Once the printer has calibrated itself, a one-off process taking around three minutes, it produces some very respectable speeds. Our five-page black text document printed in just 31 seconds and the page of mixed text and colour graphics finished in a breakneck time of just 12 seconds. Even our 5 by 3 inch photo sample took just 20 seconds.
Given that the Magicolor 5440 DL is rated at 25ppm in both black and white and colour, we saw less than half this in black and white and around a quarter of the speed in colour. Even so, for most small workgroup usage, speed from this machine will be adequate.
The print quality is very good. Black text comes out clean and dense with no toner spatter and even small font sizes are clear and well formed at the default resolution of 600dpi. Mix in some colour graphics and you still have a very good-looking page with even, vivid colours and a semi-gloss sheen which is attractive and professional.
Our colour photographic test piece, printed at the maximum resolution of 2,400 x 1200dpi, looks clear and generally well detailed. Although some detail is lost in the shadows, colour gradations are very smooth and natural and foreground detail is well composed, although something less than the resolution setting might suggest.
Each of the Magicolor 5440 DL’s toner cartridges comes complete with its own photoconductor drum, so there are no other consumables to buy, except a £15 toner collection bottle every 10,000 colour pages and a transfer belt every 120,000 prints. This belt is considered a spare part rather than a consumable by Konica Minolta and we think that’s reasonable on a colour laser printer. Unless you’re a very heavy user, 120,000 prints should be outside the service life of the machine.
All of which means that using the high yield toner cartridges, designed to last for 12,000 pages at five per cent cover, you should be paying something like 1.48p for a five per cent black page and 6.39p for a twenty per cent colour one. These costs are very reasonable for this class of colour laser and counterbalance its relatively high asking price.
The Magicolor 5440 DL is on the large side and time consuming to unpack and expensive, but you'll quickly forgive it these facts thanks to its high quality output and decent turn of speed. If you're in the market for a colour laser for a small office, the Magicolor 5440 DL shoud be high on your shortlist.