Aesthetically, this printer resembles a big cube! Described as being ideal for a busy office, it offers networked printing, wi-fi and double-sided. Whatever your religion (Mac, Windows, Linux), you'll find the necessary drivers available. Compatibility with PCL6 (Printer Command Language) enables file compression. The 128 MB memory should be enough for a work group of up to twenty people or so. A single function printer, it can't do copies, scan or fax.
The four separate cartridges come in three formats: standard, large and very large.
Speeds: rapid and constant!
Although it takes a while to wake up and this means it loses a rating star (see inset), once up and running it offers rapid printing. The tech spec claims 28 pages per minute (ppm) and with our test documents we measured it at 30 ppm across the three modes (colour, draft, black & white). Double-sided speeds will be half this (15 ppm).
On our colour graph, the print lines are slightly visible in single tone areas and, although the graph is perfectly legible, fussy users will want a bit more precision (characters). If you push the default mode up from 600 dpi to 2400 dpi, single tone areas become much smoother (less lined) and characters look sharper and more precise, making them more legible.
In black and white, graph prints aren't as good. There's a slight banding effect (white vertical bands) though it isn't pronounced enough to compromise the legibility of the graph. Once again, if you're fussy you'll fault the slight lack of sharpness in characters. Again, this disappears when you print at 2400 dpi.
Energy consumption & Noise levels
a record low on standby
Let's start with the outstanding score of 0.6W on standby. This would even be a low score on an inkjet. On lasers, it's a first! This goes up to 459 watts when running, not bad for a laser. Overall, it's very economical and were we scoring it for energy consumption alone, it would have merited a 5-star rating. Noise levels of 57 dB penalise it however. It's not noisy, but not not quiet either.
Cost per page
Among the three toner formats, the very high capacity cartridges come out less expensive in the long run. We did the sums and the standard capacity will cost you around double the next size up and, at 7.7 pence per page, the largest capacity cartridges cost around a third of the standards. This is better than the cost per page of the Brother MFC-9320CW (14.1 pence). The black ink is particularly competitively priced: 1.1 pence is excellent. The best cost per page is given by black & white laser printers. To cut your costs right down, turn on the black and white default.
ISO lifespan for text
High capacity cartridges
||Cost per page|
|TN-328BK (black)||£64.57||6000||1.1 pence|
|TN-328C (cyan)||£130.57||6000||2.2 pence|
|TN-325M (magenta)||£130.57||6000||2.2 pence|
|TN-328Y (yellow)||£130.57||6000||2.2 pence|
|Colour drum unit
||Cost per page|
||Cost per page|
- Wi-fi, ethernet and double-sided
- Rapid speeds in both black & white and colour
- At 0.6W energy consumption on standby is exceptionally low
- Cartridges in 3 formats (including very high capacity)
- Simple to use / low cost per page (1.1 pence black & white) with very high capacity cartridges
- No copier, fax, scanner
- Slow to start-up
- High cost per page with standard cartridges
- Not the quietest machine
A good compromise for those looking for a colour laser printer that's easy to share in a work group. It gives good speeds and quality prints. Ease-of-use is a real bonus and, as a result, you'll be willing to ignore its imposing aspect. Cost per page is moderate (in particular in black & white) with very high capacity cartridges. The colour standard ones are much more expensive however!