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Although the colour laser is rapidly taking over the majority of laser printer sales, there’s still an appreciable market for mono-only devices at the right price. Epson’s EPL-6200 may have an RRP of nearly £300, but if you shop around, you can find it for under £110. At this price, it’s an interesting option.
When you first lift the EPL-6200 from its box it looks neat and compact, but by the time you've slotted in the front loading paper tray and folded up the output tray from the printer's top surface, it loses some of its style. You can load up to 250 sheets of paper at a time and there's an optional 500 sheet tray which fits underneath, if you need more.
There are three indicator lights in a line on the right shoulder of the printer and as well as the usual toner and paper jam indicators the third light indicates memory errors. We would expect this indicator to be needed if you use the printer with its built-in level 3 PostScript interpreter on more complex documents and at higher resolutions, because the machine only has 8MB of internal memory as standard. The EPL-6200 can print at a full 1,200dpi, though by default it outputs at 600dpi.
As well as the on/offline button, there are two more, used to cancel the current job or all jobs in the print queue and to print a status page. This give slightly more direct control of your printing than normal on a laser of this type.
At the back are sockets for USB 2.0 and parallel connections and you can add a network card to make the printer fully networkable. It’s also possible to fit a duplexing unit for printing on both sides of the paper.
Hardware and software setup for this laser are very straightforward, particularly as the drum and toner unit is supplied pre-installed. Toner cartridges lock into the back of the drum unit and slide together through a hatch in the front of the printer, with uncharacteristic ease. Both consumables need replacing at different intervals, unlike the all-in-one approach of a company like hp. The two-piece design should provide better economy, though.
The printer driver and status monitor are the only supplied applets with the EPL-6200, but they give you all the control you need over the machine. It can handle watermarks and overlays as standard and print two and four pages per sheet.
Like all mono lasers, this printer is designed primarily for text and simple graphics. For this kind of print, it does extremely well, producing sharp, well-defined characters with virtually no noticeable toner spatter. Right down to very small point sizes, text is readable and sharp.