Fit to Print: 9 colour laser printers tested

Printing solutions for the office come in all shapes and sizes. Check out our review to find the right one for your needs.




Contents
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Printing solutions for the office come in all shapes and sizes. Check out our review to find the right one for your needs.

Why pay print shops large amounts of money to print your brochures and reports when you can do it all yourself with a high-speed high-quality colour laser printer? For this review, we look at nine colour laser printers that are capable of printing colour at 25 pages per minute (ppm). Five out of the nine colour printers were only 24ppm capable but we still decided to feature them in the main review. For some of the vendors it was the fastest colour laser printer they make. We invited all the major vendors with Ricoh, Oki, Fuji-Xerox, Kyocera, HP, Epson, Konica-Minolta, Tally Genicom, and Lexmark all submitting. We decided to split the review in two sections one being printers for medium-sized workgroups and the other being for medium-to-large sized workgroups.

There hasn't really been any major development's in the printer world apart from printers getting faster, producing sharper output, and being cheaper to run. With the medium-to-large workgroup printers you can purchase additional paper trays to push your total paper capacity to more than 4000 pages with some printers. Finishers can also be attached to these printers. The type of finishers that can be attached varies between vendors but are not limited to only punchers, staplers, stackers, and booklet finishers. With the small to medium workgroup printers you can typically only add paper trays that can increase your paper capacity to around 2000 pages, you can also add memory and on some you can install a hard disk drive.

Some printers still ship with starter toners, which don't hold as much toner as standard toners. We thought vendors had stopped doing this but we guess they are still trying to save a buck somewhere. Replacing toners is relatively inexpensive but what you should be conscience of is how often you are replacing toner. Of the medium to large workgroup printers black toner would be good for around 20,000 pages while colour 15,000 pages assuming five percent coverage. Black toner usually lasts longer because in most cases it holds more toner. The small to medium workgroup printers are generally good for 9000 pages in black and 6000 in colour. Industry sources found the average colour coverage per page is between 10 and 12 percent and the makeup of these colour pages are five to six percent black (K) and five to six percent colour (CMY). This also took into account all types of users including business and graphic users. The main reason why black usage is so high is because colour printers use black toner to darken colours. This also makes black the highest single consumed colour on a colour page.

To work out the total cost of ownership of a colour printer you should get a vendor to supply you with all the service intervals that would need to be carried out based on the amount of printing you think you're going to be doing. This should include details of toners, drums, fusers, rollers, belts, waste bottles, and any other components that you would have to replace.

Ricoh Aficio CL7100


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

The Ricoh Aficio CL7100 is a medium to large workgroup printer that can comfortably churn out 35ppm in colour and monochrome. It has all the bells and whistles when it comes to paper handling and finishing options. Even though we didn't ask the vendors to supply finishers, Ricoh decided to submit a Booklet Maker. We didn't test it because we thought it would be unfair especially if the other makes didn't supply a finisher.

In our last couple of printer reviews Ricoh seems to only just miss out on taking out the the Editor's Choice Award. This is mainly because of its print quality. This printer performed solidly in terms of speed, features, and ease of use but was let down by its print quality again. We're not saying that its print quality is poor -- it's actually very good -- but there are printers like the Fuji-Xerox and Oki that perform better in this area. Colours tend to be less vibrant and images less detailed.

Ricoh Aficio CL7100

Product Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Price AU$15,840
Vendor Ricoh
Phone 1800 181 002
Web www.ricoh.com.au
 
Interoperability
Wide range of operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols supported.
Futureproofing
½
Missing many features supported by the other units tested.
ROI
½
Average print quality. At this price, consider buying it outright.
Service
1-year on-site warranty.
Rating
½

Fuji-Xerox Phaser 7750DN


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

We expected big things from Fuji-Xerox as they have done so well in the past in our tests and they certainly didn't disappoint this time around.

Even trying to find faults in their new model was difficult. On paper it looked impressive with the 35ppm engine, memory which can be upgraded to a whopping 1GB, a good list of finishing options to choose from, and toner life of 32,000 for black and 22,000 for colour. Now that's pretty impressive. Moreover it was equal fastest with the Ricoh in terms of peak speed -- it was faster at printing an entire job as it had a faster first-page out.

Print quality was first-rate and only the Oki came close.





Product Fuji-Xerox Phaser 7750DN
Price AU$15,395
Vendor Fuji-Xerox
Phone 1300 793 769
Web www.fujixerox.com.au
 
Interoperability
Wide range of operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols supported.
Futureproofing
½
Good options available to support growing requirements.
ROI
On the expensive side. Excellent print quality and speed.
Service
1-year on-site warranty.
Rating
Fuji-Xerox Phaser 7750DN
HP 9500hdn


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

The HP 9500hdn arrived in a huge box standing above six feet and weighing more than 130kg. Taking the covers off revealed three paper trays. HP couldn't provide us details on its paper capacity but based on the options you can buy for this printer we assume it's more than 4000. For such a large printer the 9500hdn didn't have much in the engine room. It could only manage 24ppm in colour and on its price we had to include it with the other four medium to large workgroup printers despite its lower speed rating.

Not only that, but its high duty cycle indicates to us this printer should cope quite well with high print volumes. As we mentioned, its speed wasn't its best asset but neither was its print quality. It rated in the middle somewhere. Its best asset would be its paper handling, available finishing options and ease of use.

During testing we encountered something which was of concern to us. When we were printing from the high capacity fourth tray the print speed was reduced to half. We tested the Kyocera and Ricoh for this as they were the other two printers that shipped with additional paper trays. With the Kyocera it didn't make any difference while with the Ricoh it only slightly reduced the print speed.

HP 9500hdn

Product HP 9500hdn
Price AU$19,499
Vendor HP
Phone 13 13 47
Web www.hp.com.au
 
Interoperability
Wide range of operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols supported.
Futureproofing
½
Good options available to support growing requirements.
ROI
½
Most expensive; low print speeds compared to the others in its class.
Service
2-year warranty.
Rating

Kyocera FS-C8026N


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

The FS-C8026N is Kyocera's premier colour laser printer, capable of printing 26ppm. It has a maximum paper capacity of 4150 pages and loads of finishing options and even has a Compact Flash Card Reader.

Kyocera has for some time now been known for their low running costs and improved durability to lengthen the life of their drums and developers. This also does wonders for the environment as there is less waste. Toners need replacing every 20,000 pages but that's all you will need to replace before your first maintenance kit at 300,000 pages.

Print quality was reasonably good for simple documents but when it came to printing more complex documents the detail just wasn't there.

Printing speeds were a little all over the place. For example, we were able to successfully print black and white documents at 26ppm but when it came to printing in colour it could only manage 20ppm -- 6ppm shy of its rated print speed.

Kyocera did confirm that at five percent colour coverage the printer will print at 26ppm. If the coverage is more than 10 percent for example the printer will tend to slow down to top up toner. This is also to ensure that the print quality is maintained. So this may be the cause as the targets we used did contain more than 10 percent colour coverage. We unfortunately didn't have much time to get to the bottom of this but hopefully we can give you an update in one of the upcoming issues.

Kyocera FS-C8026N

Product Kyocera FS-C8026N
Price AU$9349
Vendor Kyocera
Phone 02 9888 9999
Web www.kyocera.com.au
 
Interoperability
Wide range of operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols supported.
Futureproofing
Good options available to support growing requirements.
ROI
½
Excellent running costs but doesn't live up to its rated print speed in colour.
Service
2 years or 600,000 pages.
Rating

Oki C9500dn V2


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

The Oki C9500 has been previously submitted to the lab as part of a multifunction device. It can connect up to a ScanCopier which basically does what the name suggests it allows you to scan and copy documents.

The Oki was shipped to us with a single paper tray which can hold up to 550 A4 pages with optional trays -- you can bump this up to a maximum of 2850. The toners on the Oki are good for around 15,000 pages which is a little below average for this sort of printer while replacement parts like drums and fusers have to be replaced far more frequently when compared to the Kyocera.

Its print speeds were well below its rated speed. We tried a number of things like printing in draft mode but we still couldn't get it up to its 37ppm in mono and 30ppm in colour. Like with the Kyocera we didn't have much time to get to the bottom of this but we did endeavour to find out what the problem was if in fact there is one.

Its print quality was excellent only the Fuji-Xerox was better and that was only in printing colour photos.

Oki C9500dn V2

Product Oki C9500dn V2
Price AU$10,725
Vendor Oki
Phone 1800 800 140
Web www.oki.com.au
 
Interoperability
½
Wide range of operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols supported.
Futureproofing
½
Good options available to support growing requirements.
ROI
½
Excellent print quality but doesn't live up to its rated print speeds.
Service
1-year on-site warranty.
Rating

Konica Minolta magicolor 3300
Tally Genicom T8024
Epson AcuLaser C3000N


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

It doesn't occur very often where three vendors all submit pretty much the same product. The three printers in question use the same chassis, print engine, and consumables.

The only noticeable difference was the control panel on top of the printers and the motherboard. As they had different motherboards their memory capacity was also different.

Their paper handling capacities also differed from a maximum capacity of 1600 to 2100 which is a bit strange since you would think they all should have the same capacity as they share a common chassis.

Print speeds were all the same at 24ppm and their print quality was all very similar.

When compared to the other printers in this review we can say that they weren't quite up to the mark. Print quality was ok but not great and you can't buy a finisher for these printers but then again their a third of the price of a medium to large workgroup printer.

Tally Genicom has a Factory Sponsored Program which allows you to gain a new colour laser printer without having to pay for the actual printer. So all you have to do is simply pay for the consumables. There are no monthly payments, no click charges, and no maintenance contracts.

You have the freedom to return the printer at any time or change it to the latest model whenever you want. The printer is also fully maintained on site.

Tally Genicom will ship you a brand new printer with toner for AU$2745. Then you have to buy at least four toners per year. This can be any mix of toners (say, four black toners which are AU$110ex each).

Konica Minolta magicolor 3300

Konica Minolta magicolor 3300

Product Konica Minolta magicolor 3300
Price AU$3499
Vendor Konica Minolta
Phone 1800 265 687
Web www.printer-konicaminolta.com
 
Interoperability
Wide range of operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols supported.
Futureproofing
½
Missing many features supported by the other units tested.
ROI
Average print quality. At this price, consider buying it outright.
Service
1-year on-site warranty.
Rating

Tally Genicom

Tally Genicom T8024

Product Tally Genicom
Price AU$2745
Vendor Tally Genicom
Phone 1300 138 839
Web www.wpt.com.au
 
Interoperability
Wide range of operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols supported.
Futureproofing
½
Missing many features supported by the other units tested.
ROI
Factory-sponsored program reduces capital expenditure.
Service
Factory-sponsored program.
Rating

Epson AcuLaser C3000N

Product Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Price N/A
Vendor Epson Australia
Phone 1300 361 054
Web www.epson.com.au
 
Interoperability
Wide range of operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols supported.
Futureproofing
½
Missing many features supported by the other units tested.
ROI
Average print quality.
Service
1-year on-site warranty.
Rating
Epson AcuLaser C3000N

Lexmark C762


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Being very privileged to be testing the only unit in the country, the Lexmark C762 is a small to medium sized workgroup printer capable of printing 24ppm. The Lexmark was a sleek and quiet unit that had one of the easiest control panels to use along with the HP.

Unlike the other three printers in its class the Lexmark C762 can be loaded up with as many options as the larger printers in this review (see the specifications tables for more information).

Its print speeds were the same as the other printers in its class but its output was much better. It displayed more detail and higher contrasts.



Product Lexmark C762
Price AU$4180
Vendor Lexmark
Phone 1300 362 192
Web www.lexmark.com.au
 
Interoperability
½
Wide range of operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols supported, including wireless.
Futureproofing
½
Good options available to support growing requirements.
ROI
½
Good print quality. Offer a colour return program and high-yield toners.
Service
2-year on-site warranty.
Rating
½
Lexmark C762

Specifications

Product name Epson AcuLaser C3000N Fuji-Xerox Phaser 7750DN HP 9500hdn Konica Minolta magicolor 3300
Distributor Epson Australia Fuji Xerox Printers HP Konica Minolta
Telephone 1300 361 054 1300 793 769 13 13 47 1800 265 687
Web URL epson.com.au xeroxprinters.com.au hp.com.au printer-konicaminolta.com
RRP price (test configuration inc. GST) NA AU$15,394.50 AU$19,499 AU$3,499
Manufacturer's rated mono/colour speed (ppm) (A4) 24/24 35/35 24/24 24/24
Maximum colour graphics resolution (dpi) 600x600 1200x1200 600x600 (4800 REt) 1200x1200
Memory std/max (MB) 64/576 384/1024 160/416 256/512
Paper input (A4 sheets) Std/ Max Std: 1x500 trays, 100 bypass
Max: 1600 with opt trays>
Std: 500 universal tray, 150-sheet multi-purpose tray
Max: 3500 with opt trays
Std: 2x500 trays, 100 bypass Max: NA Std: 1x500 trays, 100 bypass
Max: 1600 with opt trays
Interfaces 100 BaseTX, USB 100BaseTX, USB IEEE 1284 ECP, 100BaseTX IEEE 1284 ECP, 100BaseTX, USB
Printer description language PCL6, PS3 PCL5c, PS3 PCL5c, PCL6, PS3 PCL6, PS3
First print speed (colour/BW) 13.5 11 seconds 14/14
Duty cycle per month 100,000 maximum 150,000 200,000 60,000
Internal options Memory Hard disk driveââ,¬"standard; 20GB memory Hard disk driveââ,¬"standard;
Memory;
Connectivity card for USB, serial, and LocalTalk
Hard disk drive;
Memory
External options Extra paper trays Duplexor (standard)
1500 sheet lower trays
2500 sheet high-capacity feeder
1000 sheet finisher (stacker/ stapler)
PhaserMatch 3.0
Auto duplexor (standard)
3000 sheet stacker
3000 sheet stapler/stacker
1000 sheet multifunction finisher
500/1000-sheet feeder
500-sheet media cassette
Consumables
RRP of high-capacity black toner & Page Life @ 5% NA AU$275.00/32,000 (starter toner 8,000) AU$259.95/NA AU$92/9000
RRP of single color toner & Page Life @ 15% NA AU$544.50/22,000 AU$539.95/NA AU$285/6500

Kyocera FS-C8026N Lexmark C762 Oki C9500dn V2 Ricoh Aficio CL7100 Tally Genicom T8024
Kyocera Lexmark Oki Ricoh Tally Genicom
02 9888 9999 1300 362 192 1800 800 140 1800 181 002 1300 138 839
kyoceramita.com.au lexmark.com.au oki.com.au ricoh.com.au tallygenicom.com.au
AU$9349 AU$4180 AU$10,725 AU$15,840 AU$2745
26/26 24/24 37/30 35/35 24/24
600x600 4800 (1200x1200) 1200x1200 1200x1200 600x600 (1200x1200 superfine)
128/512 128/512 256/1024 128/348 64/320
Std: 1x500 trays, 150 bypass
Max: 4150 with opt trays
Std: 1x500 trays, 100 bypass
Max: 2000 sheet drawer
Std: 1x550 trays, 100 bypass
Max: 2850 with opt trays
Std: 2x500 trays, 100 bypass
Max: 3100 with opt 2000 LCT
Std: 1x500 trays, 100 bypass
Max: 2100 with opt trays
IEEE 1284 ECP, 100 BaseTX IEEE 1284 ECP, 100 BaseTX, USB, Card slot IEEE 1284 ECP, 100BaseTX, USB RJ-45, 100 BaseTX, USB IEEE 1284 ECP, 100 BaseTX, USB
PCL5c, PCL6, KPDL3 PCL6, PS3 PCL5c, PCL6, PS3 PCL5c, RPCS, PS3 PCL6, PS3 (optional)
9/9 11.5/10 12/11 8/8
100,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 per month 60,000
Hard disk drive;
Memory;
CF card;
Serial card
Hard disk drive;
Memory;
Hard disk drive;
Memory;
Hard disk driveââ,¬"standard; 40GB memory;
IEEE 1394;
Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b);
Bluetooth;
Bi-centronics IEEE 1284 ECP
Hard disk drive;
Memory;
1500 sheets in 3 cassettes
2500 sheet tray
Duplex unit
Document finisher
Modular document finisher
Multi-tray bins
Booklet folder
Punch unit
Caster kit
802.11b Wireless Print Adaptor
3000 sheet finisher (staple, hole punch, job offset)
5-bin mailbox
650 sheet output expander
Duplex unit
2000 sheet drawer
500 sheet drawer (Up to 3)
Envelope drawer
Banner media tray
2-tray stacker
Puncher
Stapler output device with 100 + 1,000 A4 sheet output capacity
High-capacity feeder
Duplex unit (standard with dn model)
Scancopier
ADF
1 or 2 x 500 sheet paper trays
2000 sheet large-capacity tray
2000 sheet finisher
1000-sheet booklet finisher
Punch unit
Duplex unit
Console
Single 500 sheet lower feeder
Dual 500 sheet lower feeder
Consumables
AU$262.90/20,000 (starter toner 6000) 6000 page black and colour return program print cartridges (AU$191.59 black and AU$344.43 per colour) Also available are 6000 page print cartridges (AU$262.85 black, AU$498.52 per colour) 15,000 page high-yield print cartridges (AU$368.69 black and AU$813.49 per colour 15,000 page high-yield return program print cartrigdes (AU$292.12 black and AU$643.66 per colour). AU$214.50/15,000 N/A AU$121/9000
AU$423.50/20,000 See above AU$451/15,000 N/A AU$309/6000

How we tested


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Interoperability
What operating systems, hardware platforms, and networking protocols are supported?

Futureproofing
What is the maximum amount of RAM you can install on each printer, its papers handling options

ROI
Initial cost of printer and replacing consumables vs print speed and quality.

Service
What is the length of the warranty and the support hours?

We tested each of the printers over the Test Labs internal test network. The test PC was a Dell Desktop PC with a P4 1.7GHz CPU, 512MB of memory and loaded with Windows XP Professional SP2. The applications used during testing were:

  • Word for Windows (Office 2000)

  • Adobe Photo Shop 6

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader V5

The printer drivers used were those provided by the vendor.

Printer Speed

Average pages per minute
Peak pages per minute print benchmark
This is derived using a 30-page simple format document. This is in effect a measure of the printer's peak page speed and generally does not indicate real world performance but makes an interesting comparison to the vendors' page throughput claims. Typically the printer driver is not set to its lowest quality mode but is instead set to the vendors recommended "Normal" or "Standard" document mode. The print output is timed from the moment the print button is pressed, the time to first page out is recorded but only the elapsed time of the remaining 49 pages is used to calculate the peak performance. The following formula is used:

Peak PPM = (60 / (time to print all 30 pages - time to first page)) * 29

Average page per minute print benchmark
This is derived using a more complex 24-page Word document that includesââ,¬"18 different fonts some in multiple sizes, eight images ranging from simple clip art to high res TIFF photos and multiple column styles. Average PPM is more indicative of "real world" printer performance. Again the printer driver is set to the vendors recommended "Normal" or "Standard" document mode. In this case the time to produce the first page is included in the PPM calculation. The formula used is as follows:

Average PPM = (60 / (time to print all 24 pages)) * 24

Print Quality
Fontkey.PDF

This test confirms the printer's ability to correctly and accurately render multiple font sizes from 4-point up to 48-point in two font styles - Times New Roman and Gaudy Handtooled. The printer driver is set to the vendors highest recommended "plain paper" quality setting.

Laserkey.PDF
This test exercises the printer's ability to produce smooth greyscale gradients, (both linear and greyscale,) smooth straight, oblique and radial fine lines and smooth solid black fills. The printer driver is set to the vendors highest recommended "plain paper" quality setting.

Colorkey.PDF
This test is similar to the previous test but also includes smooth colour gradations, ink mixing, fine yellow grid lines on a solid green background and a JPEG image of a small child. The printer driver is set to the vendors highest recommended "plain paper" quality setting.

Photo Realistic Graphics Test Photo (Max Resolution)
The large 33MB test image was created and printed using Photo Shop 6.0. The image is a composite comprising a large landscape with fine cloud, forest and wildflower detail, a sleeping baby, a vase of multicoloured flowers, a close up of purple and white irises, an island and water scene, multicoloured balloon and finally a monochrome but highly detailed image of a cow skull hung on a weathered wooden panel. The diversity of the graphic content allows us to evaluate a whole range of printer abilities such as skin tones, sky colour fidelity, accuracy with fine white on colour details, and accuracy of dithering (particularly in areas of low contrast).

Printing Quality Assessment
Printer output was assessed for quality by the Test Lab staff, both with the naked eye and also an 8x magnifier. Purity was also judged with the naked eye, assessing how close the output was to the actual screen image. While we acknowledge this is a largely subjective process, especially given the different technologies we feel that most users would use similar purity criteria.

Fonts were assessed for accuracy of formation, smoothing of radial and oblique edges and any evidence of toner "spatter" particularly in the white-on-black font test. Smoothness of colour/ greyscale gradations and dithering was assessed, as was the accuracy of fine radial and oblique lines.

Sample scenario


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Company: Big Promotions Ltd
This company produces a lot of colour marketing material, such as reports and brochures, and wants to buy a high-end printing machine to reduce expenses on outsourcing print jobs.

Approximate budget: Open.

Requires: One high-end printing machine.

Concerns: Printing quality is of main concern, it should print at least 25 colour pages per minute. It doesn't need multifunction capabilities, nor the ability to print in wide format.

Click here to see our Editor's Choice

Look out for...

What to look for when buying a colour laser printer:

  • Print speed: Should be based upon the amount of users that will be using the printer as well as the average volume that is going to be printed per month.
  • Print quality: Most printers print at 600x600 dpi (dots per inch) but some use exclusive technologies that offer printing resolutions equivalent to printing at 2400 dpi and higher.
  • Total cost of ownership: Look at the initial cost as well as the cost of replacing toners. It's also worth comparing the cost per page between various printers.
  • Paper capacity: Check to see the number of pages it can hold and the paper sizes it supports.
  • Expansion potential: What's the maximum amount of memory that the printer can hold? Can you fit a hard disk or duplexer to the printer as well as any additional paper trays and output bins.
  • Finishers: The type of finishers that can be attached varies between vendors but the types of finishers are not limited to only punchers, staplers, stackers, and booklet finishers.

T&B Editor's choice
Editor's Choice: Ricoh Aficio CL7100 and Lexmark C762


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

We decided to give two Editor's Choice awards one each for the two classes of printers. For the medium- to large-sized workgroup printers the award goes to the Ricoh Aficio CL7100. The Ricoh CL7100 is well made, it's fast and offers great paper handling capabilities. The only place it was let down was its print quality but we are being really picky here.

On price we couldn't go past the Ricoh Aficio CL7100 as it shipped with a Booklet Maker worth more than AU$4000 and still managed to cost less than most of the other printers in its class. The base device is $8250 and the extras that were included for this review device included: 1000 sheet Booklet Maker -- AU$4290; 2000 sheet Paper Bank -- AU$1980; 40GB HDD -- AU$660; 256MB memory -- AU$220; Duplex Unit -- AU$440.

For medium-sized workgroups we liked the Lexmark C762. It wins the second Editor's Choice award for the same reasons as the Ricoh -- it's well priced and offers good upgrades.

This article was first published in Technology & Business magazine.
Click here for subscription information.


Contents
Introduction
Ricoh Aficio CL7100
Fuji-Xerox Phaser
HP 9500hdn
Kyocera FS-C8026N
Oki C9500dn
Konica Minolta magicolor
Tally Genicom
Epson AcuLaser C3000N
Lexmark C762
Specifications
How we tested
Sample scenario
Editor's choice
About RMIT

About RMIT

RMIT IT Test Labs
RMIT IT Test Labs is an independent testing institution based in Melbourne, Victoria, performing IT product testing for clients such as IBM, Coles-Myer, and a wide variety of government bodies. In the Labs' testing for T&B, they are in direct contact with the clients supplying products and the magazine is responsible for the full cost of the testing. The findings are the Labs' own -- only the specifications of the products to be tested are provided by the magazine. For more information on RMIT, please contact the Lab Manager, Steven Turvey.

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