Review: Konica Minolta Magicolor 3730DN

Our score: 3/5
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March 23, 2011 12:20 PM
 
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Published: March 22, 2011 11:00 PM
By Marine Goy
Translated by: Jack Sims
This printer is a single function laser colour. Its 32 MB standard memory is ideal for small work groups of up to 5 or so people or for individual usage. Konica Minolta is highlighting rapid speeds for both colour and black & white, with economical colour prints - thanks to the toner economy mode - and simple, intuitive usage.

Hardware

When you get it out of the box, such is its size and weight (25 Kg), your first thought is that it looks like a dead horse. It takes up a lot of space on the desk! This is partly due to the size of the four separate cartridges, which are pictured below. In terms of installation and usage, it's child's play. The non-touch screen, is located on the top of the machine, to the left of a few control buttons. There's also a directional scroll as well as a 'cancel' button, which is useful for rapid cancellation of prints. That's all that's required in terms of controls for this networked and double-sided printer. There's no wi-fi, card reader, scanner, copier or fax.


The charger has a 250 page capacity. It accepts various formats (A4, A5, A6, B5, letter, customised formats and so on). There's a function to help with the correct positioning of pages. You simply have to press down on the pile of paper. Here's a demonstration:
 
Standard paper charger


The cartridges are very large and have a capacity of up to 5000 pages
 
 

Quality

For text prints quality is excellent. When it comes to graphics however, although colour shading is well respected, there are some problems with legibility. The letters beside the blue and red bars lack sharpness and it looks as if there's some ink spillage on the letters. If you look at the Face-off, for the Brother HL-4570cdw, you can see that the letters are better defined, with more precise and better drawn contours.

Laser printers aren't designed for photo prints. Out of curiosity, we ran the 3730DN through its paces, and the results weren't bad. The photo below has been enlarged by three, which explains why the printhead lines are so visible. On the actual print, the noise is still perceptible but results are okay.



Energy consumption & Noise levels

Konica Minolta are actively committed to a sustainable strategy with their 'Clean Planet' programme. This consists in putting environmental management systems into place, based on the ISO 14001 standard - reducing energy consumption and the resources required to make products. Although this printer has been designed with environmental protection in mind and can be recycled up to 95%, its energy consumption and noise rating is poor. This is because of the high noise levels: 59 db(A).

Looking at energy consumption alone, the printer scores 6 watts in standby and 480 watts when running. These are not particularly high scores for a laser but it is possible to do better (HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn consumes 1.2 W in standby and 290 W when printing).



Cost per page: 11.1 pence with XL cartridges

A point in its favour: there are two cartridge formats: the standards give up to 3000 pages and the high capacity cartridges up to 5000 pages.
A point against: the cartridges that come with the machine on purchase are a little under standard capacity: the black toner lasts up to 2000 pages, while the cyan, magenta and yellow pages last for up to 1000 pages. This isn't bad but why do manufacturers persist in delivering machines with cartridges that aren't as full as those purchased in stores?

In as much as it's possible, it's best to use the toner economy option and print, where you can, in black & white. The cost per page is average, not great. For comparison, the Brother HL-4570CDW costs 7.7 pence per page with high capacity cartridges (6000 pages).

ISO text lifespan
Cartridge Price
ISO lifespan
Cost per page
A0WG02H (black) £119 5000 2.4 pence
A0WGOJH (cyan) £145 5000 2.9 pence
A0WG0DH (magenta) £145 5000 2.9 pence
A0WG07H (yellow) £145 5000 2.9 pence
3/5 Konica Minolta Magicolor 3730DN DigitalVersus 2011-03-23 00:00:00

Pros

  • Ethernet, double-sided
  • Good speeds
  • Direct access to all-in-one toner cartridges: simple and effective.
  • Toner economy mode

Cons

  • No card reader, fax, copier or scanner
  • Lower double-sided speeds
  • Noisy, heavy and takes up a lot of space

Conclusion

A rapid, practical laser printer that's easy to use. It also gives good quality prints, though we would have liked to see it a little quieter.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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