So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Good speed; Impressive print quality; 10/100 Ethernet adapter; Compact size
- Colours were a little dull
The performance of this sub-$1000 colour laser printer is fast and we're happy with its ease of use and installation. Its colours could have been a little more vibrant, but its overall print quality was impressive. Consider this model if you want a fast printer for a small workgroup environment.
Price$ 825.00 (AUD)
Fuji Xerox's DocuPrint C2100 is a colour laser printer that has a retail price well under $1000, yet our tests show that it makes no compromises when it comes to performance.
The C2100 is aimed at the small to medium business market but is also suitable for home office users who want a fast printer to push out large volumes. It has a duty cycle of 60 thousand pages per month, and its total cost of ownership is fairly low. The cost of monochrome prints works out to be around 3.3 cents per page, while the cost of colour print outs works out to be around 15.7 cents per page. These figures are based on the supplied page yields and retail pricing for the available high-yield consumables. The consumables include cyan, magenta, yellow and black toner cartridges, a fuser unit and a belt unit. These are relatively easy to install via the printer's front access panel and the supplied instructions will guide you through the process if you haven't set up a laser printer before. Fuji-Xerox also offers an installation service for its end users, which costs around $270.
The C2100 comes with USB 2.0 and 10/100 Ethernet connections as standard and we tested the unit using both of these. Setting the printer up on our network was a breeze. We simply plugged it into our Dynalink RTA 1025 router, whereby it was allocated an IP address by the DHCP server, then we installed the driver on all the PCs and notebooks that we wanted to print from. We were up and printing in a matter of minutes. If you run a network with static IP addresses, then you can easily specify the printer's network settings via its control panel and two-line LCD display. For a USB connection, simply plug the unit into your PC or notebook and run the driver installation for a local printer off the CD.
Print speed turned out to be very good in our tests. We attained a first page out speed of less than 14 seconds for both monochrome and colour documents. Our 5-page Word document test, which is comprised of pages of black text, as well as colour graphs, printed out in only 31 seconds, which works out to be an average of 9.6 pages per minute. A 55-page PDF file printed out in 3min 40secs, which equates to 15 pages per minute. The printed quality was excellent. Text was sharp and easy to read using the default print density in the driver. We did find its colours to be slightly dull when printing our graphics and photographs.
Like most laser printers, don't expect inkjet photo-quality images to be produced from the printer's 9600x600dpi resolution. However, its results are more than acceptable for printing out flyers and presentations with photographs in them and we actually found the quality of photographs to be fairly smooth and well defined for a laser printer.
The specifications of the C2100 are a 400MHz processor, 128MB of RAM and it comes with PCL6 and PCL5e page description languages (which tell the printer how to print your documents). If you print out very large files, the printer can be upgraded to 640MB using a 512MB module. Paper handling is by way of a 250-sheet paper input tray and a 250-sheet output tray, and there is an option for a second tray, capable of handling 550 more sheets. The printer won't print on both sides of the paper by default, but a duplex unit can be installed as an optional extra.
Physically, the unit is fairly compact, and measures around 50cm x, 47cm x 39cm. Ideally, you'll want two people to help set it up as it weighs close to 23Kg. We didn't find it to be too loud during our tests, so it shouldn't be too much of a distraction even in a relatively quiet working environment.
The performance of this sub-$1000 colour laser printer is fast and we're happy with its ease of use and installation. Its colours could have been a little more vibrant, but its overall print quality was impressive. Consider this model if you want a fast printer for a small or medium workgroup environment. It comes with a one year on-site warranty as standard, but can be extended to three years for a fee.
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