses: In tandem with MailOne, the PostBase auto can handle the needs of small-but-growing brick and mortar or online businesses that ship in volume

If your business regularly processes a respectable volume of mail but also faces seasonal surges -- as tends to be the case with accounting and tax preparation businesses -- or if you have big plans for your small business, you should keep the PostBase auto in mind for its ability to grow with a business.

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Conclusion

Some customers may find themselves torn between the PostBase semi and the PostBase auto. Both are highly capable machines, but the auto boasts a clear advantage in terms of processing speed. If your business is such that time is money -- and really, whose isn't -- we think the PostBase auto is worth the extra spend. However, the PostBase semi is still a good choice if you have more modest mailing requirements.

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PostBase integra

PostBase integra

Introduced by FP Mailing Solutions in October 2013, the PostBase integra sits firmly atop the PostBase office series lineup. Behind FP's enterprise-level PostBase one, the integra is the second fastest PostBase machine, capable of processing 110 letters per minute and leveraging several other features that increase your business's postal processing efficiency. A medium to high-output machine, it's best suited to businesses that move a high volume of mixed mail.

PostBase integra Features

With its standard automatic feeder/sealer and 110 letters per minute capacity, the PostBase integra has speed to spare. Its 15lb integrated scale (and the ability to add a 30 or 70lb scale) gives businesses the flexibility to handle letters, catalogs, and packages with equal ease. Multiple account setup (up to 100 standard accounts) is ideal for businesses juggling multiple departments or clients.

PostBase integra Benefits

The volume of mail handled by the integra makes it a strong contender for a range of larger businesses and organizations (such as hospitals, school systems, and regional utilities) and even small municipalities. The ability to assign multiple accounts brings with it the ability to segment and control costs across several departments or clients. And the facility with which it handles mixed mailings makes it ideal for many e-commerce businesses.

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Review Conclusion

The PostBase integra brings a combination of smart design, robust features and blazing speed to businesses that require mixed mail processing. Barring a large system like FP's PostBase one -- which is better suited for large organizations that move enormous amounts of mail daily -- the PostBase integra is, for all intents and purposes, as good as it gets.