Review Price £444.84
The mainstream printer in most offices is still the mono laser and machines designed for a workgroup workload take the lion's share of that print requirement. Epson's EPL-N3000 is a fast-rated workgroup machine with good paper capacity and easy maintenance.
The machine has a consciously eccentric look, with a heavily sloped top surface towards the front, counteracted by a smoothed-in hump, to prevent pages falling off the front. There's a deep depression towards the back of the top panel and over the top cover within it. The cover gives access to the single-piece drum and toner cartridge.
The control panel is very straightforward, with a single-line, 16-character backlit LCD display and an elongated diamond of control keys below this. In front of these controls is a big start button and a smaller trash button, which ends a current job. There's no walk-up USB socket, which is a shame as at a stroke this provides more versatile print facilities.
The most unusual feature of the machine is its twin paper trays, set into the bottom of the front panel. As well as a main paper tray which can take a full 550 sheets of office paper, the upper tray can take a further 150 sheets of multipurpose media. Having a second tray, rather than a simple feed, means you can keep, for example, letterheads pre-installed as well as general-purpose paper.
At the back are sockets for USB and Ethernet and there's a legacy parallel port included too, for maximum flexibility. Options on the machine include a further two 550-sheet paper trays, a 550-sheet paper stacker and a duplexer, which comes as standard on the dn model, but not on this one.
Set up could hardly be easier, with the single-piece drum and toner cartridge slotting in through the top hatch. The standard unit is good for 17,000 pages, though the cartridge supplied with the printer can produce just 6,000 pages, little more than a third of this.
The printer supports PCL in emulation, but also genuine Adobe Postscript Level 3 and drivers are available for Windows, Mac OS, UNIX and Linux, where CUPS and Avasys drivers are available. There's also a network monitoring tool provided.
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